Registration - K-8 Safer-at-Home Learning Option

Registration for K-8 Safer-at-Home Learning Option
Posted on 11/17/2020

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

The School District of the Menomonie Area continues to listen to all stakeholders while considering important adjustments for providing high quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SDMA continues to prioritize student and staff safety while responding to needs of students, staff, and families. Due to the district's strong financial position, the tremendous investments approved by the school board, and the great work of district staff, the SDMA is able to provide a number of learning opportunities and supports unique to our school district.

With cases of COVID-19 continuing to spike in Dunn County and many other places across the state, Governor Evers has advised Wisconsinites to stay home if possible. Despite this guidance, neither the Governor nor the health department have advised schools to close. Knowing that some families might prefer to shelter at home during this time, the school district will now be offering a new Safer-at-Home learning option for all K-8 families currently enrolled in the SDMA In-Person Learning Model. This K-8 Safer-at-Home learning option will begin November 30 and last through the end of the first semester- January 22, 2021. (Please remember there is no school in the SDMA for 4K-8 students during the week of November 23.)

In-person learning will continue to be offered for all students in grades K-8, but families preferring the Safer-at-Home option may register their child(ren) by completing this online form. Only families wishing to enroll their child(ren) in the new Safer-at-Home learning model for the remainder of the first semester need to complete the form. The request for K-8 Safer-at-Home learning must be received by the school district by noon on this Friday, November 20, and a separate form needs to be completed for each child. Any student not registered by Friday's deadline will remain enrolled in the in-person learning model for the remainder of the first semester (or as long as in-person learning is able to be offered).

The new K-8 Safer-at-Home learning option will be a fully virtual experience taught by SDMA teachers. It will include both synchronous and asynchronous lessons with daily online interactions required for all students. Regular online attendance and reliable access to the internet is required. The SDMA will provide as much online instruction and as many specialized services as possible through the K-8 Safer-at-Home learning option, but the most comprehensive experience will continue to be offered through the In-Person Learning Model. 

Classroom rosters and teacher assignments for both the In-Person and Safer-at-Home learning models may change as the district adjusts to provide services for all students, so please understand that your child may have a different classroom teacher after Thanksgiving. This is especially likely if the K-8 Safer-at-Home model is chosen, as most classroom teachers will still be providing in-person instruction. For example purposes only and depending on the number of students enrolled, a 5th grade teacher from River Heights could be the virtual teacher for all 5th graders across the SDMA in the K-8 Safer-at-Home learning option. If registration numbers are low, some grade levels in the Safer-at-Home option could be combined.

Families who made the semester-long commitment for the Remote Learning option at the beginning of the school year will continue with the fully online learning program with WVS through the end of the semester. This new Safer-at-Home option will only be made available to students currently participating in the in-person instructional plan. Information about learning options for second semester at all grade levels will be shared in December.

It is currently anticipated that instruction at Menomonie High School will continue to be provided virtually through the remainder of the first semester (January 22), but the building will remain open for specialized programming, internet access, individual instructional support, and student sports/activities as long as possible. 

Buses will continue to run at all levels in the SDMA, but routes may change based on the number of students utilizing district transportation. Any changes to routes will be communicated as needed.

Free meals will continue to be offered to all students in the school district, but new registration for all meal pickups is required. SDMA families wanting to pick up free meals for MHS Virtual Instruction or the WVS and K-8 Safer-at-Home options can register for the free meal pickups using this online form.

Questions about learning options for the remainder of the first semester should be forwarded to the building principal at your child's school. While the deadline for registering for the Safer-at-Home learning option is noon on Friday, it is recommended that families preferring this option make the designation quickly so a chromebook and all personal items can be taken home by the end of this week.

Thank you.

Joe Zydowsky