WAUKESHA — The School District of Waukesha has added a visual gauge of transition criteria to its online COVID-19 dashboard. The gauge allows community members to see how the district is doing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and how close it is to initiating conversations about transitioning to a different learning format.
District Superintendent Jim Sebert said the gauge takes into account “a combination of internal and external factors that we’re monitoring and we just made the gauge to show people how we’re doing. Right now we’re doing exceptional.”
The eight criteria accounted for include student absenteeism, staff absenteeism, the substitute teacher fill rate, district buildings in virtual learning, new COVID-19 cases within the community, hospital acute beds full and hospital ICU beds full.
As of Monday, only one of those criteria, the substitute fill rate, remains less than ideal, being lower than 75 percent. The gauge will be updated daily.
Sebert emphasized reaching a certain number of criteria does not automatically trigger a transition in learning format for the district, but rather will initiate a Board of Education meeting where board members will discuss current circumstances and decide whether to make a change.
“It feels like we are heading in the right direction,” Sebert said. “Vaccines are prevalent now and I think the key is making sure we stay the course with mitigation.” Mitigation practices include face masks, social distancing and hand washing.
The district’s internal COVID-19 numbers have improved dramatically since late last year, when at one point there were hundreds of active cases and more than a thousand quarantines at once. As of Monday, there were 10 active coronavirus cases among students and 193 quarantined. Among staff those numbers were nine and 33, respectively.
Once Waukesha County works through the 65 and older age group for vaccinations, school staff not already eligible due to their age and not in the 1A priority group will start to receive their vaccines.
Those interested in substitute teaching for the district may visit https://bit.ly/3une9KW to apply.