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District Announces Learning Options for 2021-22 School Year

After careful review of staff feedback, student survey data, consortium group conversations with neighboring districts, student performance data and survey data from families involved in virtual learning, the Wauwatosa School District will offer two models of instruction for the 2021-22 school year: In-Person Instruction and Virtual Learning via Wauwatosa Virtual Academy. Please see slides 5-9 in this presentation for a comprehensive overview of this feedback.


In-Person Instruction

In-person instruction will be conducted five days per week in our school buildings for students in grades JK-12. We will continue to follow many of the protocols put in place for the 2020-21 school year including:


  • Hand washing and sanitizing stations
  • Bipolar ionization air filtration systems
  • Cleaning supplies in each classroom
  • Contact tracing and quarantining (NOTE: Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine if proof of vaccination from the Wisconsin Immunization Registry is provided.) 


A decision regarding mask wearing will be made and communicated to the community by early August 2021. Additional information will be shared as details are finalized.


Academic Support

Academic support will also be available for all of our students, with emphasis placed on providing support to students who are transitioning back into in-person learning. We will use a universal screener assessment (SK-8, 9-12 as needed) to determine students’ academic needs and follow DPI’s Multi-Level Systems of Support to provide equitable services, practices and resources to every learner based on their needs. Additional specifics will be provided by building principals directly in the coming months.


Social Emotional Support

We will offer social-emotional support for all of our students - particularly those who are transitioning back to in-person learning for the first time since schools were shut down in March 2020. Your home school will develop and communicate specific plans for reacclimating students socially and emotionally to in-person learning through a variety of supports. These supports may include but are not limited to beginning of the year transition activities, strategic scheduling, adult/peer support systems, providing students with multiple opportunities to share their reality (voice), a social emotional check-in system, and making sure student/families know about and can easily access all student services resources (school counselors, social workers, adult building mentors, Student and Family Assistance Program).


Virtual Learning - Elementary 

For the 2021-22 school year, we will provide a virtual learning option via Wauwatosa Virtual Academy (WVA) for all students K-5. We will not offer an online option for Junior Kindergarten students. Students enrolled in WVA will be taught by a Pearson staff member and will also be assigned a Wauwatosa School District staff member to monitor their engagement and learning. This person will also serve as a liaison between WVA (Pearson) and our district level support systems. Students will participate in a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (independent learning) lessons. 


Virtual Learning - Secondary 

For the 2021-22 school year, we will provide a virtual learning option via Wauwatosa Virtual Academy (WVA) for our secondary students. Students enrolled in WVA will be taught by a Pearson staff member and will participate in their full course load - including core classes and electives - online by primarily learning asynchronously (independently). Students will have the opportunity to learn synchronously (live) each week, should they be interested in taking advantage of that option. WVA maximizes flexibility and resembles a traditional homeschool learning environment in a digital format.


If you have any questions about WVA or would like to discuss the curriculum or available supports in more detail, please contact Dean Heus at (414) 773-3410 or


Virtual Learning Supports

We are committed to elevating the instructional and social-emotional supports for our virtual learners by combining Pearson’s built-in support network with school-specific resources. Using ongoing student monitoring systems, each student’s WVA teacher and Wauwatosa guide teacher will work together to maximize engagement and learning. Please click the links below to view infographics that outline the engagement and learning supports available to students enrolled in WVA. 


Learning Support Infographic 

Engagement Support Infographic


Important Considerations

Students currently enrolled in Wauwatosa Montessori or a district-sponsored STEM program must attend classes in-person to maintain their seat. Any student who transfers to WVA will lose their seat in Montessori or STEM. 


Regardless of the selected model of instruction, students with disabilities, English language learners and students involved in interventions will continue to receive the services necessary to support their learning. District staff will work with Wauwatosa Virtual Academy’s dedicated special education teaching team to support students. 


Accessing Learning
To support learning in the event that a student must remain home due to COVID-19, the Wauwatosa School District allows students to Zoom into class if they have been placed into quarantine due to an exposure to COVID-19. 
If a student is absent for a different reason including non-COVID-19 illness, vacation, voluntary quarantine, parent excused, preplanned, etc., the student may not Zoom classes. 


Making Your Selection

Students who were enrolled in WVA for the 2019-20 school year (prior to the pandemic) will maintain their enrollment in WVA for the 2021-22 school year. All other students will be automatically enrolled in in-person learning. If you want your student(s) to participate in in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, you do not need to take any action. 


As outlined in School Board Policy 5120, the Wauwatosa School District offers an intra-district transfer program which allows parents, based on space and appropriate program, to choose a school outside the home attendance area best suited to their child's needs and interests. Families who wish to transfer their student(s) into Wauwatosa Virtual Academy must follow district protocols for intradistrict transfers. For the 2021-22 school year, we are requesting that families complete an Intradistrict Transfer Form and submit it to the Student Services Office by 11:59 pm on Sunday, August 15, 2021. 


Transitioning Between Models

Students may transfer from In-Person Learning to Wauwatosa Virtual Academy or vice versa at a time mutually agreed upon by the student’s parent/guardian and building principal. A parent/guardian must complete the Intradistrict Transfer Form to initiate this transition. The Wauwatosa School District will use its existing student monitoring systems to conduct ongoing check-ins as needed with students who transition between models. 


We understand you may still have questions as you make decisions regarding your student’s model of instruction for the 2021-22 school year and would encourage you to reach out to your building principal if you’d like to discuss. And again, you may also contact Dean Heus at (414) 773-3410 or to discuss Wauwatosa Virtual Academy in greater detail. And finally, you can find up-to-date information about the 2021-22 school year on our website here