Monday School Board meeting to act on Instructional Plans beginning 9/28; Revised Jefferson County document provides guidance

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner staff
whitewaterbanner@gmail.com

At its August 10 meeting the WUSD School Board voted that at a special meeting on Monday, September 14, depending upon the status of COVID-19 in the area and the schools, they hoped to affirm that the schools would be returning to fulltime in-person instruction as of September 28. Consequently the agenda for Monday’s open meeting at 7:00 p.m. includes discussion of that matter.

On August 10 the board had adopted the school reopening guidance of Jefferson County Health Department that indicated that in-person instruction should not begin unless the COVID positivity rate in the area was under 8%. The district’s plan was to use a blended rate for Jefferson, Rock, and Walworth counties based on the percentage of students enrolled from each county. As of August 10, the blended rate was calculated as 8.2%. It appears that the blended rate would not have dropped below 8% at any time since then. However, on August 20 Jefferson County revised its guidance, and the board adopted that revision at its August 24 meeting. This guidance utilizes daily case incidence as defined below, with the risk levels also shown.

Daily Case Incidence: The daily case incidence number (per 100,000) will determine whether a jurisdiction is green, yellow, orange, or red COVID activity levels using the criteria described under the COVID-19 Risk Level definition below. This is calculated using a 7-day rolling average with a lag time of one day. This lag time may increase based on processing and reporting times for tests being conducted.

COVID-19 Risk Level Case Incidence
COVID Risk Level Case Incidence Red (Very High Risk ) >25 daily new cases per 100,000 people
Orange ( High Risk ) 10<25 daily new cases per 100,000 people
Yellow ( Medium Risk ) 1<10 daily new cases per 100,000 people
Green ( Low Risk ) <1 daily new case per 100,000 people

As of September 9, the weighted average stood at 16.48, placing the district in the orange (high risk) category. In that category, Jefferson County’s recommendations are as follows:

1st priority for re-opening: Grades pre K-5 and in-person special education services at grade
levels preK-8 open if conditions for pandemic resilient teaching and learning spaces can be
achieved at scale; districts, states, and federal government invest in healthy buildings and
healthy classrooms; in the absence of conditions for pandemic resilient teaching and learning
spaces, schools continue with remote learning.

2nd priority for re-opening: Grades 6-8 and in-person special education services at grade
levels 9-12 open if conditions for pandemic resilient teaching and learning spaces can be
achieved at scale; districts, states, and federal government invest in healthy buildings and
healthy classrooms; in the absence of conditions for pandemic resilient teaching and learning
spaces, schools continue with remote learning.

Not a priority for re-opening: Grades 9-12 maintain remote learning for all learners; districts,
states, and federal government invest in remote learning.


As readers are probably aware, there has been a significant spike in positive test results for UW-W students, most of which would likely not yet be reflected in the case incidence numbers that the state reported on September 9.

Here is the access information for Monday’s open session:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82311903275?pwd=dnBhMGdSKzRJU0NYNEswWk5ydDArZz09
– Passcode: 849620
– Dial-in: 1-312-626-6799 – Webinar ID: 823 1190 3275 – Passcode: 849620

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