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Nearly 60% of Wisconsin school districts seeking instructional hours waiver due to COVID-19
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PUBLIC SCHOOLS | INSTRUCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Nearly 60% of Wisconsin school districts seeking instructional hours waiver due to COVID-19

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With in-person classes canceled for the rest of the school year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, nearly 60% of Wisconsin school districts, including 10 in Dane County, have asked the state education agency to forgo a set number of instructional hours students are required to receive.

As of Friday, the state Department of Public Instruction had received a request to waive instructional hours from 248 of the state’s 421 school districts. Ten of the 15 school districts completely in or largely in Dane County had asked DPI for a waiver, according to a list provided by the agency.

Fewer districts are looking to get rid of — at this point — a civics exam high school seniors are required to pass to graduate.

Sixty-two districts, or 15% of Wisconsin’s public school systems, had applied for an exemption as of Friday to a mandate that seniors pass the 100-question test in order to graduate.

The Dane County districts that have asked for instructional hours to be waived are: Belleville, Madison, McFarland, Middleton-Cross Plains, Monona Grove, Mount Horeb, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona and Wisconsin Heights.

The county districts that had not asked for a waiver as of Friday were: Cambridge, Deerfield, Marshall, Oregon and Waunakee.

Administrators for the Cambridge, Deerfield and Waunakee school districts said Friday they plan to apply for the waiver.

The Dane County districts seeking a waiver for the civics exam so far are: Madison, Middleton-Cross Plains, Stoughton, Sun Prairie and Verona.

DPI requires a minimum number of annual instructional hours: 437 for kindergarten, 1,050 for grades 1 through 6, and 1,137 for grades 7 through 12.

With the closure of schools statewide due to COVID-19 starting March 18, schools would likely have a difficult time trying to fulfill the required hours.

Some school districts took weeks to transition students to online education. Additionally, many schools are requiring students engage in learning at home for much less time than they would at school.

Districts have until the end of the academic year on June 30 to apply for a waiver, according to DPI.

Madison is among the Dane County districts that have asked for instructional hours to be waived.

Madison is among the Dane County districts that have asked for instructional hours to be waived.

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