HUDSON -- A change to the Hudson School District’s COVID-19 school closure metric has sent seventh and eighth graders back to face-to-face instruction. Grades 10-12 will continue in a hybrid model.

The School Board voted 6-1 to approve the new metric at its Oct.26 meeting, and it was used Oct. 28 to make the decision on the instruction model for the next two-week period.

The new metric brings seventh and eighth gradea into the same grouping as the lower grades. Previously they were grouped with grades 10-12.

This adjusted metric gives more weight to the number of cases within the district, rather than the total number of cases in the community. Though cases in St. Croix County are spiking, the district and county public health have noted that spread within schools is minimal.

The maximum threshold of positive case count in the county has remained the same on the metric, though the columns have been adjusted slightly. The district data has been changed from a percentage to an actual average daily count.

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The board will continue to monitor community spread and reports on each school building. The next meeting is Monday, Nov. 9.

Adjustments to the plan may be necessary based on staff and substitute teacher shortages, or a school closure may need to be accelerated due to an outbreak.

The school and county positive case rate data and how it fits into the metric is shared biweekly and used to determine which instruction models will be used for the following two-week period. The next reporting date is Wednesday, Nov. 11.