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Eau Claire Schools delay start of virtual learning

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- In an effort to give teachers and staff more time to prepare for the unconventional school year, the Eau Claire Area School District is shaking up the schedule once again.

The district announced Friday that all virtual learning will be pushed back one week and begin on September 8. This includes all students in the 100% virtual model, virtual core classes, virtual encore classes, and the virtual component of in-person classes.

The district says it is dealing with a shortage of technology and devices to provide to students, but Superintendent Mike Johnson says that is not a cause for the delay.

Johnson told News 18 the number of students enrolled in the 100% virtual option has slightly increased and faculty members need more time to get adjusted to new teaching roles.

"We wanted to be responsive to our families, but we also want to be responsive to our teachers," Johnson said. "We really feel that this week is going to be beneficial for both. It's going to benefit both students and staff to have an extra week of planning and preparation for that great start."

News 18 has reported that some teachers were still being notified of what subjects they will be teaching this week. Johnson says as of today, he "assumes" every teacher knows what subjects they will be teaching to start the year, but says some may still shift subjects as the year goes on.

"We gotta expect the unexpected," Johnson said. "All I know is that the teachers and staff here in this district are gonna deliver for kids, whether it's in-person or virtual, and we can't wait to see those kids when we do.

Johnson said many students still have not received their official class schedules and teacher assignments yet, but he said students will be able to access their schedules online by the first day of school.

Many viewers have reached out to News 18 sharing their frustration with the district over a perceived lack of organization, and when we asked superintendent Johnson for a response to those claims, he declined to comment.

Evan Hong

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