Mineral Point School District continuing with hybrid learning model

MINERAL POINT (WKOW) – The Mineral Point School District has experienced one case of coronavirus so far this school year, but the superintendent says their learning model has helped them keep cases isolated so they can continue in-person classes.

Mitch Wainwright told 27 News that there was a positive case in the elementary school, but since they have parsed down students and teachers into smaller cohorts, or classrooms, only about 10 people had to quarantine.

“That was kind of some of the logic behind our approach with the hybrid models that if this were to happen, we would try to limit its impact to as few people as possible and still continue to allow face to face instruction for other students,” he said.

Students that have not opted to be 100 percent virtual are attending class in person at least once a week. The school is staggering which days certain grade levels are attending.

At the elementary level, half of the students attend on Monday and Tuesday while the other half attend Thursday and Friday.

Middle schoolers in 6th grade attend twice a week, while 8th and 7th graders are in person once.

Each high school grade level gets one day a week in person as well.

Wednesday at all levels are virtual, as the district uses that day as a time to deep clean.

There have been some issues with internet connectivity in the rural community, but Wainwright says they’re doing what they can to help families connect. They have switched cell providers, which has helped, as well as offering ways to bus students to locations that have stronger service.

He said he has heard that some parents end up driving their students to parking lots or other driveways to get connectivity in the hilly, valley-rich terrain.

“It is a difficult scenario that, you know, I know my districts not the only one that’s fighting that battle, but we still have to fight it,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to try to help keep the disturbances to an absolute minimum and provide the best education we can under the circumstances.”

Teachers assign paper and pencil work, and students can call or email instructors if necessary.

He said the community has really stepped up, especially on the Wednesdays that students have to be all virtual.

“While we maybe don’t have the same resources available to us, the Mineral Point community certainly looks out for each other,” he said. “It makes my job easier at the school knowing there’s a community that will also pitch in and give a great amount of support to us.”

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