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January 28, 2021

1/8/2021 11:44:00 AM
Dodgeville School District reports public health emergency impacts

By Kenyon Bennett
In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services (DHS) March 12, 2020, to close school buildings statewide by 5 p.m. March 18, 2020. A month later Evers ordered school buildings to remain closed for the rest of the school term. Closures impacted school districts. Pursuant to 2019 Wisconsin Act 185, Dodgeville School District (DSD) answered the required Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) survey indicating how those closures impacted the district's fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year. Act 185 required DPI to submit a report on the survey results to the Wisconsin State Legislature by Jan. 1, 2021.
Paul Weber, DSD administrator, praised the district's employees, the Dodgeville community, and students for their responses during the public health emergency during the last quarter of 2019-20 and the current 2020-21 pandemic year. "The staff have been outstanding! They have demonstrated a commitment to learning and the willingness to be flexible in an environment that can and has changed quickly due to the pandemic. The community has been supportive and patient with the district as we have worked through some very difficult decisions. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, the students have shown tremendous stamina and resilience enduring the daily grind of living and learning in a pandemic," he said.
Weber understands the pandemic has directly impacted students. "The greatest concern is the loss of learning and socialization opportunities for the students. The impact caused by the pandemic will continue to have far reaching effects in these areas. How we plan and respond to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on students will be of utmost importance in the coming months and years," he said.
Weber explained how the pandemic has positively impacted education. "Staff have become much more adept at virtual teaching, while many students have become more comfortable with having to learn in a virtual environment. The virtual skills that both teachers and students have gained during the pandemic will change how teaching and learning is accomplished, forever," he stated.
The DPI defined the public health emergency as March 12-June 30, 2020. Survey questions dealt with virtual instruction delivery, meal services for students, potential staff layoffs or reassignments, district expenditures, and more...
(See the rest of the story in the January 7, 2021 Chronicle issue)

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