Dear MMSD Families,
School begins next week, and I hope you and your child are excited about the new school year. Earlier this summer, we announced our plans for students to begin the school year learning in person, five days per week. Today, I am writing to provide an important update for our 4K-5th grade families who have been asking about virtual learning options for students.
After reviewing feedback from our families and stakeholder groups, we will now be offering families with 4K-5th grade elementary students a virtual option to start the school year. This decision comes after considering concerns over the rising incidence of the Delta variant; children under 12 years old not eligible for vaccinations; and associated risks with family members who are immunocompromised.
The elementary virtual option is rooted in doing what is best for all students, while ensuring our young scholars can thrive. If you are interested in the 4K-5th grade virtual program, families will need to submit an interest form for consideration – the deadline to complete a form is noon (12 p.m.) on Monday, August 30. Families will be notified by Tuesday, August 31, if their child will be in the elementary virtual program.
Please note, if you want your child to attend school in person, you do not need to do anything (besides completing the annual enrollment process) - the form should be completed only if you are interested in a virtual option for your elementary student.
Students will need to commit to virtual instruction for one (1) entire semester.
4K students will participate in age-appropriate learning for 3.5 hours per day, which will include a mix of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) instruction.
Kindergarten through 5th grade students will participate in synchronous (live) instruction for up to 3.5 hours per day (math, science, language arts, social studies) and asynchronous (recorded) instruction for specials (music, art, PE).
Kindergarten through 5th grade students will have small group instructional time as directed by the teacher.
Students will receive instruction from an MMSD, DPI-certified teacher.
Students in the virtual program, and students participating in school/in-person, will follow the same scope and sequence of instruction.
Teachers will use Zoom for meeting times.
Seesaw will be the platform students and teachers use for schoolwork and assignments.
The virtual option will have a limited capacity for the 2021-2022 school year to ensure instructional supports are available for all students.
For more information about the elementary virtual option, including answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our website.
Please note, our local health care experts continue to express confidence in our health and safety plan. For students attending school in person, we will be utilizing key universal strategies such as masking when indoors and on buses, physical distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, respiratory etiquette, symptom screening, and contact tracing.
Once again, thank you for your continued partnership and ongoing feedback. You can reach out to your child’s teacher, principal, or connect with us through our Let’s Talk platform.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Madison Metropolitan School District