No school until April?

 The empty classroom of Woodland Elementary Grade 2 teacher Jessica McFarlane serves as a reminder of what life will be like for thousands of children, parents, teachers and other school staff members in the News-Shield circulation area, after Gov. Tony Evers ordered the state’s schools closed as of the end of classes Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Photo by Bob Zientara

By Bob Zientara

On the night before classes ended for thousands of Barron Area School District students, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, District Administrator Diane Tremblay gave her nine-member board a quick look at the plans that will be in place while classes are not in session … for at least the next three weeks.

Teachers had been asked to send their students home with lists of work and activities, she said.

But while the work should “reflect academic, emotional and/or physical needs” of the students, it also “needs to be realistic and supportive to … parents.”

The materials could be sent out in hard copy or electronic format depending on each family’s resources and needs.

“All staff are required to keep communication lines open during the normal school day and/or shift times,” she said. “Principals and supervisors will have additional accountability measures in place for all employees and departments.”

School gatherings of any more than 10 people were canceled, as were all extracurricular activities through April 6.

Specialists Jennifer Schill, district mental health navigator, Dave Kuffel, school resource officer and Ashley Monroe, community outreach worker, will coordinate home check-ins and visits as needed.

On Tuesday, March 17, Tremblay sent out an email announcing she would meet with school staff late that afternoon to discuss future plans – including arrangements for wages and salaries while school is out.

Both board members and the general public were reminded to consult the district website for further details: www.barron.k12.wi.us/