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MPS Phase 2 Reopening Update, 9/29
Mark Schwarz
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Madison Schools Community,

I hope this message finds all of you well-rested after a long weekend. As we approach the end of September, I am writing to share some important updates of public concern. 

A transition to Phase 2 for K-5 students is tentatively scheduled for October 19.  

Provided that public health remains strong, staffing levels remain consistent, and our desk shields arrive within the allotted time frame, all elementary students will be able to attend school on an everyday basis starting on October 19. Please consider the following important points related to this transition:

  • Elementary schools will remain on an early dismissal schedule

  • Students and staff members must continue to wear masks

  • The full-time remote option will remain available for all students. 

  • The district is still giving consideration to accelerating the Phase 2 transition for Kindergarten students, but cannot yet commit to this option

Please note that we are currently adapting our schedules, projecting our staffing levels, and seeking to determine whether or not students may continue to participate in a hybrid model. We are also working with our staff and local health department to establish a reasonable timeframe for transitioning MJS and MHS students to Phase 2 as well. 

As October 19 approaches, the schools will provide regular updates to their learning communities regarding Phase 2. In the meantime, the district is finalizing a survey for parents and students to gather feedback regarding perceptions and concerns associated with transitioning to Phase 2, as well as other identified topics that may inform district planning and improvement efforts. We expect to distribute this survey by the end of this week. 

School consultation and individualized services are available to all eligible students. 

We have received a variety of inquiries related to “accelerated” or “gifted” programming for elementary students. While the district strives to meet the needs of all students within the regular classroom, our educators recognize that there are circumstances in which a child’s needs may rise to a level at which specialized programming is required to ensure that they are appropriately served. Whether for reasons of disability, giftedness, emotional need or any other individual uniqueness, our schools use a data-driven, collaborative, consultative approach to meeting individual needs through its Intervention and Referral Services system. If you have concerns that any of your child’s needs are not being met in the regular classroom, please contact your child’s teacher and/or principal to discuss whether a referral to the I&RS Team is appropriate. For more information regarding the I&RS system, please review Policy and Regulation 2417. If you are interested in better understanding services related to “giftedness”, please see our recently revised Policy and Regulation 2464.

As COVID cases emerge, responsible behavior remains paramount to our ability to operate safely. 

Today, the district announced its third COVID19 case since schools reopened. We are fortunate that in all three cases, the points of exposure appear to have occurred outside of our schools. Further, the responsible behavior on the part of those individuals involved have protected the health of our staff and students and enabled us to continue operations without interruption. 

As the colder weather and flu season approaches, it will be increasingly important for students, staff and families to protect themselves and act swiftly if they have a reason to be concerned about COVID exposure. Continue to complete the health screener everyday. Stay home if you are not feeling well. If you are concerned about COVID19 symptoms, contact your physician, school, and the Madison Health Department.

Thank you for your diligence and safe choices. We look forward to hearing your feedback in our upcoming survey.