Howard-Suamico schools announce in-person return, see less Covid spread in classroom

Posted at 6:58 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 19:59:51-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC26) -- For some parents, sending their kids to school in person during a pandemic can be scary.

For Angela Buchenauer, she believes it's the best option.

"We're doing a really good job in our schools of keeping kids safe," Buchenauer, Director of Student Services in the Howard-Suamico School District, said. "I will argue anyone who says that we're not."

The Howard-Suamico School District announced K4 through sixth-grade students will be back in person Dec. 7.

Buchenauer is a leader and facilitator in the latest safety protocols.

"It's [Covid spread] usually that before and after school time or it's [in the] community," Buchenauer said. "It's very limited to what's happening in class. So having a high school student, I would have no qualm in sending her to school every day."

But in a pandemic, Covid-related problems are possible.

"We know that Covid is not done," Bellin Health expert Mark Husen said. "Just because they go back, it doesn't mean that they're gonna have great numbers. Covid will still be passed, but we don't see a lot of it being passed within the schools."

Howard-Suamico has been working with Bellin Health. And the district has constant medical safety advice.

"If they're gonna be back a little bit in December or more in January, in healthcare, we're gonna be right there for them," Husen said.

The school district has implemented a number of tools to help families get their kids back to class. Buchenauer is a mother of one of the students. She says one of the biggest struggles for families is simply remembering to use those tools.

"The newness of it," she said. "Because even after we've been doing this for months, you're like 'oh shoot, I have to go grab my mask.' It's that trying to remember those pieces."

With a Covid hotline, a symptom-tracking app and more, the district plans to have all grades back in person in January.

Pause, think about how they’re feeling, and if they’re not feeling well, it’s their reminder," Buchenauer said about the tracking app. "We recommend you stay home if you’re feeling this way."