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Due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and quarantines among Hayward Community Schools staff and students, the Hayward School District will switch to all-virtual instruction for students in grades 6-12 from Nov. 17 to Dec. 7, according to an announcement Monday, Nov. 16, from Superintendent Craig Olson.

The Hayward schools join the LCO Ojibwe School and many other school districts throughout the state who have “gone virtual” for a while due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and quarantines.

In a letter to parents and community posted on the district’s website, Olson said “I applaud the efforts of all of you during this trying time. As of today we have had 52 days of direct instruction with our Kindergarten through 12th grade. These days have allowed staff to build relationships, offer academic instruction, provide daily meals and the opportunity for students and staff to have a positive start to the school year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the past weeks we have experienced an increase in positive COVID-19 cases within our staff and students, as well as increased student and staff quarantines due to close contacts, which is impacting the district with a staff shortage,” Olson wrote. “As a result of these circumstances, we have decided to make a short-term change in our learning model from In-Person to Virtual Learning starting Tuesday Nov. 17, 2020 for all students in Hayward Middle School and High School (Grades 6-12). The targeted return date of In-Person Learning is Dec. 7, 2020.

“Please note, at this time there will be no changes to the learning model for students in grades 4K-5,” Olson added. “They will continue with our In-Person learning model.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread, we want to reassure our community that the health and safety of our students, staff, and community is our top priority. Due to the fact that this is a rapidly changing situation, we continue to monitor COVID-19 on an almost hourly basis and will continue to do so for the coming weeks. We are addressing the epidemic in a very systematic manner with local, state, and federal health agencies,” Olson said.

“We will continue to inform our community of the latest changes and updates in regards to this situation. Please visit our website page at www.hayward.k12.wi.us and look for individual emails, phone calls, and information on our social media outlets for a variety of resources to assist you during this process.

“Today, Monday, Nov. 16, our Middle School and High School staff are working with your students to support them in this transition to our Virtual Learning Model. Please look for additional information from your child’s building level principal clarifying details and expectations of our Virtual Model transition.

“We feel food service is a very important element of our process during this epidemic. The Hayward Community School District is providing free breakfast and lunch to all virtual students. Households who have students attending the Hayward Community School District and are 18 years of age and younger are eligible to sign up.”

“(Note: 4K-5th Grade Students attending In-Person model are NOT eligible; meals will be provided at school.)

“This is a one time per week pick up only option at the High School, and is available at the following times: Tuesday, 7-8:30 a.m.; or Thursday, 2-3:30 p.m.

“Please enroll by completing this survey so that we can provide this opportunity for your students to receive meals. If you do not have internet access and would like to participate in our off-school food service program, please contact Marie Hughes, Food Service Department at 715-638-9457 or email at mhughes@hayward.k12.wi.us.

“Please note that Nov. 23-27 is our scheduled Thanksgiving break. There will be no virtual learning taking place on those dates. Please take time to catch your breath and enjoy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. I appreciate your flexibility and understanding in this matter. My hope is that everyone continues to embrace this adversity and we will be a stronger community moving forward from this event. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me and I will be happy to assist.”

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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