Dear MMSD Students, Families, and Staff,
Thanks for your continued support and partnership as we navigate the ongoing complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter the final five weeks of this school year, we have much to look forward to, and many reasons to be grateful. Above all, I would like to express my great appreciation for the roles you have played in supporting our goal of keeping schools open and our scholars learning safely in-person.
In April, we committed to providing you with an update to our mask protocols by today (May 6). On Tuesday, our Metrics team, and medical advisors, met to review the most recent local COVID conditions and provide input on our indoor masking requirements. As a result of this discussion, our district is following the unanimous recommendation from our medical advisors to continue requiring wearing masks indoors.
We will continue to monitor local conditions and review our indoor mask requirement on a bi-weekly basis. It is our hope, in the upcoming weeks, conditions will eventually support modifying our indoor mask requirement to “recommended” as we move toward the summer semester and beyond. We encourage you to visit the MMSD COVID Health and Safety Guidance webpage for more information and the latest updates.
Considerations influencing our extension of wearing masks inside school buildings include:
MMSD’s primary goal is to keep schools open and scholars learning safely in-person.
There continues to be a moderate and sustained increase in positive COVID cases locally.
The district’s team of medical advisors unanimously recommended extending the district’s indoor masking requirement.
Concerns over the potential impact on district staffing levels if positive cases continue to climb.
Evidence shows wearing masks indoors is an effective way to prevent the spread of any virus.
*Note: Safety protocols for high school graduation ceremonies will be provided in the upcoming weeks.
Our decisions are grounded in ensuring every MMSD student, teacher, and family member is accounted for, through thoughtful collaboration, with a clear understanding of data and sound medical recommendation from world-class advisors. Schools are the safest places for students to be, and it remains our collective responsibility for our schools to continue in-person learning.
The month of May is a special time of year, never failing to greet us with a sense of transition, renewal, and growth as we begin to look toward summer. Energy and excitement blossom in our schools this time of year, when seniors are preparing for graduation, and scholars are busy finishing their school work as well as planning their summers. In the upcoming weeks, we will be uplifting the great things happening across the district while providing information on enriching learning opportunities for scholars during summer vacation.
With a sense of renewed purpose and direction, MMSD is stepping forward in new, big, and exciting ways. We are grateful for your partnership and continuing commitment to be a part of this educational journey.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Madison Metropolitan School District