MMSD says fall instruction to be hybrid of virtual, in-person learning, but detailed plans not yet available

Spokesman: 'Our approach to the fall will be flexible, nimble and with equity and safety at the center'
A Madison Metropolitan School District sign
Copyright 2019 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Metropolitan School District is planning a combination of in-person and online instruction for the fall, according to a statement Monday.

MMSD spokesman Tim LeMonds said the district plan for the fall will be a hybrid solution. District officials are also analyzing lessons learned from the district’s virtual-instruction spring semester and virtual-learning feedback from parents, students and teachers.

“This hybrid approach will include both virtual and in-person instruction, while remaining committed to ensure we continue to provide a higher quality and stronger plan of support to our community during these uncertain times,” LeMonds said.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released guidance Monday on what educators should consider in the coming school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The new 87-page plan, called Education Forward, doesn’t require school districts and individual schools to follow certain recommendations. Instead, it serves as a road map for administrators and educators, and leaves decisions to be made by districts.

DPI recommended each teacher should have no more than 10 students, and that schools hold in-person classes as few as two days a week. DPI also said its guidance will evolve as more is known.

Madison district officials said they are looking closely at the DPI guidelines and working to align their plans with them.

“The nature of COVID-19 presents many unknowns, and our approach to the fall will be flexible, nimble and with equity and safety at the center,” LeMonds said. “Considering these unknowns, our plan will also incorporate many contingencies, including responding to any resurgence of COVID-19 risk levels, school closures and the district’s ability to make a quick and smooth transition into a full virtual learning environment if needed.”

In the statement, LeMonds also acknowledged that student families and staff will need details to plan for fall schedules.

“We recognize our communities’ need for details and the impact it will have on planning around things like daycare, transportation and adjusting work schedules,” LeMonds said. “We also recognize the wide range of economic impact these decisions have, especially on our families and the business community.”

MMSD officials said they will share more detail on the district’s plan for the fall “as soon as possible.”