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KUSD board: All virtual to start the school year
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KUSD board: All virtual to start the school year

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Students in the Kenosha Unified School District will begin the 2020-21 school year from home.

How long that will continue remains in question.

The School Board concluded a three-and-a-half-hour meeting held both in-person and streamed live on YouTube Tuesday night with a 5-2 vote to start on a 100% virtual basis. The approved motion came on the heels of a failed attempt to offer both in-person and virtual.

What remains heavily in question is just how long the virtual plan will be in place for the more than 21,000 district students, as the motion stated the stop date will be determined later.

Superintendent Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis said the hope is to return to in-person learning as soon as possible — but that is dependent on getting the seemingly daily increases of COVID-19 under control.

"You don't want to put a date on this," she said. "How do we educate our community to support those things that need to happen so we can get our children back in school? You don't want to put a time of October or November.

"We want our students back, so the faster we can do that, we'd love to do that, whatever that looks like. We have to monitor (the cases of the virus) as a team. ... We will watch this very closely."

District staff will teach virtually from their school building, where they will be able to use resources, share materials, collaborate with colleagues, utilize district WiFi and provide continuous feedback on student work.

The question was raised regarding extracurricular activities within the district while students are being educated virtually, but no direction or clarification was given.

During a meeting held last week by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the governing body that oversees high school sports, it was stated that decision is left up to each individual school district.

In a second survey sent out to parents and staff earlier this month, 42% of the parents favored virtual, while 63.5% of staff favored virtual. In the initial survey, 28% favored virtual.

Last week, Racine Unified voted to start the year all virtual through at least the first quarter. Both the school districts in Milwaukee and Madison also will begin virtually as well.

This is a developing story. View updates on Wednesday and in Thursday's Kenosha News.

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