Bristol School Board rejects county’s all virtual learning recommendation in split vote

The Bristol School Board on Wednesday narrowly voted to not follow the Kenosha County Division of Health’s recommendation to move to all virtual learning from Thanksgiving week until early January.

Last week, Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit said she is strongly recommending that all schools within the county — K-12, colleges and universities — switch to virtual instruction only between Nov. 23 and Jan. 4. The recommendation comes in the wake of mounting cases of COVID-19 here.

After considering the recommendation, the Bristol board voted to not follow the recommendation, with members Justin Miller, Adam Scheele and Michael Saad (who had just been appointed to the board at the meeting to fill a vacancy) voting to not follow the recommendation and members Stephanie Butenhoff and Sue Kratowicz voting to follow the recommendation, said David Milz, district administrator.

In an email to westofthei.com, Milz offered the following perspective on COVID-19 at the school:

Since the beginning of the school year we’ve had 17 students and 15 staff members test positive.  Currently there are 5 students and 5 staff members that are in quarantine due to a positive diagnosis.  We have 2 tests pending right now for staff.  A growing concern is with coverage in the building.  The ability to find enough coverage the last 4 or 5 school days was becoming increasingly challenging.  As long as we have the appropriate and necessary staff coverage we will continue to keep Bristol School open to in-person learning. Administration will continue to follow the numbers with regard to staff and student absences and make the best decisions possible for Bristol School.  

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