On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Waukesha County and local schools and school districts announced a partnership that provides flexible health and safety guidelines to help open safely in the fall, while also urging residents to take action now to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Nineteen school districts in Waukesha County have committed to follow the principles of “Stay Safe to Stay Open” recommendations developed by area schools and the Waukesha County Division of Public Health. The guidelines allow schools to follow a framework that optimizes a safe start to the academic year while providing flexibility for each district or school to operate under a plan that meets the distinct needs of their student population and campus footprint.
“We are urging parents, students, and individuals in their 20s to act now to ensure that our schools will be able to open the way that they want to this fall,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “A recent spike in COVID-19 cases is being driven by individuals in the 10 – 29 age group, and it is up to those individuals and their parents to take personal responsibility, stop socializing in large groups, and wear a mask to stop the spread of the virus.”
Waukesha County’s “Stay Safe to Stay Open” guidelines follow the campaign’s guiding principles of protecting the vulnerable, staying home when sick, social distancing, mask wearing, and following other CDC guidelines. The education-specific recommendations provide for the safety of students, families, faculty and staff during all operations that could be conducted to return to a normal school year, including, health screening, social distancing, student transportation, and other situations that will occur during a school day. The guidelines offer flexibility so that districts can directly engage with their school boards and parents and make modifications to meet the needs of the families they serve.
The “Stay Safe to Stay Open” campaign is a partnership between Waukesha County government, community organizations, and business leaders to promote five concepts that will protect the health and economy of Waukesha County: protect the vulnerable, stay home if you are sick, practice social distancing, wear cloth face coverings, and follow CDC best practices. The concepts have been expanded specifically for schools as they reopen. “Stay Safe to Stay Open” educational guidelines, FAQS, and resources for schools and parents are online at www.waukeshacounty.gov/SafeSchools. More information about Waukesha County’s response to COVID-19 is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov/COVID19.