Marshfield R-I superintendent David Steward said his hope is to have a normal return to school Aug. 24.

In a letter to district residents that he posted on Monday, Steward said the district has been working on creating different options to students and families that limit their interaction with others in order to protect their health.

On the safety side, the district will continue to do increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout the fall. This would include all areas of the school buildings, grounds and transportation vehicles. Additionally, limitations will be placed on possible cross-class interaction, so that each student interacts with as few individuals as possible. The district is still developing measures for the transportation system and will release more information to the public as it becomes available, Steward noted.

Part of this safety plan will include asking parents and students to be observant and check for symptoms of COVID-19 on a regular basis, and if any symptoms are present, to have students stay home and not risk transmitting the virus.

On the academic side, Steward said the district’s intent is to provide a safe environment for face-to-face learning. For families who want to participate in virtual courses instead of face-to-face interaction, the district is currently developing the Marshfield Virtual Program (MVP). The MVP has the following benefits:

• It is designed and/or facilitated by highly qualified Marshfield teachers.

• It offers engaging and customized lessons to fit individual needs.

• It provides an opportunity for face-to-face learning support in one-on-one and small-group settings.

• The district will provide devices for online learning.

• There are multiple course formats to meet individual student/family needs.

• Flexible scheduling options can accommodate differing at-home schedules.

Steward said that more information will be released next week with more details and a request for a response from those that may be interested. This will allow the district to determine how many teachers are needed to ensure a successful implementation of the MVP.

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