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Wisconsin parents struggle with uncertainty surrounding school year

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Menomonee Falls School Board voted Monday night to keep in-student classes this year, contingent on the rate of COVID-19 cases, and give parents a virtual option.

Not all the virtual details are nailed down, and parents are left with questions. The district held a virtual Q and A Tuesday night to help answer those questions.

"It would be nice to know because we’ve actually been toying with the idea of bringing a teacher in the house if they were to do virtual learning, just a couple times a week to help out,” parent Jamie Cannestra said.

Several school boards reached decisions this week.

Grafton will also have in-person class with a virtual option, while Wauwatosa and West Allis-West Milwaukee will provide the virtual option, but phase in-person classes in over time.

Other school districts will be virtual some days and in person others, and Milwaukee Public Schools will be entirely virtual. Parents like Andy Mayer don’t know what to plan for.

“It’s almost a microcosm of society right now because we have basically 50 states doing 50 different things or 72 counties doing 72 different things,” Mayer said.

Laura Ritter has multiple kids in the Menomonee Falls District and says she likes the option to choose either because she has a child in special education, who benefits from the focus involved in person.

“Having a home environment can be distracting from what’s going on from their coach, from their therapist,” Ritter said.

Mayer says he also understands why some districts don’t have any plan yet given the fluid nature of the pandemic.

“That plan could be totally crumbled up and thrown out the window because it could be a totally different situation,” Mayer said.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction does have guidelines for schools to follow in re-opening, but schools do not have to follow them.

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