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Corry Lambie

MARINETTE — A survey put out by the Marinette School District regarding selection of preferred learning models for the upcoming school year is due at noon today.

“We’re hoping that most families have responded and told us what direction they’re leaning towards for the learning models for their students coming back in September, and then from there we’ll sit down with our administrators to figure out how to get in touch with the families who haven’t returned the surveys yet and find out which way they want to go,” Superintendent Corry Lambie said.

During the July 21 Board of Education meeting, Lambie initially presented a preliminary “Reconnecting” plan for the return to school, which gave an idea of what the different learning models being offered would be. He said 4K through 5th grade students have the option to come back to school in person, 6th through 12th would have the option to come back with a blended model (attending in person part of the week and from home the other part) and all students 4K-12th grade will have the option to attend school entirely from home.

“With the blended learning, we’re dividing students into ‘cohorts’” Lambie said, “because it’s based on the resources we have and the size of our buildings. The high school has over 600 kids, so we’re looking at bringing back about 50% of the kids at different times.”

Lambie said students who are in Cohort A will be in their buildings on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Cohort B will be in on Thursdays and Fridays. He said Wednesdays would be a “virtual support’ day, during which all blended-model students would do classwork from home and still be in contact with teachers for virtual support. At the July board meeting, Lambie said this would also allow the buildings to be thoroughly cleaned on Wednesdays, since there wouldn’t be any students in the Marinette Middle School or Marinette High School buildings.

Before the July 21 meeting when the preliminary plan was presented, Lambie said surveys were sent to both parents and staff to get their input on how well each model would work for them. Among parents, the fully in-person learning model seemed to be preferred with 59% of parents saying it would work well for them, 24% saying it wasn’t ideal but could work, and 18% saying it wouldn’t work. Also, 46% of parents said the blended model was not ideal but could work, 28% said it wouldn’t work for them, and 25% said it would work well for them. For the fully at-home learning model, 39% of parents said it would not work for them, 37% said it wasn’t ideal, and 24% said it would work well.

Among teachers, the opinion of the fully in-person model was split nearly 50-50, with 50.2% saying it would work well and 49.8% saying it wasn’t ideal, but they would make it work. The blended model saw 63.2% of teachers saying it wasn’t ideal and the fully at-home model saw 82.6% of teachers saying it wasn’t ideal.

Lambie said a re-connection committee was formed after the July meeting to help keep staff and parents informed about the different learning models, and a new survey went out Friday once this plan was solidified. He said that, as of Wednesday afternoon, around 800 students had turned in surveys. “There are about 2,000 students in the district, so for survey numbers that’s really good,” he said.

Lambie said after the surveys come in, he would be working with administrators to contact those who hadn’t turned in a survey.