Area schools ready to receive masks, thermometers

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By Ted Pennekamp

 

Recently, Governor Tony Evers announced that Wisconsin Emergency Management will be shipping more than 2 million cloth face masks and more than 4,200 infrared thermometers to school districts throughout the state.

The Wauzeka-Steuben School District was allocated one thermometer and 500 masks, said District Administrator Dave Alexander, who noted the masks and thermometer are expected to arrive before school begins on Sept. 1.

“We also already ordered and received three thermometers and 1,000 masks,” said Alexander.

There are several provisions for the opening of school at Wauzeka-Steuben that are subject for reconsideration or change as the COVID-19 situation evolves in the state and in Crawford County.

“Right now, we intend to open school with in-person instruction, five days a week,” said Alexander. “The way the school operates will be significantly different than normal. I guess we are developing our ‘new normal,’ at least until there is a proven, effective vaccine.

“We expect parents to monitor their children for symptoms and check temperatures before sending kids to school or putting them on the bus. Because it is not reasonable to properly social distance on the bus, we will expect students who ride the bus to wear masks.

“We will offer masks to students who want them.  We will provide staff with masks. Lunches will be delivered to the classrooms in the elementary grades. In junior high and high school, packaged lunches will be provided in the lunch room, with social distancing.

“School administrators have been in regular Zoom meetings to discuss plans for the opening of school, and I’m sure different districts will have different plans.

“Of course, we are also preparing for the possibility that school may have to close for a period of time, so virtual options are also being developed.”

District Administrator David Boland said the Seneca School District will receive 500 masks and three thermometers from the state.

“We are currently putting together our plan for returning to school and should have it finalized by the end of the month,” said Boland.

Seneca is expecting to start school on Sept. 1.

The Prairie du Chien School District has received 160 face shields, 17 touchless thermometers, 2,500 cloth masks (some from the state), and over 1,000 disposable masks. Everything has come through the Crawford County Emergency Management team except for a portion of the cloth masks that came from the state.

Survey

A survey was sent to school administrators in mid-June to determine their interest in an allotment of masks and thermometers based upon existing enrollment information.

At least 398 public school districts, 23 charter schools and 617 private schools said they would like to receive supplies, with more requests expected.

The masks and thermometers were supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at no cost to the state of Wisconsin.

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