Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 8:58 am

Superintendent Dana Monogue updated the Board of Education on the continued pandemic planning by the District, including information related to athletics and activities and what other Dane County districts are doing at their regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 26.

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.   She noted the District has added a COVID-19 Dashboard to its website. The information is updated daily during weekdays and includes those who have been isolated because of a positive test or quarantined for those who have been exposed. The chart shows both active cases and total cases since August. She also noted there was a positive case in nutrition services on Monday that impacted 17 staff members but the District is working to move staff around so that services aren't disrupted.

The Big Eight Conference recently announced that winter sports have been suspended and that conference competitions won't take place. Monogue reminded the members under current order by Public Health Madison Dane County that students can gather in groups of 10 or fewer indoors or 25 or fewer outdoors for skills practices and involvement in clubs and activities. Advisers and coaches are developing safety plans in consultation with the athletic and activities department.

Monogue then reviewed what other Dane County districts are doing related to instruction as of late last week. She noted a handful of districts in the area do remain in an all-virtual setting. MCPASD and Madison Metropolitan have experienced closure of some facilities because of exposure to staff, she said.

What is happening outside of Dane County? Staff shortages and substitute teacher shortages have resulted in some districts closing schools. MCPASD will consider adding substitutes to be prepared should that happen here when or if students return to school buildings, she said. The District will also need to hire additional staff to help with contact tracing if bring students back into buildings, Monogue added. 

The District will share two blended learning models at the next School Board meeting on Nov. 9. She noted many neighboring districts are using half-day or 2-1-2 models and MCPASD is connecting with many of them to find out what has worked and not worked.

Wellness coordinator Kalise Horst shared what the District is doing to provide students and families with mental health support. She said the Wellness website includes resources, including food information, for families. There is also information on yoga, guided meditation and much more. A wellness newsletter will also go out to families soon.    Barb Buffington noted the District is now bringing into school buildings about 225 students who need additional support. She reviewed programs such as CBITS, Bounce Back and Building Bridges that the District continues to use to help students. She also noted the District is adding to the website a form for families to submit if need mental health support.

Monogue reminded the members that the first School Board tour was last week at Pope Farm. District and school staff were on hand to share information about health and safety protocols along with bus protocols. Two more tours are scheduled on Nov. 12 (Sauk Trail) and Nov. 13 (Northside). Bob Hesselbein complimented the transportation department about what they are doing to make buses safe, while Anne Bauer commended Health Services coordinator Danielle Krbecek for her information during the tour.