Waterloo and Marshall schools sent out notifications Sunday to let parents and caregivers know that classes would be suspended beginning Monday, March 16.
On Friday, Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.
The mandated closure was set to begin Wednesday; however, many school districts chose to close earlier.
“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Evers.
Following Evers’ announcement, Wisconsin Department of Instruction State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor issued a statement regarding the decision.
“The safety and health of our students, educators, and families remain of the highest importance. When considering the length of school closures, we are asking our local school districts and local health departments to be in close coordination in making these decisions,” she said.
The communication sent to Waterloo School District parents and caregivers stated the facilities would be closed through Friday, April 10. The applies to all instruction and extra-curricular activities plus the fitness center, pool and swimming lessons.
According to the letter sent by the district, students who needed to obtain anything from the building were asked to come to the school from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday.
As a way to encourage homebound instruction, teachers will be sending correspondence through the U.S. Postal Service or contacting students via Google classroom. District administration asked families to support homebound instruction to the best of their abilities, but staff understands it may be difficult for some students and accommodations will be given.
The district sent out a second communication to parents and guardians Monday afternoon to provide information on having breakfast and lunch bundles for students in grades kindergarten through 12 while school is canceled. The bundles will include shelf-stable food items.
Any family interested in receiving the food bundles should contact Laurie Billingsley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-478-3633 ext. 4201 or Elizabeth Gould (se habla espanol) at email@example.com or 920-478-3633 ext. 2440. Families will need to provide the name, grade and teacher for each student who will receive a meal bundles.
Meal pick-up times will be at door #12 (preK-4 entrance) from 3-5 p.m. on the following days: Thursday, March 19; Thursday, March 26; Thursday, April 2; and Thursday, April 9.
Correspondence sent to Marshall School District parents and caregivers stated the schools would be closed through at least Sunday, April 5 with classes resuming no sooner than Monday, April 6. This closure impacts all instruction and extra-curricular activities.
Student learning, through virtual or educational packets was set to begin on Wednesday, March 18. Extended learning will be from March 18-20 and from March 30-April 3 (not during Spring Break March 21-29).
Building offices were accessible from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday for families to pick-up student medications, technology, or other personal items needed in the short-term.
A second letter was sent out Monday night to detail the plans for breakfast and lunch for all children in Marshall – regardless if they attend Marshall Public Schools – ages 1-18 (through age 21 for those with special needs). The grab and go meals will be available via curbside service from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
To make sufficient quantities of meals and reduce waste, the district asks meals be pre-ordered each week by Thursday. A new meal order form will be published and distributed weekly. Meals will be distributed daily and children must be present during the food pick up.
Pick up locations will be at Evergreen Village Clubhouse, Marshall Community Youth Center, Firemen’s Park, Marshall Public Library, Scenic Circle Park, and Converse Park.
Food order forms can be found online at https://www.marshallschools.org/index.cfm.