WUSD School Board Cancels School April 14 & Adds a Make-Up Day at the end of
the 2020-2021 School Year
WHITEWATER, WI, April 6 — Last evening, the School Board was asked to consider
instructional plans for Wednesday, April 14, as the second dose of the COVID-19
vaccine will be administered to WUSD staff on Tuesday, April 13. This consideration
was to help avoid unexpected or emergency closures of school due to potential
absenteeism. Studies have shown and local school districts report that up to 30% of
staff could miss work the day following the second vaccine dose due to side effects.
The School Board voted to cancel school for Wednesday, April 14 and add a make-up
day at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Tuesday, June 8 will be a full school day.
Wednesday, June 9, the last day of school, will be a half day for students. No
changes were made to the High School Seniors year-end schedule; graduation will be
Sunday, June 6, 2021.
Banner note: Dr. Caroline Pate-Hefty, District Superintendent, indicated to the board that 23 staff had already been vaccinated prior to the mass immunization day that the district sponsored. On the day after their second vaccine, 17% were absent. Jefferson County Epidemiologist Samroz Jakvani indicated that it might be anticipated that approximately 28-30% of persons receiving the second dose might experience sufficiently severe symptoms the next day that they would not be expected to be able to report to work. Pate-Hefty indicated that a high water mark in absences had occurred on a day in March when 23 staff called off, amounting to approximately 10% of the teachers. Fifteen substitutes were able to be recruited for the day, but it was felt that if circumstances had gotten much worse it would have been close to an emergency situation.
Pate-Hefty suggested that there were four alternatives for the board to consider: 1) No school on April 14, and not make up the day since only one snow day has been used for the year. 2) No school on April 14, but add on a day at the end of the school year. 3) Schedule virtual instruction for April 14. 4) Continue with in-person instruction on April 14.
In view of the instructional time that had been lost due to virtual instruction this school year, the superintendent recommended the second option, particularly since it is unknown at this time as to how the state will count virtual instruction towards the required hours. Board members agreed, and voted unanimously to choose the second option.