SDMA Semester 2 Learning Options

SDMA Semester 2 Learning Options
Posted on 12/04/2020

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

With the end of 2020 in sight, planning for the second semester of the school year is ramping up in the School District of the Menomonie Area. The district is planning to begin the second semester on January 25 with two student learning options from which families may select: (1) In-Person Learning and (2) Fully Remote Online Learning.

Families preferring the In-Person Learning option for their child(ren) do not need to complete any additional registration forms. Students not registered for the fully remote online learning option will be enrolled in classes for in-person learning during second semester.

To register for the Fully Remote Online Learning option*-offered in collaboration with the Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS)- families need to complete the SDMA Virtual School Application for each child. The registration window for those preferring the Fully Remote Online Learning option will remain open until December 16. *Please note that the fully remote online learning option is not the temporary Safer-at-Home option currently being taught by SDMA teachers.

Much time and effort has been spent during the first semester of the school year responding to the changing COVID-19 environment in our community. In alignment with the SDMA Reopening Plan, the district has tried to prioritize opportunities for students and choice for families during this unprecedented time. While it is possible that circumstances could require additional changes to the learning models offered in the SDMA during the second semester, families should make second semester selections with the understanding that the commitment may be for the entire semester. (ie. If a vaccine becomes more widely available during the second semester and families would like to opt back into the in-person learning option, concerns regarding class sizes and physical distancing in classrooms might limit the district's ability to allow these types of requests.)

The school district is currently offering a fully-online virtual learning option through WVS (K-12), in-person learning (4K-8), and a temporary Safer-at-Home learning model (K-12). While no additional programming changes are currently anticipated this semester in grades 4K-8, data continues to be tracked to determine whether or not Menomonie High School might be able to reopen for in-person instruction before the end of the first semester. 

When MHS moved to the virtual instruction model at the beginning of November, the move was primarily based on staffing shortages across the school district. Since then, the number of new COVID-19 cases and exclusions have been greatly reduced in our schools, and the number of new cases in Wisconsin and Dunn County have stabilized a bit. There is currently one active COVID-19 case reported from SDMA staff, and the number of SDMA staff members excluded for reasons related to COVID-19 has now dropped below 3%.

With many health experts predicting another spike in cases associated with recent Thanksgiving gatherings, the district will be watching local data closely to determine whether or not MHS can reopen for in-person instruction prior to winter break. If the district decides to reopen MHS before the break, the decision would be communicated by Wednesday, December 9, so plans could be in place for reopening on Monday, December 14. A similar timeline of making the decision on the Wednesday prior to a Monday reopening could be followed if the decision to reopen is delayed until January.

Thank you again for your support throughout the first semester of the school year. If anyone has questions about the learning options for second semester, please contact me or the principal of your child(ren)'s schools.

Have a good evening.

Joe Zydowsky
Joseph E. Zydowsky, PhD
District Administrator
School District of the Menomonie Area
215 Pine Avenue NE
Menomonie, WI 54751
[email protected]
Phone: (715) 232-1642