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Dodger Update, 1/18  - MLK Day / Call for continued COVID safety
Dodger Update, 1/18 - MLK Day / Call for continued COVID safety
Mark Schwarz
Monday, January 18, 2021

Dodger families,

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I am deeply moved by the solidarity of our school community. There have been very few moments in our nation’s history that have been as uncertain as the last few weeks, and yet we remain Madison Strong and united. I would like to thank all Madisonians for their commitment to safety, inclusion and mutual respect, and I am grateful for all our educators and support staff who have ensured that our schools are places of stability and safety for every child. As we continue to face challenges please continue to stay engaged with district and school messaging so that we can remain resilient together. 

Our region remains at the “High Risk” level with rates increasing again.

Thursday’s CALI report reflects an expected increase in cases following the holidays. Our district dashboard shows that cases among our educators and students vary from week to week at levels that are similar to the region. We intend to remain open for in-person learning, but we need your help. 

Responsible behavior has never been more important to protect in-person learning.

Even as vaccinations become increasingly available, our ability to operate for in-person learning will remain dependent on COVID transmission rates. With cases continuing to rise and a more contagious coronavirus variant becoming prevalent, families must be as diligent outside of school as we are inside of school. Please limit social interactions and trips outside the home. If you do interact with others, maintain distancing, wear masks, avoid sharing objects, and ensure adequate ventilation and hand hygiene. If anyone in your household is sick, it is best for all students within the household to attend school remotely and parents should notify the school. Continue to use the daily health screener to guide your decision-making. 

Increases to in-person learning will not be implemented until public health improves.

Our decision-making system that was introduced on November 5 remains our guiding criteria for determining levels of in-person learning. Accordingly, we will not increase in-person learning rates until our regional risk assessment stabilizes at the “Moderate” or “Low” level. As this occurs, we will review community health conditions with the Madison Health Department and determine the most responsible next steps. Please note that at the elementary level, increasing time in school will necessitate students eating lunches at school. At MJS and MHS, next steps will include eating lunches and/or students attending every day, which will restrict our ability to maintain six feet of distance among older students. As these changes will increase the potential for in-school transmission, we cannot begin such new practices until rates subside and stabilize. 

As the weekend comes to a close, I hope that you are able to take some time today to honor the principles and values that Dr. King represents to our nation. We live in a more inclusive and fair society because of his leadership,  and we embrace his vision. Achieving true economic and societal equity requires that our institutions do everything in our power to ensure equal access and opportunity. The MPS team is committed to doing our part and we look forward to working alongside you as we seek to empower every child from every background. 

Upcoming Events:

  • Tues, Jan 19 - Board of Education Meeting, 7pm 
  • Thur, Jan 26 - District Facilities Planning Presentation (with educational specifications update), 7pm
  • Wed, Feb 10 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm
  • Thurs, Feb 16 - Board of Education Meeting, 7pm