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La Crosse schools start planning re-open in the fall

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Public educators start to plan for the fall semester whether it's in-person, online, or both.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently released it's "Education Forward" guidelines and the La Crosse School District plans to abide by the ever-changing suggestions.

"I am hopeful that we will be back in early September," La Crosse Education Association President John Havlicek said. "If I had to put my nickel down on something I would say that we would be in some sort of a blended model."

Havlicek said schools need more funding and staff to cover the additional lesson plans for online and in-person classes.

"They're going to need more support," he said. "It's as simple as that."

Not everyone learns the same and not all lessons can be taught online. Equitable learning is an important factor when deciding how students will return.

"We know that straight online schooling probably works for, if I were to be generous, about 15% of the kids," Havlicek said.

La Crosse, West Salem, Holmen and Onalaska School District superintendents collaborate during weekly meetings to figure out safety measures for the students and staff.

"We're all working together very, very hard to ensure that we're going to provide something that's safe for everybody. We know how important our schools are to our community and we're going to do this together," West Salem School District Superintendent Ryan Rieber said. "Our next step is to get our staff to start to think about what this is going to look like and what we're capable of doing and what are things that are going to be some barriers and roadblocks and then start moving forward."

Between the schools, parents, and La Crosse County Health Department, Havlicek said he's hopeful for a more confident answer by the end of July as to how the fall semester will look for everyone.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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