2021-2022 Fall Covid Safety Plan Update
Dear MMSD Families,
Thank you for your continued collaboration, patience, and support as we have navigated the COVID-19 global health pandemic together. We hope you have found time to make new memories this summer as the excitement of a new school year fast approaches.
On June 10, we announced our full return to in-person instruction, five days per week, for the 2021-2022 school year, and are offering middle and high school students virtual learning options through Madison Promise. Our work preparing for the new school year has been grounded in serving the needs of our students. A significant part of this work was the development of our 2021-2022 COVID-19 safety plan, which I am sharing with you today.
Key universal practices in the MMSD COVID-19 Safety Plan include:
Requiring masks for students and staff while inside school buildings and traveling on buses
Not requiring masks during outdoor activities or while eating or drinking
Maintaining a minimum three feet of physical distancing (when possible) for all individuals
Scheduling cleaning of district buildings throughout the day
Continuing our collaboration with state and local health experts, and reviewing Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidance in alignment with our planning
We are excited to team up with families again to carry our collective momentum forward, and into the new school year. As such, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with all aspects of our MMSD COVID-19 Safety Plan. Additionally, in the upcoming days, we will be providing safety information on our full return to athletics and co-curriculars this fall.
Now, I’d like to share more about the health experts’ recommendations of requiring masks inside of our buildings - even for those who are vaccinated. The CDC, AAP, and local health experts continue to recommend masks as an effective tool for schools to keep COVID-19 metrics down; allow us to be physically together; and provide opportunities for safe, engaging, and equitable in-person learning experiences for students.
During in-person learning last spring, we followed the science (and the guidance) to ensure we kept students safe as they connected with friends, teachers, and staff. Together, we have made great progress, nevertheless now is not a time for complacency. We must continue to be diligent in following the guidance of health experts, and practicing safety protocols, in order to provide safe, healthy in-person learning environments for our students.
Additionally, we would like to remind you of the free COVID-19 vaccines currently available for everyone age 12 and older. These vaccines have proven to be highly safe and effective. To optimize the safety of students, staff, and families, we encourage you to consider having all eligible members of your family vaccinated. Please visit the How to Get Vaccinated webpage for more information.
If you have questions about the start of school, please contact your school principal or connect with us through the Let’s Talk platform found on the district website. Thank you for your continued support and partnership, and we look forward to a safe, productive school year.
In closing, we are grateful for the support of our local health experts, and are sharing (below) a few statements from our health experts and partners. To read additional reflections, please visit our website.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Madison Metropolitan School District