School district focusing on changes for new year

As I write this newsletter, I can honestly say this has been an unprecedented end to one school year and equally, has provided similar challenges in our preparation for the next. That goes without saying. It has likely been a similar experience for everyone in their respective professions and walks of life.

I have certainly, and understandably so, had my share of “So what do you think the start of next school year will look like?” questions. The reality at this point of summer is, we are continuing to address and work through a host of questions and decisions to make before our schools reopen. I can say with confidence that at this time and into the start of the fall, the focus will continue to be on a few critical priorities:

• Keeping our students, staff and visitors physically safe.

• Continue to care for the social-emotional and mental health needs of our students and staff.

• Keep learning coherent by creating an instructional delivery model whether it is in-person, virtual, or through a blended approach that supports the academic growth and progress we aim for our students.

• Meet the needs of every student by considering the unique experiences they are going through and being an active partner with each of our families in supporting these needs.

• Design flexibility into our schedules, environments, protocols and norms to allow for success in this unique environment.

In the next few days, we expect to hear much more from the state Department of Public Instruction and Department of Health Services pertaining to reopening scenarios and plans. As our local plan for reopening evolves, we will continue to keep you apprised with changes and updates.

Please know, as much as we are permitted, we want and are planning to have our students back in full capacity, and still be mindful and responsive to the guidelines and regulations set forth for schools to the extent allowable. We look forward to getting them back in the classrooms, on their teams and with their friends in the coming weeks.

Garrett Rogowski is the superintendent of the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District.