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Changes in physical distancing guidelines are allowing the Sun Prairie Area School District (SPASD) to expand to four days per week for in-person instruction (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) beginning Monday April 26.

Sarah Chaja-Clardy, SPASD Director of Secondary Teaching, Learning & Equity and Nick Reichhoff, SPASD Director of Student Policy and School Operations, made the announcement in an email on Monday, April 5.

Caregivers interested in having their students remain in the entirely virtual option may still do so., but the two days per week hybrid option will no longer be available in grades 6-12 beginning April 26.

Wednesdays will remain an asynchronous learning day for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year to provide staff the time needed to collaborate and ensure cleaning and disinfection.

The change means all students at the secondary level will remain in their 4th quarter cohort (A, B, or virtual) until April 26, 2021.

“At the secondary level, we will assume families who have previously selected the two-day-a- week hybrid option will send their students four days a week starting on Monday, April 26, 2021,” the email reads. “We will assume secondary families who selected the virtual option for the fourth quarter will remain virtual. If these assumptions are accurate for your family, no action is required.”

Caregivers who want to change from in-person to virtual or from virtual to in-person based on the new information, should indicate the change by filling out a Google Form attached to the email no later than Friday, April 9, 2021.

Background

In a communication in early March, SPASD indicated secondary schools would remain in a two-day-a-week hybrid model for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, anticipating no further modifications to the Public Health Madison Dane County orders.

Then, on March 19, the Centers for Disease Control officially adopted a recommendation for 3 feet of distancing in all schools across the country.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also revised its guidance from 6 feet to 3 feet, and PHMDC has removed all strict requirements for distancing.

The change was designed to give all schools (4K-12) flexibility to increase in-person instruction in light of:

• Expansive vaccinations taking place;

• A drastic reduction in cases within Dane County; and

• Data that continues to show that schools across the state are not sources for community spread.

“It is important to note that the revisions to distancing guidelines do not change the definition of ‘close contact.’ Students who spend 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone who tests positive will need to be quarantined,” the email reads.

“To the extent possible, we will maximize distancing in classrooms, in the cafeteria, and on bus transportation,” the email reads. “However, families with students attending in-person should anticipate and plan for the possibility of quarantine with short notice due to close contact.”

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