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Unified School District of De Pere

About... » De Pere Return to School 2020-2021

De Pere Return to School 2020-2021

This page is regularly updated as new information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our schools becomes available. Individual buildings have also shared many details regarding their specific operations, schedules, cohorts and related topics. Please visit individual school web pages to view school-specific communications or contact the building principals for further clarification. If you have questions regarding the Virtual Learning Academy, please see the new Virtual Academy page.
Nov. 18 Update - Travel 
If you are planning to travel this holiday season, we encourage you to follow CDC guidelines regarding quarantine, and safe travel protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our District does not have additional quarantine requirements or restrictions regarding travel.


Nov. 17 Update - District-wide Virtual Learning / School Closure FAQs

1. When will our schools re-open?

Last night (Mon. Nov. 16) the USDD School Board voted to continue with District-wide virtual learning (schools closed to in-person instruction) until at least December 14. The vote came after several hours of community input, discussion and review of our 10 Point Re-Open and Fly Safely As One Plan. Nine of the ten points in the Plan have been met or will be completed shortly. 

The final point in the Plan, which has not been met, is a core metric that would allow us to re-open our schools to in-person learning when Brown County achieves 14 days of 600 or fewer new positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.

The Board and administration will monitor the criteria in the 10 Point Plan regularly. If the core metric of 600 or fewer cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in Brown County is met before December 14, the District would open schools sooner. Other indicators recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be reviewed as part of the decision-making process.

2. What is the 10 Point Re-Open and Fly Safely As One Plan?

At its November 2 meeting, the School Board agreed on the ten point plan below to guide its decision-making process for reopening schools 

Unified School District of De Pere

Re-Open and Fly Safely As One



November 9th Update

November 16th Update

Criteria to Reopen


Continue collaboration with other districts and share with School Board


No change



USDD COVID Dashboard current


No change



Evaluate all staffing needs and PPE supplies


Some hand sanitizer needed 

Hand sanitizer has been ordered



Continue wearing masks at all times


No change



Re-enforce social distancing


No change



Future shut down will be school by school


No change



Contact tracing to minimize quarantines in schools

CDC has stricter guidelines that the Board hopes is more accurate and reduces the number of quarantined individuals that do not need to be quarantined

Principals are working with teachers to improve the split teaching environment between face to face and quarantined

No change



Non classroom activities limited

Principals will determine when/what non classroom activities are occurring face to face

The Board strongly encourages that only students who attend classes in the building participate in non-classroom events in the building

Extra-curricular activities are occurring both virtually and in person in the schools



Consider allowing families to revisit hybrid/virtual academy decisions

Re-open the opportunity for families to select in-person or enrollment in the De Pere Virtual Learning Academy when face-to-face instruction resumes (grades 4K-6) or at the start of the second semester (grades 7-12)

Opportunity to request a to change in a student’s learning scenario will close on Nov. 18 (grades 4K-6) and Nov. 19 (grades 7-12) 



Revised CDC Core Indicator Metric Targets

The Core CDC Indicator that USDD will use is “14 day new positives per 100,000” with a target to re-open of 600

No change

Metric – decided

Target – established

Outcome – In-Progress

3. Who decides when the schools will re-open, and when will that decision be made?

The decision to re-open our schools will be voted on by the School Board. A decision on whether and when to re-open will next be considered at the Board’s December 14 meeting. 

4. What will school look like when it re-opens?

At this time, it is likely that when schools re-open, the learning scenarios will be the same as they were when we began the school year:

  • 5 days/week, in-person instruction for grades 4K-6
  • Blended learning (2 days/week in-person instruction, 3 days/week at home learning for grades 7-12).
  • Opt in to De Pere Virtual Learning Academy (full-time virtual learning through the end of the school year)
  • All COVID-19 mitigation protocols, including face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing and enhanced building cleaning that were in place at the start of the year will stay the same.

5. What if I want my student to stay home when schools re-open?

Families who do not want their student to return to in-person learning can choose to enroll in the Virtual Learning Academy. The deadline for enrollment is Wednesday, Nov. 18 for grades 4K-6, and Thursday, Nov. 19 for grades 7-12. The decision to enroll in the Virtual Academy is binding through the end of the school year

6. How do I change the learning scenario in which my student started the school year?

While all District schools are closed, there will be no changes. If you wish to change your students learning scenario when in-person instruction resumes, click the appropriate link below:

Grade 4K-6 student

Grade 7-12 student

7. What help is available if my student is struggling with virtual learning?

Elementary and Foxview families should reach out to their student’s classroom teacher first. Followup may be scheduled with additional school staff or administrators.

Middle School students can schedule support sessions on Wednesdays through Edficiency, daily student resource time and teacher office hours.

De Pere High School offers flex sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday (all day), Thursday, and Friday for students to get support they need in specific classes. The Math Resource Room continues to run virtually. 


If your child is served through special education, reach out to your child’s special education case manager.

8. What resources are available if my student is struggling emotionally?

Each school building is offering counselor support based on discussions with families, students and teachers, as well as connections for students with other school-based professionals. We urge families to visit our Mental Health Resources web page for links to community-based services as well. 

Our Pupil Services team is actively working on plans to expand access for all students and families through the Brown County Mental Health Coalition. We will communicate those opportunities to you as they are finalized.

9. Are there any extracurricular activities available for my student to participate in while schools are closed?

We understand the vital role that extracurricular activities play in the social and emotional well-being of our students. Consistent with our 10 Point Plan, several clubs, groups and teams are available to students. These include:


High School 


  • Construction/Technology/Engineering -- classes and some art classes have worked in small groups in the building on projects which require school-based equipment or supplies
  • Spring play -- planning
  • Winter sports athletic practices


  • FBLA, Forensics, Academic Decathlon, Link Crew, Student Council, Senior Cabinet, Do Something Special Club, Sting Cancer, Metro Math (virtual meetings and practices scheduled) Hope Squad (scheduled), Key Club, National Honor Society, Counseling groups (virtual meetings for students identified as needing additional support including: grief group, academic support group, self-advocacy  group), Mock Trial, SKILLS USA, Spanish Honor Society, FFA

In-Person and Virtual

  • Fall Musical -- virtual, and limited in-person rehearsals, stage crew work and taping
  • Speed and strength -- offered virtually until November 9th when small groups started to use the weight room and gym
  • JAM Session -- virtual meetings and practices. Planning for in-person activities starting soon.


Middle School


  • Book clubs, Anime Club, Forensics, LEAD (Lead Everyone at De Pere), HOPE Squad, Math Team




  • Forensics (6th Grade), Hope Squad and Battle of the Books. Coming soon are Art Club and Jazz Band with more to follow.  All information on club/group activity is published weekly in Foxview’s Parent Communication.

Sept. 27 - The Unified School District of De Pere has transitioned all schools to full-time virtual learning due to a number of new cases reported and the resulting need to quarantine a large number of students and staff.  In addition, as the infection rates in De Pere and Brown County continue to rise, our three local hospital systems report they have reached a critical stage with the number of hospitalizations they are experiencing. Please know that we are taking this action to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. 

We have planned for this scenario and quickly making the transition. It is our goal to return to face to face and blended instruction on Monday, October 12. Other factors, such as community spread and local hospitalization rates will influence the District’s decision to reopen on October 12 or to extend virtual instruction.

The schedule for our schools is as follows.

High School and Middle School  
Friday, September 25:  No School.  Teachers prepare for virtual instruction.
Monday, September 28:  Virtual instruction begins.
Monday, October 12: Tentative date for return to blended learning instruction 

Foxview Intermediate and Elementary Schools
Friday, September 25:  Foxview and all elementary schools report to school as scheduled with early release and virtual elementary parent-teacher conferences.
Monday, September 28:  No School.  Teachers prepare for virtual instruction.
Tuesday September 29:  Virtual instruction begins.
Monday, October 12: Tentative date for return to full time in-person instruction
Notification of Close Contacts
Consistent with our USDD COVID-19 Exposure Protocols, families of students who are identified as close contacts will receive a separate email and/or phone communication with details on quarantine and testing. Please watch your email for this notification. If you do not receive a separate notification, no further action is required on the part of your family or your student.

WiFi access is available for families without home internet availability. Food service, learning schedules and more will be forwarded to you. Please watch your email, our website, and social media channels for updates.
Please continue to have students complete the daily health questionnaire when they log in to their Chromebook. This information will help us in determining when we can return to face to face instruction.

We know full time virtual learning is not ideal for some students and families. However, we are confident in our ability to provide meaningful and progressive instruction, and have made significant changes to our virtual program since the statewide school closure last spring.

Our Continued Request
Community spread of the virus affects our ability to provide in-person instruction at our schools. We ask that your family take the necessary precautions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please continue wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, avoiding large group gatherings, and staying home when sick. 
Sept. 22 District Launches COVID-19 Dashboard
The District has launched a COVID-19 Dashboard to provide information, updated daily, on the number of COVID-19 positive cases among staff and students, and exposure-related quarantines in each of our schools while protecting the confidentiality of individuals.
The Dashboard includes three different pages. Please take the time to click the arrows in the upper left corner and view each page. This data reflects our ability to successfully keep our schools open. It will help guide decisions on the learning scenario status of individual buildings, or the District as a whole, which could change depending on several factors. We will continue to follow our COVID-19 Exposure Protocols  posted below.
If you have questions regarding the Dashboard contact
Pam Pirman, Director of Communications 
(920) 337-1032 x4132
Ben Villarruel, Superintendent
(920) 337-1032 x4109
Breakfast and lunch will continue to be available to all students at all grade levels. 
It is our preference that all students, including those attending the De Pere Virtual Learning Academy, use a District-owned Chromebook for the coming school year. If you have questions, please contact your building principal (listed at the bottom of this page).
Implementing the approved De Pere Return to School Plan will require many fundamental changes to how we operate on a daily basis. While there will be common procedures (face masks, social distancing, hand washing) in every school, there will also be variation based on grade levels in the building; building/room/hallway layouts; and other factors.
To access current information on the Operations Plan for an individual building, click the link below, or visit the building's home page. Many Operation Plan details are still being developed and will be shared as they become available.
On Monday,  Aug. 3,  the De Pere Board of Education approved the De Pere Return to School Plan 2020-2021.   Click below to view details of the approved Plan.  With this approval, we will move forward to address the many operational details involved in bringing students back to our buildings on Sept. 1,  and supporting those families who choose our De Pere Virtual Learning Academy (full time virtual learning) option.  Key components of the Plan include:
  • Facial coverings/masks for all students, staff and visitors in our buildings
  • Full time, in person instruction for students in grades 4K-6, as well as our early childhood (EC) program
  • A blended program for grades 7-12.  Students will be grouped into 2 cohorts (A and B).  Each cohort will attend school in person for 2 days, and will receive instruction virtually (at home) for 3 days of the week.
  • The De Pere Virtual Learning Academy is available for students in any grade.  Families have until Friday, August 7, to sign up for this full time virtual (at home) learning option.  See the section below to learn more and access the sign up form.
We understand families have questions about how the Plan will be implemented.  I urge you to review the FAQs on this page.  Also, in the next few days, each building principal will share with parents many of the operational procedures that will be in place when students physically return to school.  These procedures will be posted on the District website as well.  In the weeks leading up to September 1,  there will be revisions and additions to the school buildings’ operational procedures and we will communicate this information to you as it becomes available.
Clearly, the coming school year will be different from any we have ever experienced.  It is likely that we will need to make some adjustments as our start date gets closer, and after school begins.  I have every confidence our De Pere Schools community will demonstrate their resilience, flexibility and compassion as we work together to educate our students. 
Ben Villarruel, Superintendent
As part of our De Pere Return to School Plan 2020-2021, we are pleased to offer families the option of enrolling their student(s) in a full time, virtual learning experience via the De Pere Virtual Learning Academy.
Read more about the Academy:
This information has been emailed to all District families. 
Families who wish to enroll must submit the completed form by Friday, August 7.
Unified School District of De Pere Email Contacts
Nick Joseph, Principal, De Pere High School
Adam Kramer, Principal, De Pere Middle School
Andy Bradford, Principal, Foxview Intermediate School
Mark Kirst, Principal, Altmayer Elementary School
Luke Herlache, Principal, Dickinson Elementary School
Kathy Van Pay, Principal, Heritage Elementary School
Jerry Nicholson, Director, Pupil Services/Special Education
Pam Pirman, Communications Director