School Reopening/COVID 19
The Board of Education for the School District of Lodi reviewed and decided on the metrics they were going to use to make decisions about the district changing instructional models during the school year at a meeting on September 16, 2020. The administration and Board reviewed many different school reopening plans with many different data points being used to make this decision. The Board decided to base the School District of Lodi’s reopening plan on a model which was based on several different reopening plans from other districts, counties, and states. The model uses the following two data points:
- Positive cases per 100,000 residents over the past 2 weeks
- Positivity rates
The rubric the district decided to use to make these decisions can be found here and is also attached to this email. The presentation that was reviewed by the Board can be found here and is also on the district’s website in the School Reopening/COVID-19 section. During their discussions, the Board decided to use Columbia County’s data as the driving factor but, on the recommendation of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, also included Dane County’s data in this decision making process as ¼ of our students come from Dane County. Therefore Columbia County’s data will be used to make the initial determination, but if Dane County’s data is two categories away from Columbia County’s data, the decision metric will be shifted a category higher or lower depending on the direction of this difference. When metrics are met for two weeks, indicating a switch in the instructional model, the district will take two weeks to plan before starting in the new instructional model. During this planning phase, the metrics and data need to remain in the same category or improve. If the data or metrics trend in a negative direction during the two week planning period, the district will stick with the instructional model we are in at the time.
By following this metric, the Board of Education will continue to have our students in the online instructional model 4k-12 at this point. The data had trended in the direction where we would have been in the planning stages of bringing our 4k-5 students back in a blended instructional model with in person safety precautions, but the recent spike in cases in Columbia County has delayed this plan. The hope is that the number of cases and positive rate in Columbia County is a temporary spike and will come back down to levels which will allow us to bring some of our students back for some in person instruction starting with our youngest learners.
Regardless of the instructional model that the district is in, the district also plans to continue to offer the online instructional model to families who do not feel comfortable sending their child to school at this time. When the data shows that we are in the planning phase for the next instructional model, we will need all families to indicate if they plan on taking part in the blended instructional model or the online instructional model. For planning and staffing purposes, when families choose the online option, they will be making a commitment to the online model for their child for the entire quarter. We will be sending more information about what a blended instructional model will look like for a student in the near future so families can make an educated decision on the educational model they want for their child.
The Board continues to be committed to the safety and welfare of our students, staff, and community while providing the best possible education during these uncertain times. They want to ensure we not only focus on bringing students back to school, but that the plan that is developed is sustainable and does not have students bouncing between instructional mode, which would be even more difficult for students, families, and staff. It is our hope everyone continues to do all they can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by washing hands, social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding large groups so that the COVID-19 cases change their recent trend, which will allow for some in person education, hopefully prior to the end of the first quarter.
Please be looking for more information in the coming weeks explaining the expectations for the blended instructional model with in person safety precautions. This information will not only help you understand this model more fully, but will give families the information they will need when the time comes to commit to the blended instructional model or continue with the online learning instructional model.