by ALEXANDRA RETTER
Per Gov. Tim Walz’s recent executive order, Minnesota schools will stay closed through Monday, May 4, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS), daily instruction will begin again in the form of distance learning starting on Tuesday, March 31. Teachers and staff members have been developing distance learning plans over the course of the previous two weeks. Distance learning will occur in place of regular instruction, and daily participation is required. Distance learning will take place until at least April 30.
Distance learning plans are being finalized and will be posted on winonaschools.org by the conclusion of the day on Friday, March 27. The plans will explain how teachers can be contacted, attendance and assignment requirements and how to get connected with support services from counselors, among other information.
Information about local internet providers providing no-cost or low-cost options is also included in the plans. Those without internet access may request a printed packet by calling 507-494-0861.
Students in early childhood programs through fourth grade will utilize printed instruction materials, which may be picked up today from noon to 4 p.m. or Friday, March 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Goodview Elementary, Jefferson Elementary and Washington-Kosciusko Elementary. Students in kindergarten through second grade who are without a device at home will receive an iPad. Those who are not able to pick up the materials may reach out to their building principal via email.
People may use email or leave a voicemail message to contact teachers and staff members.
WAPS will keep offering free meals for all students and free child care for the children of emergency workers.
All activities, events and facility rentals are canceled or postponed during the closure. Each school building, as well as the district office, are closed through May 4, in line with the governor’s order.
Until further notice, WAPS Board meetings will be held electronically.
Cotter Schools will remain closed until at least May 4. Distance learning has been in place since Monday, March 23. “If possible, we hope to have graduation on May 22 as planned,” Cotters Schools President Sister Judith Schaefer said.
Cochrane-Fountain City (C-FC) Schools are closed until further notice, in line with the Wisconsin Department of Health. Distance learning began on Monday, March 23. Any concerns may be communicated by emailing students’ teachers or calling the main office at 608-687-4391. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Free breakfast and lunch is being provided for students Monday through Friday. Meals may be picked up at C-FC School at 11 a.m., Cochrane-Lutheran Church at 11:30 a.m., Waumandee House at 11:30 a.m., Fountain City Park at 11:30 a.m., Buffalo City Park at 11:45 a.m. and in Bluff Siding at George's at 11:45 a.m. Those interested in signing up for meals may call the district office.
Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau (G-E-T) Schools will be closed indefinitely. Distance learning has been taking place. The district is providing free breakfast and lunch for students and delivering these meals to the homes at which students are throughout the day. On Mondays, three sets of meals for each child are delivered, and on Thursdays, two sets of meals for each child are delivered. Those interested in requesting meal delivery may call 608-582-4657.