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Dodger Update, 3/7 - Phase 2 and Phase 3 , Community input opportunity
Mark Schwarz
Sunday, March 07, 2021

Madison Schools Community Members,

Approximately one year ago, schools across the world closed in response to the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. The last 12 months have been more challenging that any of us could have imagined, but we have remained Madison Strong together, keeping schools open continuously since September. Now, one year after the start of the pandemic lockdown, we can finally see an imminent return to normalcy for our students in the near future. While we are not yet out from under the threat of COVID-19, the district is preparing for an anticipated decrease in rates so that we can again increase in-person learning for our students when conditions permit. This message includes some important updates including information regarding how community members can assist our planning for advancing our schools in the phases of reopening. 

Our most recent CALI report has returned our region to “High Risk.”

Madison Health Department guidance has advised that it would be appropriate to increase in-person learning once we have seen two consecutive weeks at a level below “High Risk.” While the regional rates and school rates have seen an uptick this last week, MPS and the MHD are optimistic that the overall trend is downward and that rates will stabilize at the Moderate or Low Risk levels within a month’s time.  

MPS is planning for Phase 2 at MHS and MJS and Phase 3 for the elementary schools. 

Some details regarding the transition phases can be found within the Thoughtexchange modules which are linked below.  A tentative timeline for this transition is currently under internal review and we anticipate announcing a target transition date by Monday, March 15. 

Community input regarding our phased reopening will be collected through the Thoughtexchange platform.

The purpose of this data collection is to engage the community, understand the various perspectives that exist among faculty staff and students, and to ensure that our planning efforts are informed by our stakeholders. The Thoughtexchange software is well suited for this purpose. It provides an anonymous forum in which individuals can contribute ideas, rate the ideas of others, and observe which ideas receive the highest ratings. Further, the analytical tools within the program help our community understand which ideas are most commonly held and which are the most polarizing. All faculty, students, and parents are encouraged to provide input into our planning process from Sunday, March 7, to Sunday, March 14. 

To participate, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Watch this one-minute Thoughtexchange introductory video to understand the basics (add your own thoughts and rate the thoughts of others).

  2. Access the appropriate Thoughtexchange through the following links:

    1. MHS Phase 2 Thoughtexchange

    2. MJS Phase 2 Thoughtexchange

    3. Elementary Phase 3 Thoughtexchange

  3. Visit the Thoughtexchange multiple times between March 7 and March 14 to see how the conversation develops and to rate new thoughts as they are added. 

Thank you for assisting us in our efforts to best support our students. We look forward to reading your comments and better understanding your insights, needs, and opinions. If you have any questions or concerns related to any topics in this message, please contact Executive Secretary Patti Cleary at clearyp@madisonnjps.org. Mrs. Cleary can help route your question to the appropriate individual. 

Best wishes for good health in the coming week. I look forward to seeing you sometime soon. 

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Upcoming Events:

Tues, Mar 9 - Special Board Meeting for Preliminary Budget Presentation, 7pm

Tues, Mar 16 - Regular Board Meeting / Preliminary Budget Adoption, 7pm

Wed, Mar 17 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm

Tues, Apr 20 - Regular Board Meeting, 7pm

Wed, Apr 21 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm

Tues, Apr 27 - Special Board Meeting for Final Budget Hearing, 7pm