Eau Claire school district Administration Building

Eau Claire school district Administration Building, 500 Main St.

The Eau Claire school board will meet tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss, and possibly vote, on increasing face-to-face classes in the school district.

At the meeting, district officials will present a plan to increase face-to-face classes for kindergarten through 5th grade to four days per week, the district announced Tuesday.

If approved, the change would begin April 5.

The board could vote on the proposal tonight.

Currently, the school district is using a blended model, where students are split into cohorts to make class sizes smaller and allow for desks to be spaced six feet apart. Most K-12 students are attending face-to-face classes a maximum of two days per week.

Around 80% of the district’s students are attending face-to-face classes two days per week, and learning virtually on the other three. (Face-to-face students are divided into two cohorts, and all students learn virtually on Wednesdays so school buildings can be cleaned.)

The other roughly 20% of the district’s students are attending classes 100% virtually.

The virtual meeting will begin at 7 p.m. To access the meeting, visit the school district’s website or www.ecasd.us/District/Board-of-Education/Board-Live-Stream.

To join the meeting virtually, visit tinyurl.com/5enmutwx and use the Event Password: Board.

People can also download the Cisco Webex Meetings app from the Google Play or Apple iOS App Store on a mobile device and login with Event Number: 120 493 9595 and Password: Board.

To join the meeting via phone, call 1-408-418-9388 and enter Event Access code: 120 493 9595. (This is not a toll-free call, and long-distance charges may apply.)

During the meeting, there will be a 30-minute timeframe allotted for community members to address the board to express their thoughts or concerns on the potential increase of face-to-face classes. Each commenter will have up to two minutes to speak to the school board.

Community members who want to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting must sign up first. They must provide their name, address and a brief statement about the subject they plan to comment on. To sign up for public comment, members of the public should sign into the meeting between 6:30 and 6:55 p.m. tonight; moderators will be available via voice and WebEx chat to help people sign up. Sign-up will close at 6:50 p.m.

If the board receives more requests to speak than time allows, the board will randomly select from those who signed up to speak on the same subject.

Sarah Seifert is the L-T's education and health reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Chippewa Valley since 2017 and joined the L-T in 2019. Get in touch at sarah.seifert@ecpc.com or on Twitter @sarahaseifert.