Oshkosh North announces switch to hybrid learning

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 7:44 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Oshkosh North High School will start the school year with both in-person and online learning Thursday.

Earlier this week, the district announced Oshkosh North would start Thursday with all virtual learning. That has changed.

“This transition back to Hybrid Learning was expedited as a result of the District’s ability to secure alternative coverage for key staff positions impacted by COVID-19 exposure,” reads a statement from the Oshkosh Area School District.

Thursday is an “A” Day, which means Group A students will be virtual and Group B students will report to school for in-person learning. CLICK HERE for the group learning schedule.

“Please understand that the required staff quarantine periods involved in this situation have not been compromised; instead, an alternative solution was developed that allows the school to safely open for in-person learning,” says the district.

The district says they understand that this transition “can be confusing and can cause a variety of emotions.” They ask for patience from students, staff and families.

Merrill Middle School will start Thursday with virtual learning.



Oshkosh Area School District officials announced Monday afternoon that students at Merrill Middle School and Oshkosh North will be doing virtual classes effective immediately.

In addition, those schools will start classes on Thursday, September 3 instead of Tuesday, September 1.

Again, this impacts only Oshkosh North High School and Merrill Middle School.

The change to all virtual classes comes due to what district officials describe as staffing limitations and circumstances beyond their control.

“Due to staffing limitations and circumstances beyond control, the Oshkosh Area School District announced on Monday, August 31 that two of its schools - Oshkosh North High School and Merrill Middle School - will be transitioning to Virtual Learning (Model 4) effective immediately. This difficult decision was made based on information that the District received Monday afternoon and after numerous attempts to problem-solve amid limited resources.

Additional information has been shared with impacted students and families. Again, only Oshkosh North High School and Merrill Middle School are impacted.

Due to federal privacy laws, the District is limited in what it can share and urges families to also respect the private nature of the situation.

The District understands that Oshkosh North and Merrill Middle school students and staff were eager to start the year in-person. While this is difficult news to share, please know that the staffing challenges the District is navigating are not the result of staff being unwilling to work, or not caring about our children and their education. Additionally, please know that the District is taking this action to ensure student and staff safety and to provide students with access to meaningful instruction. The District hopes to be able to begin Hybrid Learning at Oshkosh North High School and Merrill Middle School as quickly as possible. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”

Oshkosh Area School District

“The staffing issue was the result of receiving information about confirmed COVID-19 positive cases and the need to quarantine several critical staff members who are essential to open school and the face-to-face hybrid instructional mode,” said Dr. Vickie Cartwright, the Oshkosh Area School District Superintendent.

District officials say they can’t release the number of people who tested positive, and they’re working with multiple health departments, and will have classes virtually for only Oshkosh North and Merrill Middle School indefinitely.

They also add the Oshksoh School District has a critical need for substitute teachers.

The delay in starting is due to the distribution of student Chromebooks, which district officials say will take place in a drive-thru pick-up format on Tuesday and Wednesday for students.

In a letter posted to the district’s website Monday for Merrill Middle School students, officials say they should pick up their Chromebooks at the school’s playground area between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Click here for further instructions on how to pick up your student’s Chromebook.

Oshkosh North students in Group B should pick theirs up on Tuesday, while Group A students should pick up their Chromebooks on Wednesday. More details for the families of high school students to pick up Chromebooks can be found by clicking here.

The letters posted to the district’s website on Monday say each school will return to Hybrid Learning as soon as their staffing situation allows.

No student at either school will report to school for in-person learning until further notice, according to the district.

The letters posted on the website announcing the changes were dated August 31, with times of 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. listed at the top of the documents.

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