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As Minnesota Waits For Gov. Walz's Fall School Announcement, Wisconsin Districts Publish Their Plans

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- As Minnesota schools await the governor's announcement next week on what will happen this fall, Wisconsin school districts are putting out their plans.

Hudson Schools announced this week students will be back to buildings this fall.

However, the new blueprint still leaves plenty of room for choices and for changes once school starts.

"I think we were just happy to have a decision at this point," Chase Hedlend said.

For the Hedlend's, that still doesn't mean it will be an easy one; their second and third graders both have asthma and their daughter went to the hospital with pneumonia last year.

"Now we're weighing it like other people who have duel household workers: do we even really have a choice?" Hedlend wondered.

Hudson Schools released this Back to School Blueprint this week.

It's what the superintendent calls a tentative plan to return September first.

Superintendent Nick Ouellette points to a summer survey that 76% of Hudson parents want their kids back in school.

From mandatory masking of students, to cafeteria capacity and classroom spacing, the blueprint is an extensive plan for parents.

"The risk to kids being out of school is far greater that the risk to kids related to COVID," Ouellette said.

He quickly added that that doesn't mean those risks aren't being taken seriously.  As they consider guidance from the American Association of Pediatrics.

Just yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control that called the re-opening of schools critically important if there is not substantial COVID spread in the community.

"This could be the next 12 to 18 months.  We looked at it as if there's an opportunity for us to get back and provide opportunities for kids we are going to try our best to do that," Ouellette said.

Parents will also have options: online learning in Hudson will allow kids to watch their classes and participate.

"It's a wild time to evaluate risk and reward. I think we're just trying to take it day-by-day," Chase Hedlend said.

Wisconsin's two largest school districts have announced they'll start virtually in the fall. Eau Claire Schools said this week they're combining in-person and virtual instruction each week depending on the day and grade level.


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