Letter: School district needs to prep for online fall semester

To the Editor-

I wrote the following well before the Mosinee School District was forced to temporarily close their Summer School due to a case of COVID-19. However, that situation illustrates the need for us to carefully consider in-person schooling in the fall.

I look forward to buying school supplies. Nothing beats a new box of crayons, none broken, all sharp, and waiting for an inspiration to be put to use. This year is different. I have no idea what supplies to buy, no idea what I can do as a parent to protect my child, your child, and our educators from a deadly pandemic.

At the July 13, Stevens Point Area School District Board meeting, Board Member Barb Portzen suggested that the district prepare to start online for a period of time until the COVID-19 activity level in Portage County reaches a manageable level.

I suggest that we follow this suggestion and once the COVID-19 Activity Level (as indicated on COVID-19: Activity Level by Region and County) reaches a medium or a low level, returning to in-person education would be feasible. This provides a very clear goal, and path, to returning to in-person education.

My boys long to return to in-person education, they miss their school, friends, and teachers. However, the return to school needs to be at the right time and in a safe manner. With the current trajectory and activity of COVID-19 in our community, this is not the time to have hundreds of people congregate indoors for long periods of time.

I believe that we can control COVID-19, that we can limit its impacts on our community and the economy if we work together. School Board Member Portzen provided us an excellent incentive for our community to work together, to think about our collective rather than individual health. I encourage the Stevens Point Area School District to follow the sensible route she has set forth.

Melinda Osterberg
Plover-Whiting Elementary School PTO Board Member
Stevens Point

Send your open letters to brandi@spmetrowire.com