Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 2:37 pm
Assistant Superintendent of Operations Lori Ames updated the Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 24 on the work of the fall planning team focused on operational efforts, including health and safety protocols.
Board president Annette Ashley presided over the meeting at the District Services Center, while other Board members participated remotely. The School Board has been meeting virtually since mid-March. Ames noted the best way to keep buildings safe is to have students and staff members do self-monitoring before they come to school, wear a mask, practice good hygiene and practice social distancing. She noted there are signs on entrances to every school that someone who isn't feeling well should not enter a building. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provided information last week about what districts must do if they have a positive test or an exposure. Students or staff who experience symptoms once at school will be asked to leave the school or go to an isolation room. Each school will have two rooms where students can get health support, with one room available for students who need medications. If the District receives notification that there is a positive test, MCPASD will have to determine if it was a close contact, which is defined as someone within 6 feet of the person infected for at least 15 minutes over the previous 24 hours. Ames noted that is one reason why the District is trying to limit the number of students in a classroom and limit cohorts from interacting with one another. Personal information will not be shared, but anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive will be notified by the District. The person who has the positive test will be out for 10 days from the onset of symptoms and fever-free. Those who have been in close contact will need to self-quarantine for up to 14 days. Staff and families at the school will be notified if there is a positive test. Assigned bus seating and limiting class sizes through cohorts in a hybrid model will help us better determine who might have been exposed and may limit the number of people who have to quarantine. It may also mean we don't have to shut down an entire classroom due to a single positive test. Ames added none of the information from WDHS indicates when you have to close a classroom or building. "It's not cut-and-dried and each situation will have to be reviewed,'' Ames said. Ames noted if a classroom is shut down due to a positive case and the teacher is asymptomatic, they could continue to teach virtually. If they do have symptoms and don't believe they can teach while the classroom is shut down, they would have a conversation with the employee services department about options. Ames noted custodial staff will do a deep-cleaning of any areas where a student or staff member who tested positive has been.