As the days tick down towards the start of the 2020-2021 school year, one thing is apparent:  there is no normal - at least in regards to how the public and private schools in northern Wisconsin will operate.  While some have chosen the virtual route, others are opening their doors fully to students; some others are offering a mix of the two - a "hybrid" plan. The one constant between all of them is the fact that they have built contingency plans with the flexibility to change their plans based off whatever turns the COVID-19 Pandemic takes as we head into fall, winter, and eventually spring.

Three Northland schools in Wisconsin will meet in-person, with in-classroom instruction: Cathedral School in Superior, Northwood (in Minong), and Solon Springs; two other school districts in Douglas County have offered students and families a "hybrid" plan (combining both in-class and virtual learning):  Northwestern (in Maple) and Superior Public. In each of these situations, the decision has come after almost half-a-year of deliberation (and in some cases, that decision is admittedly in flux even as this is being read).

Here is a summary of what each of the five Douglas County schools have in place for the 2020-2021 school year.  (Be advised that situations can change due to COVID-19 concerns; please check each schools' website for up-to-date information):

  • Superior Public School District:  Elementary school students will get 4 days of in-classroom instruction, with virtual learning planned for Wednesdays.  Middle school and high school students will meet in-class for 2 days of in-classroom learning, with 3 days of virtual learning.  High school students were also given the option to opt-in to virtual-only learning; there is a lock-down deadline for the choice, which would prevent students from moving from one form of instruction to another at their choice.
  • Cathedral School, Superior:  Elementary and middle school students will meet in-classroom 5 days a week.  Staff has implemented social distancing and spacing throughout the building.
  • Maple School District:  Elementary school students will be in-classroom for 5 days a week.  Middle and high school students will learn via a hybrid model, with 2 days of in-classroom instruction and 3 days of virtual learning.
  • Northwood School District (started August 20):  Students will meet in-classroom  The district has reduced class sizes, instituted physical distancing measures, and modified class schedules.  The district will utilize their outdoor learning spaces - with walking paths, outdoor classrooms, and the pavilions.
  • Solon Springs School District:  Meeting in-classroom for learning.  The district is also offering options for virtual and hybrid models, too.

Again, even as Northland schools plan to welcome back students over the next few weeks it's clear that things could change relatively fast.  The most-accurate information will always be available on the websites of the respective schools:

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