Today Public Health Madison and Dane County announced that all Dane County schools will be closing immediately to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

ALL MMSD SCHOOLS ARE NOW CLOSED. This is an update to the email sent Friday. The anticipated reopen date is April 6, but that could change.

This will be challenging for the entire community, but together with our neighborhood partners, we will do everything we can to support our students, families and staff.

It is very important that families understand that when school is closed, we will not have required academic instruction.

Schools and district staff are working around the clock to deliver critical updates today on how to pick up any medications kept at school, where to access nutritious meals around Madison and other key details.

Throughout this afternoon and evening and in the coming days and weeks, we will be sharing numerous resources, answers and updates.

Expect to find this information on our COVID-19 webpage, mmsd.org/covid19, as well as on social media and in your email inbox.

We recognize the impact these surreal circumstances are having on all of us.  

We will be in touch very soon.

Dear MMSD Families and Staff, 

As you may have seen in the news this afternoon, at the direction of the Department of Health Services, Governor Tony Evers ordered Wisconsin schools closed by next Wednesday, March 18th to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our schools will close at the end of the day Tuesday, March 17th. The anticipated reopen date is April 6, but that could change. 

This will be challenging for the entire community, but I want you to know that we have been working closely with Public Health Madison and Dane County, Dane County Emergency Management, the Dane County Executive's Office, the City of Madison Mayor’s Office, State of Wisconsin Public Officials, Governor Evers Office, Department of Public Instruction, community organizations, many of our neighboring school districts and the state's five largest school districts to develop plans in anticipation of this. We will do everything we can to support our students, families and staff through this challenging time. 

It is very important that families understand that when school is closed, we will not have required academic instruction. We will, however, provide books, packets and enrichment opportunities for all students at every grade level. Please know that if you choose to keep your child home next Monday and Tuesday when school is open, absences will be excused and we will follow the normal attendance policy. 

We will be sharing numerous resources, answers and updates on obtaining healthy meals, free WiFi, online enrichment opportunities, and much more between now and when schools reopen. Expect to find this information on our COVID-19 webpage, mmsd.org/covid19, as well as on social media and in your email inbox.

We recognize the impact these surreal circumstances are having on all of us.  

We encourage our students to continue to find and create moments of familiarity and maintain other routines as much as possible, including communicating with friends and staying active. 

Thank you for understanding and support, and we will soon be in touch.

Jane Belmore
Interim Superintendent
Madison Metropolitan School District

As a precautionary measure, MMSD is temporarily restricting potlucks and food sharing in schools until further notice. We also ask that families avoid sending in food items to be shared with others.  We are in daily contact with Public Health Madison and Dane County, and they have asked us to implement this measure, along with other preventative measures including washing hands frequently with soap and water and staying home when you're sick. This does not limit students or staff in bringing in a lunch or personal snack from home. 

MMSD athletic community, 

Earlier this afternoon Madison Metropolitan School District sent a message to all staff and families announcing a temporary out of state travel restriction on all staff and student travel that is school-related or district-related.  

I wanted to share some additional details specific to athletics. (Some of the information below will be similar to what you already received.)

District administrators and staff continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak locally, across the United States and globally.  At this time, there are two confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, with one of those cases being in Dane County. It is also being reported that in each of these recent cases there was a history of domestic travel.  Public health officials are still indicating that the risk to our area remains relatively low, however that is not the case in other areas of the country and world.

Therefore, as a preventative measure, MMSD is imposing a temporary out of state travel restriction on all district related staff and student travel. This includes travel for meetings, conferences, field trips or any other events outside the state of Wisconsin. We will keep this district travel restriction in place until further notice, and will regularly revisit the status of these preventive measures.  During this travel restriction, if you have meetings with groups out of state, we encourage you to continue these partnerships via teleconference whenever possible.

What this means for athletics trips and activities 

For MMSD athletic trips and activities this means out of state activities affiliated with team or club membership will not be permitted during the spring season until the out-of-state travel restrictions are lifted.  Coaching staff may not travel out of state for clinics, training, practices, or competitions related to their position as a coach or advisor of an in-season sport or activity.  

MMSD extended trip requests will not be granted and will be rescinded if previously granted. In addition, trips not under the purview of extended trip guidelines may not include MMSD staff or students such as competitions or trips out-of-state that do not require extended travel paperwork.  MMSD’s participation in competitions involving out-of-state teams taking place within Wisconsin will be reviewed on an individual basis.

At this time we do not have any plans to restrict practices or competitions within the state but that may evolve as the situation continues to progress.  Resources from the WIAA and other sources are regularly being updated at this link related to interscholastic athletics. MMSD will be posting regular updates online at mmsd.org/covid19

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are some ways you can keep the team healthy and help prevent the spread of viruses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially prior to practice and competitions.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

With this in mind we will work with our coaches, teams, and athletic training staff to reinforce cleanliness and healthy practices and provide the resources necessary to address in afterschool and competition settings.  Missing practice or competitions due to illness is understood, appropriate, and encouraged and will not be met with a punitive response.
 

Jeremy Schlitz, CAA

MMSD District Athletic Director
 

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) holds the well-being, health and safety of students and staff as our highest priority. With the recent national media attention on Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt it important to provide you with the latest update. The risk remains low in Wisconsin and there are no current cases in Dane County. However, as the number of people with COVID-19 rises in the United States, federal and state health departments are encouraging school districts and communities to develop a plan for the spread of the disease. This plan is called a pandemic plan. We are in close communication with Public Health Madison and Dane County, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Department of Public Instruction. 

Emergency Planning

MMSD administrators from various departments have been working together to update and review its current pandemic plan so that it is in better alignment with COVID-19.  Originally developed in 2009 for the H1N1 disease, the current MMSD pandemic plan addresses what is done before, during, and after a potential outbreak, and will provide guidance if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in the Madison schools and community. 

Precautionary Measures

Public Health officials continue to recommend that the best approach to addressing COVID-19 is to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of respiratory disease which includes influenza and COVID-19. The CDC recommends the annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Other actions include:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Help your students to wash their hands well
  • We will not be providing hand sanitizer as we are following the CDC's recommendation that soap and water is the best method for cleaning hands
  • Do not drop off your sick child at school
  • Stay home when you're sick
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

Health Services staff will continue to follow our current Health Services Guidelines around fever, cough and sore throat. If a student presents with these symptoms they will be advised to go home and return to school 24 hours after they are fever free.  Here are MMSD’s recommendations on “When To Keep Your Child Home or Send Them To School”. 

Our custodial staff will continue their routine clearing protocols, with additional attention to high-touch surfaces.  

Talking to Your Student

Some schools are reporting an increase in the number of students with anxiety because of the information they are seeing and hearing about COVID-19 in the media. Here are some suggestions for talking with family members:

  • Stick to the facts. It can be scary to hear about a disease outbreak, but learning the facts can help ease your mind.
  • Help the student remain calm, and assure them their risk is low.
  • Remind your family that it is best to be prepared in difficult situations.
  • It is important to avoid assumptions or stereotypes about who you think might be sick. Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds. A person’s race does not make them more or less likely to be sick or to get sick.

Additional Resource Links:

Dear MMSD Staff (a similar version of this letter is being sent to families simultaneously),


Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) administrators and staff continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak locally, across the United States and globally. At this time, there are two active cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, with one of those cases being in Dane County. It is also being reported that in these recent cases there was a history of domestic travel. Public health officials are still indicating that the risk to our area remains relatively low, however that is not the case in other areas of the country and world.


Therefore, as a preventative measure, MMSD is imposing a temporary out of state travel restriction on all district related staff and student travel. This includes travel for meetings, conferences, field trips or any other events outside the state of Wisconsin. We will keep this district travel restriction in place until further notice, and will regularly revisit the status of these preventive measures. During this travel restriction, if you have meetings with groups out of state, we encourage you to continue these partnerships via teleconference whenever possible.


MMSD has an interdisciplinary team developing a plan on how the district will continue to respond to COVID-19 if our risk levels should increase. This team has been meeting daily to review updates and communicate with local and state health officials, neighboring school districts as well as receiving guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 


It is important to note that this is a time of preparation in support of keeping our students, staff and community safe and healthy. To reduce levels of anxiety, it is important to keep yourself updated on the latest developments and those around you accurately informed. You can find more information on our MMSD Coronavirus web page at mmsd.org/covid19.


We will be providing staff and families a COVID-19 update each Friday, or sooner if necessary, to keep you informed on the latest developments and updates on MMSD planning and preparedness. 


Thank you for your time and understanding.


Jane Belmore
Interim Superintendent
Madison Metropolitan School District

We have been fielding a number of questions about coronavirus, and we wanted to send you an update to answer your questions and connect you with resources. We are working closely with Public Health Madison & Dane County. The information below comes directly from PHMDC.

In the past few weeks, a novel coronavirus has spread from Wuhan, China to the United States and over a dozen other countries. There is a person with coronavirus in Dane County, but risk of getting the virus remains low in Dane County.

  • If a student, family, or staff is supposed to be isolated, Public Health Madison & Dane County staff will make those arrangements with them.
  • Healthy students, families, and staff who visited China and were in the United States before February 2, 2020 can go to school as they normally would.
  • Students, families, and staff returning from China after February 2, 2020, will be contacted by Public Health Madison & Dane County on an individual basis and will be advised if they can go to school or not.
  • All students, families, and staff who are sick should stay home from school.

Remind your students of everyday good health habits:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Cough and sneeze into tissues

We also wanted to stress the importance of avoiding assumptions or stereotypes about who you think might be sick. MMSD will not exclude people from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel. If someone is supposed to be isolated, Public Health staff will make those arrangements with them.

The coronavirus situation changes virtually every day. Follow Public Health Madison & Dane County on Facebook and Twitter to see their daily update. They also provided this fact sheet for school districts.  For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC's coronavirus webpage

We understand that this is a difficult topic and appreciate your patience and understanding. If you have any questions, please let me, your school nurse, or your child’s principal know. 

Lastly, as a reminder, flu activity in our community is high. It’s not too late for your family to get their flu shots. As always, keep your child home if they are sick.  Any student or staff with a persistent cough and fever should stay home from school/work, per our Illness Guidelines

We understand that many of you are feeling concerned about the coronavirus and have reached out to us with questions. (Coronavirus is a new type of virus that was found in Wuhan, China. This virus comes from a large family of coronaviruses common throughout the world. They can infect people and cause mild respiratory diseases, like the common cold, and rarely, more serious disease.)

We want you to know that we are working closely with Public Health Madison and Dane County and we are in constant contact with MMSD’s Medical Consultant, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist who gives us guidance around the coronavirus and other illnesses. 

We are learning new information about the virus each day. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Dane County or Wisconsin. As of right now, unless you or your family has traveled within China in the past two weeks, or you have been in contact with someone who has, you are not at risk of developing the virus. If you have concerns about the coronavirus, contact your healthcare provider. 

For more information and updates go to the Public Health Madison and Dane County Website or the CDC website.  Also, remember Influenza (flu) is more of a threat then coronavirus at this time. If you have not had the influence vaccine, you can still get it. And, don’t forget to wash your hands and cover your cough.

As usual, any student with a persistent cough and fever will need to stay home from school, per our Illness Guidelines. We will continue to share updates as we receive them. 

Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) administrators and staff continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak locally, across the United States and globally.  At this time, there are two active cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, with one of those cases being in Dane County.  It is also being reported that in each of these recent cases there was a history of domestic travel.  Public health officials are still indicating that the risk to our area remains relatively low, however that is not the case in other areas of the country and world.

Therefore, as a preventative measure, MMSD is imposing a temporary out of state travel restriction on all district related staff and student travel. This includes travel for meetings, conferences, field trips or any other events outside the state of Wisconsin. We will keep this district travel restriction in place until further notice, and will regularly revisit the status of these preventive measures.  
 

MMSD has an interdisciplinary team developing a plan on how the district will continue to respond to COVID-19 if our risk levels should increase. This team has been meeting daily to review updates and communicate with local and state health officials, neighboring school districts as well as receiving guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

 
It is important to note that this is a time of preparation in support of keeping our students, staff and community safe and healthy.  To reduce levels of anxiety, it is important to keep yourself updated on the latest developments and those around you accurately informed.  You can find more information on our MMSD Coronavirus web page at mmsd.org/covid19

 
We will be providing staff and families a COVID-19 update each Friday, or sooner if necessary, to keep you informed on the latest developments and updates on MMSD planning and preparedness. 

 
Thank you for your time and understanding.
 

Pages