Holmen, Onalaska middle and high school students back in classrooms five days

Area schools expand in person learning to secondary schools as COVID-19 cases fall
Back To School Holmen Ona

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) – Area school districts are planning to stay in the classroom for the rest of the school year. The new schedule began Monday for middle and high school students.

“Today is a very exciting day,” Kristin Mueller said, administrator for the School District of Holmen.

A five-day school week was a long time coming for middle and high school students.

“It’s the first time they’ve all been together in over a year,” Mueller said. “The students and the staff are just all very excited to see each other. It’s almost like having the first day of school for our middle and high school students today.”

Holmen follows the Harvard Model. Holmen School District Administrator Kristin Mueller said the model suggests fewer than 100 per 100,000 COVID-19 cases daily is safe for students to return.

“As long as you’re distancing the three feet to the best extent possible,” Mueller said.

Onalaska also begins the five-day schedule now. Tomah plans on four days of in-class instruction starting March 29.

The School District of La Crosse begins five days a week for middle and high school students on April 6. Sparta will allow parents of 7th through 12th graders to choose between virtual or in-person for up to five days beginning April 7.

A new energy projects off Holmen’s school buildings this week.

“Now our students have access to all our different services and activities,” Mueller said.

Muller said students and staff continue practicing COVID-19 protocols.

“We can’t get laxed now. We have to continue to wear our masks,” Mueller said. “The big one is, really, if people at all have symptoms just to stay home.”

Teachers and staff say virtual learning pales in comparison to their time together in the classroom.

“To not be able to be with them and physically have these interactions and connect with them like we normally did was very hard,” Mueller said.

District leaders continue to monitor case numbers for the district. Parents who have questions should contact their school principal.