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Madison Metropolitan School District

Covid Health and Safety Guidance

Following the science and aligning with the guidance in order to keep students safe. 

In-person learning requires a layered approach to COVID-19 safety planning, including physical distancing when possible, wearing masks indoors, frequent hand washing, symptom screening, contact tracing, cough and sneeze etiquette, and other safety practices. Each strategy complements the others and work in concert to mitigate the overall risk of transmission. We will continue to assess our strategies and adapt our plan as we monitor community conditions.  Currently, CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

Find below some Wellness links that many families have found helpful during the pandemic.

Nearly 500 pediatricians sign open letter calling for COVID-19 safety precautions

Illustration of an open envelope with the word "An open letter to Wisconsin schools and parents" typed on a piece of paper.

“Children are our most precious resource, and we must do everything we can to keep them safe as they return to the classroom,” said Dr. Ellen Wald, chair of the department of pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and infectious disease physician at UW Health. “In-person learning is important for our children. This letter is all about how we can work together – parents, teachers, schools and healthcare providers – to have a safe and positive return to school this year.”

Read the full article here

person getting a shot in their arm

COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone age 12 and older and have been shown to be highly safe and effective.

Get vaccinated

Facebook Icon and Live icon - signifying A Facebook Live Event

Did you miss the September 22 Facebook Live Event?

The Community Conversation focused on various topics of the new school year, and featured school board members, central office leaders, health experts, and district staff.

View a recording of the event here.

Key universal practices in the MMSD COVID-19 Safety Plan include:

Child at desk coloring with a marker with a mask on their face

Mask Up - Inside

Students and staff will wear masks while inside school and district buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Masks can be removed when eating and drinking, maintaining six feet of physical distancing (when possible).

Picture of bus

Mask Up - On Buses

Students and staff will wear masks while on buses regardless of vaccination status. 

two middle school students running outside in a grassy field

Masks - Outside

For the first quarter of the school year, we are expanding mask requirement for grades 4K - 8 to now include masking outdoors. The mask requirement includes staff, families, and visitors in elementary and middle school buildings, as well as after school childcare and activities at K-8 schools.

desk with student sitting showing just legs with social distance sign on floor

Physical Distancing

Maintaining a minimum three feet of physical distancing (when possible) for all individuals.

If for any reason a student is unable to wear a mask, a six foot distance between students should be maintained.

childs hands with soap suds

Universal Health Practices

Following practices of proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette, and monitoring symptoms.

Prior to coming to school, students and staff should conduct daily symptom checks and stay home if they are sick and do not feel well.

cleaning, custodian sweeping floor

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Custodial and Maintenance staff will continue “high touch-point” cleaning as be part of our daily routine.

All classrooms have been outfitted with classroom cleaning kits which will be restocked on a daily basis by our custodians.

“We were successful for the last few months. Now that the Delta variant is here, continuing to play up the efficacy of all of these mitigation procedures. We’re not backing down until we’re absolutely clear. We’ve shown that we can do it. "
– Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health


Additional Information and Resources:

Masking

Physical Distancing

Hand Washing & Hand Sanitizer

Guidance for Visitors and Volunteers

“There is this temptation to feel, because we’ve improved, it’s all over and now everyone is safe. And that’s not true. The point is, we don’t want to backslide. We need to look at all the things we can do now that we couldn’t do before because of these interventions.”- Thomas Friedrich, Professor, Pathobiological Sciences, UW Madison

cirle graphics with illustration of school hallway in red with Covid germs in the air

Contact Tracing

MMSD School Nurses will collaborate with Public Health Madison & Dane County to provide contact tracing within schools for MMSD employees and students, following the PHMDC’s ​Action Plan for Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Case in a Dane County School.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 typically involves the following:

  1. Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone they had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious.
  2. Notifying school contacts of their potential exposure.
  3. Referring contacts for testing.
  4. Monitoring contacts for ​signs and symptoms of COVID-19​.
  5. Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period.
  6. Sending classroom and school CO-19 letters.
  7. Steps to take when a staff member ​is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and when there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
  8. Steps to take when a student ​is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and when there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.

Rapid Antigen Testing

Recommended for anyone who is symptomatic, it provides results in 15 minutes.  We can also use this testing for close contacts if they are asymptomatic but it is not as accurate in these situations. DHS also requires follow up PCR testing. We have been doing rapid antigen testing in our schools (child care settings initially starting in the middle of January. This is also a lower cost testing and anyone can purchase similar home testing versions of this kit at local pharmacies usually around $25 for two tests. 

PCR Confirmatory Testing

Available at all of our summer school locations starting 7/12. We started piloting this in a few schools in early May. This testing is extremely accurate and can be used in any situation - this is the testing that was being done throughout the pandemic at Alliant Energy Center.  We can typically have results the next day.  However it might be 2 days if the test was done late in the school day. 


A School Building Icon

Safety in our Buildings

We've made several adjustments in preparation for students and staff to return to buildings. Some of those are outlined below and in the MMSD Covid-19 Building Analysis Final Report.

FAQ


MMSD-TV Icon

In this video playlist, you will find interviews with our reopening advisory panel, COVID-19 vaccine information, HR questions and health and safety guidance.

The playlist is now live on YouTube.

New board policies: On December 14, 2020, Public Health Madison & Dane County released new requirements and recommendations for school districts preparing to reopen. To satisfy new requirements, MMSD's Board of Education introduced new policies for hygiene, protective measures and cleaning and adopted them on January 25.