MCPASD Schools Canceled Due to COVID-19

An+illustration+of+a+magnified+picture+of+the+COVID-19+virus.

CDC/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

An illustration of a magnified picture of the COVID-19 virus.

By Aaron Boorstein, Middleton High School - WI

On Friday, March 13, Middleton Cross-Plains Area School District (MCPASD) administrators canceled all Middleton-Cross Plains Area schools from Monday, March 16 through Monday, April 6, due to the novel coronavirus: COVID-19. 

Although the anticipated reopening date is April 6, it is subject to change.

MCPASD events, extracurriculars, and other related activities that were scheduled between March 16-April 6 are canceled until further notice.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced that all Wisconsin public and private schools will close for purposes of pupil instruction and extracurricular activities; this was under an order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. The mandated closure will begin no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 18, and schools are set to reopen on Monday, April 6. 

On his Twitter account, Evers explains that schools will be closed beginning March 18 to “give school districts ample time to make plans for kids, families, educators, and staff, but school districts may choose to close earlier than Wednesday.” MCPASD decided not to wait until March 18, and instead close earlier, on March 16.

In a public statement, Evers explained that “closing our [Wisconsin] schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.”

To prepare for a potential long-term closing, MCPASD had planned to cancel school on Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20, for Professional Development. The district arranged to use these two days to instruct teachers on how to teach online using Buzz, an online learning platform used for online classes in the district and the 21st Century eSchool

On Friday, the district asked students to sign in to their Buzz account to ensure they knew their usernames and passwords. Students also completed a district survey that assessed whether they had computer access and internet connection at home.

MCPASD
An email from the district at 6:51 pm on Friday, March 13, shared information regarding school cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an email to MCPASD families, the district said that while there will be no classes the week of March 16-20 and spring break will follow March 23-27, they “have not yet determined whether [they] will hold courses online the week of March 30-April 3.”

In the email to families, the district stated that a newly formed Pandemic Planning Team “will be meeting over those two weeks to determine if training and planning for online instruction should take place starting March 30. ” 

The email shared that the team will “continue to discuss getting meals to our students, and making sure our students have devices and internet access should we decide to go to an online model in April.” 

On Twitter, Evers recognized that “kids and families across Wisconsin often depend on our schools to access food and care.” He assured that the state of Wisconsin will do everything it can to “ensure kids and families have the resources and support they need while schools are closed.”

The district shared that during this unprecedented time for students, families, and staff, they are aware of the significant level of uncertainty everyone is experiencing, and “[they] will keep you informed as [they] work to put the best plan in place for everyone.”

This story was originally published on The Cardinal Chronicle on March 14, 2020.