Stewartville school board approves combination models for fall

Jaclyn Harold
Created: August 11, 2020 06:42 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Monday night, the Stewartville school board held a meeting to finalize its fall return plans. 
Like Byron and Dover-Eyota, elementary students in Stewartville will return to in-person learning while middle and high school students will rotate in a hybrid model.
"We sent out a survey to our community members, to our parents, to staff, to teachers, to students, to everyone to see what worked this last spring and what didn't work, and how can we make it better," said Stewartville school board Chair Rebecca Wortman.
Wortman said with the feedback from everyone that would be affected by the decision, the board was able to make this decision based on what the community said their needs are.
"We've received a lot of good feedback since we announced the final plans," she said.
As a mother, Wortman said her own comfort and concerns played a small role in her decision making, but the safety of all students was her main focus in the moment of voting.
"I have to take that mom hat off, and then put the board chair hat on and say, okay I've got 2,100 kids, now what do they need?" said Wortman.

 Several school board leaders throughout the region have shared that making the fall decision has not been an easy task. With different family dynamics and COVID cases to consider in every district, Stewartville decided that a rotating schedule for middle and high schoolers would best fit its needs.


Students will be broken up into groups and will alternate days on a Monday, Wednesday, and then Tuesday and Thursday kind of schedule. When students are not in person, officials said that the class sessions can be streamed live so that students still get the same class experience.

Wortman said that she is confident that this is the best decision for right now, but that the board will be ready to adjust models according to the pandemic.

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