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Winona Area Public Schools work to protect students, employees amid COVID-19 concerns
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Winona Area Public Schools work to protect students, employees amid COVID-19 concerns

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Winona Area Public Schools’ employees and board members have their focus on protecting their students and each other as COVID-19 concerns increase quickly.

“We are going into uncharted waters for our district,” WAPS superintendent Annette Freiheit said during an emergency school board meeting Tuesday.

Annette Freiheit mug

Freiheit

Many questions related to the pandemic and recent statewide school closings are still without answers in the WAPS district, but staff members this week are working hard to determine the best methods to educate their students from a distance.

Freiheit made it clear to the attendees Tuesday, who were mainly district staff, that she was thankful for the work that has been put in at all grade levels and school departments to prepare for the changes that must be made.

“I’ve never been more proud to be part of the school district than I was the last few days,” Freiheit said.

Some possible plans for distance learnings that teachers have come up with include calling families in the district personally, creating learning cards and using different online resources, along with a variety of other ideas.

Staff members are still working to determine the best way for students to receive the academic materials and technology necessary.

The teachers hope to figure out different ways to design plans that work for people who may not have access to certain types of technology or internet.

The buildings continue to be cleaned and plans are being formed to help limit COVID-19 exposure when students return to the schools.

Other plans are being formed to help limit the spreading of the virus during daily activities in the district.

Currently, schools are expected to open again March 30. During this closure, the staff will continue to prepare for possible distance learning if it is determined to be the best option after the break.

The school board voted Tuesday that its upcoming two meetings will likely not be held in person, using a different, online format. More information about these meetings is expected to be determined in the near future.

“This is a moment when you really realize that it takes a village. It takes a village to raise a child. And we’re in a situation where we’re really going to need a village,” Freiheit said.

For more information about how WAPS is responding to COVID-19 concerns, visit www.winonaschools.org.

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