After reviewing the many decision-making factors including the Jefferson County Health Department’s seven-day rolling average of daily COVID case incidence per 100,000 from last Thursday being 85, School District of Fort Atkinson administrators have determined that the district will continue with virtual-only learning until at least the end of winter break, Jan. 4.

Board members took that action Thursday night during their regular monthly meeting.

“If there is a dramatic shift towards data declining during this time, the board will respond accordingly at that time,” District Administrator Rob Abbott stated. “Please know the School District of Fort Atkinson administrative team continues to research and develop models for safest in-person instruction, including an incremental return, and will be prepared to launch when the data allows for it.”

The superintendent said administrators’ hope is to get students back in the buildings as soon as is safely possible.

The board of education’s next meeting will be Dec. 17.

As numbers across Jefferson County continue to climb, the school district is feeling the direct effects of this through the number of staff and students who are reporting positive cases or being required to quarantine due to close contact with a positive case,” Abbott said. “Given the Jefferson County Health Department guidance, if we currently were in a face-to-face instructional model, three of our six buildings would be closed due to the number of positive cases, and the high number of staff absences due to required isolation and quarantine.”

To help get the schools back open for students, he urged residents to consider that their choices and the actions of their family impact the entire district.

“Please help us by doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reviewing and practicing the (recommended) prevention measures,” Abbott emphasized.

COVID-19, he said, has presented everyone with a variety of challenges.

“Please know that there are programs available to assist your family with your everyday needs,” Abbott indicated.

The School District of Fort Atkinson Board of Education, he said, remains committed to making decisions in the best interest of student and staff safety as well as being responsive to the needs of the community.

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“We are very thankful for the continued partnership and support as we continue to navigate this challenging time together,” Abbott concluded. “Screen to screen, face to face, heart to heart.”

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