« BACK


Regis Catholic Schools Plan In-Person Classes This Fall

private school system students will attend five days a week

Rebecca Mennecke

Eau Claire-based Regis Catholic Schools has released information about returning to school this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a plan to reopen school buildings and resuming in-person classes, five days a week, following a typical schedule in September.

According to the plan, physical distancing will be enforced, with face masks required when students are within six feet of each other. Each student will receive one washable mask. Students can bring lunch from home, and drinking fountains will be shut off (except for touchless bottle-filling water fountains).

Regis Catholic Schools encompasses Regis Middle School and Regis High School; Immaculate Conception, St. James, and St. Mary’s elementary schools; as well as pre-K and daycare programs.

Meanwhile, the Eau Claire Area School District is considering a hybrid approach for the upcoming school year, under which students would attend school some days while studying virtually at home on other days to reduce the number of students per classroom. The Eau Claire school board is slated to vote on the plan on Monday, July 20. (Read more here.)

According to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Data, Regis Catholic Schools enrolls about 800 students, compared with approximately 11,500 enrolled in the Eau Claire’s public schools.

The Regis Catholic Schools’ plan was formed in collaboration with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, local medical and health leaders, and the Diocese of La Crosse, as well as through over 395 survey responses in which 70% of respondents said they felt “very comfortable” or “comfortable” with their children returning to school face-to-face this fall, according to the school system’s website.

This year, the Catholic schools have a “Healthy Habits” theme, which will teach students mental, physical, and spiritual ways to stay healthy. Regis plans to send more specific information about back-to-school policies and procedures via mail in early August. The school urges parents and guardians to watch out for email communications to ensure they are up to date with the most timely information, given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic changes quickly, and health procedures may change.

More information can be found at the Regis Catholic Schools’ website at www.regiscatholicschools.com/coronavirus-information.

Chippewa Falls School District

The Chippewa Falls Unified Area School District recently released plans for the upcoming semester, with the intention of combining online and in-person formats. Parents and guardians will receive more information about signing up for virtual options on Aug. 14, according to superintendent Jeff Holmes.

Parents are encouraged to transport their children to and from school, though hand sanitizer will be provided for students before they enter and exit the buses. Face masks are not required but are recommended.

Out of 2,217 survey responses in the Chippewa Falls district, 75.1% desired solely in-person instruction, 17.1% desired a hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction, and 8% desired an all-virtual form of education. About 32% of individuals who responded to the survey said they would like students to wear masks, 38% would like to see staff wear masks, and 61% desire social distancing to be enforced.

If you have questions, please contact covid-19@chipfalls.org.