HUDSON -- Hudson schools has had a positive start to its new year returning to in-person instruction, Superintendent Nick Ouellette told the School Board at its meeting Monday, Sept. 14.
Students have been cooperative about wearing masks and social distancing, he said, and based on the data in-person schooling is still set to continue. The data is checked every day, and a decision made every Wednesday about what delivery model will be used.
The district has had two positive COVID-19 cases, one at Hudson Prairie Elementary and one at the high school.
“We’ve never once promised that we would not have any positive cases, it’s just we continue to deal with them,” Ouellette said.
Hudson Prairie did have a few kids who were considered close contact and had to quarantine, Ouellette said.
Talking with staff, Ouellette said people are mostly excited to be back.
“However there is a high level of stress with the staff, which we knew was going to be the case,” he said.
One way the district is working to support staff is by adding three clerical positions for the elementary schools.
“At the elementary level, individual distance learning is very challenging. I think more so than at the other levels, primarily just because of the age of the kids,” Chief Academic Officer Dave Grambow said.
The three clerks will support teachers who have individual distance learners as part of their classes. The new hires will gather, disseminate and organize curriculum material to make sure it gets back and forth from a student’s home to the school.
They will work in the six elementary buildings with time spread out based on the number of individual distance learners. Their time would equal about a half a day per grade level per building in a week, Grambow said.
The financial cost would be less than $75,000, Ouellette said.
While the district works through the hiring process, its subs can fulfill some of those responsibilities, Grambow said.
Many subs have expressed a desire to shadow teachers in the classroom, so they can get a better idea of what individual distance learning looks like and how it happens concurrently with in-person learning. Subs can then come in for a day, spend half their time shadowing the classroom and the other half on those cleric responsibilities until the positions are hired.
Rolling out a system as complex as individual learning is bound to have hiccups, but Ouellette said the district is working to ensure it is a positive experience.
“Everybody is trying to do everything they can to make it as smooth as possible,” he said.