2021 Whitefish Bay School District COVID-19 Update

2021 Whitefish Bay School District COVID-19 Update

Anavi Prakash, Editor

As 2021 comes to a close and holidays start, here is a look back at the school year and how COVID has played a role in students’ education and policies regarding activities.

Current Data

Most recently, in December, case rates and quarantines have grown quickly. According to the December 22, 2021, COVID dashboard update for the district, there are currently 33 active cases and 60 people in quarantine. 

On December 20, there were 16 active cases and 60 people in quarantine. On December 17, there were 13 active cases and 52 people in quarantine. On December 13th, there were 9 active cases and 36 people in quarantine. 

Being quarantined has altered students’ workloads and quality of learning. As an anonymous freshman, who got quarantined, said, “It was a little stressful coming back to school[.] I had to go to ISHP [individual student help period] for over a week straight and it was a lot to catch up on, especially in the classes where I missed tests.” They continued, “Zoom was alright[,] but I didn’t really learn anything”. Students who are quarantined use Zoom to join classes, and essentially watch the teacher and the lesson occurring, similar to how it was when the four days a week phase-in happened at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

School Board Mask Policy

The School Board is currently in the process of creating a new mask policy to start in the new year. 

The current Whitefish Bay School District policy states that “Face masks/coverings are required for individuals, age four (4) and up”. They say that the policy was “designed to best protect our school and greater community, and provide the safest learning environment, as well as, balance whole child programming and social and emotional well-being; in consultation with the North Shore Health Department.” 

The policy, however, does not mean students abide by these rules. Freshman Laney Rios said, “while some people do a great job wearing masks, as a whole[,] we should really be doing a lot better.” Junior Logan Schmidt added, “in the school community[,] many don’t wear [their] masks properly.”

Currently, the alterations to the policy have to do with sports. For winter sports such as basketball, dance, cheer, volleyball, and wrestling, players and officials actively participating in competitive play/on the court are not required to wear masks. However, when they are on the sidelines, they must wear masks. All coaches are required to wear masks. 

For gymnastics, the same rules apply, except for officials, who are required to wear masks at all times. 

For swim and dive, it is not recommended that athletes in the pool wear masks. However, when they are on the sidelines, masks are required. Masks, for coaches and officials, are required no matter what. 

Due to ski being an outdoor sport, masks are optional for everyone. 

For hockey,  games are played at the Milwaukee School of Engineering Kern Center.  This means the team’s mask policy is the same as the Center’s. Currently, athletes and officials are not required to wear masks while on the ice but must wear one on the sidelines. Coaches are required to wear masks at all times. 

All members of the theater department, which will be doing Fiddler On The Roof for their winter musical, are required to wear a mask, no matter what role they play in the production.

At Whitefish Bay High School

As students begin their winter break, to minimize the effects of COVID-19 once school starts again in the new year, there have been several messages to school community families about the holidays, including one in the last Parent/Guardian Link Principal Levek sent out. 

She wrote, “Thank you ahead of time for taking steps during Winter Break that will help us continue in-person teaching and learning when we return in January. Social gatherings and travel during Winter Break are a high-risk time for the spread of COVID-19. Being fully vaccinated, limiting the size of gatherings, wearing masks, and staying home with any signs of illness are all steps that reduce the likelihood of COVID spread.”


With that in mind, Tower Times hopes everyone has a safe and relaxing winter break!