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Madison Metropolitan School District

Phased approach to Mask Protocols

April 15, 2022

Dear MMSD Students, Families, and Staff,

We have welcomed the 4th Quarter of this school year with much energy and excitement! As we look forward to in-person events like prom, field trips, banquets, and graduation, I want to extend my appreciation and gratitude for your ongoing patience, understanding, and flexibility. Together, we are continuing to follow our mitigation strategies and navigate the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping students, staff, and our school community safe and well.

In March, our district adopted a phased approach to modifying our COVID-19 safety measures, which included continuing to wear masks indoors through spring break and beyond, to safeguard against a potential COVID spike similar to what we experienced shortly after winter break. In March, we also committed to providing you this update to our mask protocols by today (April 15).

On Tuesday, our Metrics team, including our medical advisors, met to review local COVID conditions and discuss whether the timing was right to modify indoor masking requirements. During this meeting, our medical advisors shared their perspectives on current conditions. They also made the recommendation that it was in the best interest of our students and staff to extend our requirement for wearing masks indoors until at least the first week of May. 

Five important considerations influenced our decision to extend our indoor mask requirement:

  1. MMSD’s main goal is to keep schools open and scholars learning safely in-person. We strongly believe this in the best interest of students, families, staff, and the community.

  2. Second to vaccination, the most effective way to prevent spread of any virus is wearing a mask.

  3. There has been a moderate increase in positive COVID cases locally. Daily positive case counts in Dane county have exceeded 100, and continue a steady upward trajectory. 

  4. The extension provides additional time to monitor the current surge while continuing to safeguard against viral spread by wearing masks indoors in advance of this date.

  5. The extension is in alignment with the CDC mask mandate expiration for public transportation.

During this extension, we will continue to have weekly Metrics meetings, and ongoing discussions, with our medical advisors. Moving forward, we are committed to providing an update on our indoor mask protocol by May 6.

As we enter the final stretch of this school year, we continue to be stronger together. Our shared humanity compels us to uplift our sense of community. Therefore, I extend my deepest appreciation for your partnership and patience as we work to move forward with our scholars and staff learning safely in-person. 

Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Madison Metropolitan School District