School in Ozaukee County, North Shore closed for four weeks to help prevent spread of COVID-19

Students left Port Washington High School at the end of the day Friday, March 13, and won't return until at least Tuesday, April 14, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ozaukee Press staff

Public schools in Ozaukee County and the Milwaukee North Shore area announced today they will close for four weeks beginning Monday, March 16, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The school districts — Port Washington-Saukville, Grafton, Northern Ozaukee, Cedarburg and Mequon-Thiensville in Ozaukee County — tentatively plan to resume school on Tuesday, April 14.

“Our main job right now is to make sure everyone is safe,” Port Washington-Saukville School Supt. Michael Weber said.

School districts decided to close after two days of conference calls between administrators and Washington Ozaukee and North Shore health department officials, Weber said. 

“School districts made the decision to close based on information and the encouragement of the public health departments,” he said. 

The concern, Weber said, is the impact a single COVID-19 case could have in a school setting. 

“If one student or staff member becomes infected, everyone who was in close contact will need to be quarantined for 14 days,” he said, noting “close contact” includes being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19. “When considering the proximity of a school environment, the contact and exposures grow exponentially and quickly.

“We are supporting closures before community transmission is confirmed to greatly reduce further spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

The reason for the four-week closure is that most school districts in Ozaukee County and the North Shore area have spring break from Monday, March 23, through Friday, March 27, and health officials advise that anyone who travels during that time  should quarantine themselves for two week, Weber said.

Although school is cancelled, the Port Washington-Saukville School District will set up an online teaching program so students can continue their class work at home, Weber said. Physical class materials will be made available to students who don’t have access to high-speed internet.

Whether the school year will have to be extended depends on how the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction decides to credit schools for online classes or whether the states waives minimum instruction rules because of the public health emergency, Weber said. 

The district is also working on a plan to distribute school lunches to students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, Director of Business Services Jim Froemming said.

“It might be a situation where students can come to school to pick up their lunches,” he said.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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