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Private schools reopen after Supreme Court temporarily blocks Dane County order

private school pic

ASHTON (WKOW) -- Some private schools wasted no time reopening after the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction against Dane County's order to have school virtually for grades 3 - 12.

St. Peter Catholic School in Ashton, near Middleton, reopened the building Friday. Parents and students were excited about being back in the classroom, saying they feel safe having their children in the school.

Parent Paul Wagner says, "Being able to be at a school where I trust the principal to make safe choices and to protect my children is a very important thing to me."

Principal Kathi Klaas explains the set up at the school, saying desks are spaced and there is blue tape on the floor so students know how to stay apart. With extra hand sanitizing stations, disinfectant wipes and masks, she feels they're ready. "When the kids come, they're supposed to check their temperature when they come, before they come and when they arrive."

Mom Elizabeth Idzi was one of the official petitioners on the lawsuit against Dane County's order for schools to keep grades 3-12 virtual. She says she feels completely safe sending her son to school.

"I actually had a medically fragile child who was in UW hospital many years off and on. If anyone would be more concerned, it would be me. He had pulmonary issues, and I'm not. I know that these policies work. I know the kids are safe," Idzi says.

Principal Klaas says, "You're using all your senses as a child to learn and so, face to face, eye contact, seeing, hearing, being with other people... of course, we can't touch, but I think just the physical, just being in the same room is a huge thing."

St. Peter Catholic School does offer a virtual option for parents who aren't comfortable sending their children to school.

Another school that was part of the petition, St. Ambrose Academy in Madison, plans to start in-person instruction Monday.

They say the reason they pushed this, was on behalf of the school's parents. "We have parental support, which is huge. Parents at home, that are already talking to their kids about masking and social distancing. Parent at home who are saying, you know, you've got to be a part of the team to keep our community safe," says Angela Hineline with St. Ambrose Academy.

St. Ambrose also has a virtual option. The campus, normally all in one building, has been divided into two locations for in-person classes.