Screen shot of Board's December 7th Zoom meeting

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 1:49 pm

The Board of Education unanimously approved at its regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 7 the half-day blended model for PK-2nd grade students and set a tentative return date to school buildings for those grades on Monday, Jan. 25. 

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.

Board vice president Bob Green also suggested having administration bring forward a timeline for students in grades 3-4 to return to school buildings, which Superintendent Dana Monogue said the District will do. Dr. Ellen Wald, who is the chair of the UW-Madison Pediatrics Department and presented to the School Board on Nov. 16, will do so again and answer questions on Jan. 11. The School Board will review its decision and the local health date on Jan. 11. 

Before the vote, members offered feedback and asked questions for approximately 30 minutes following a presentation by District administrators. 

Monogue reminded members they approved on Nov. 16 having the District move forward with a fully developed half-day blended model for elementary students. She noted the District must follow Public Health Madison Dane County Order #10, which requires 6 feet of physical distance between educators and students and makes it impossible for MCPASD to bring back all elementary students at the same time. 

Deputy Superintendent Sherri Cyra noted that Director of Elementary Education Rainey Briggs, elementary principals, instructional coaches, and others worked on the half-day model and schedule. Cyra shared a sample schedule and noted students will be assigned to a morning or afternoon cohort and be in school buildings on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. When elementary students aren't in school buildings, they will access asynchronous instruction, which will include science, social studies, encore and independent learning. 

Cyra also reviewed the building reopening checklist. She noted principals will review this information with staff and each teacher will review with students. Families will also be reminded about drop-off and pick-up procedures. Each school has also developed its own pandemic planning document. The District updates the plan based on current PHMDC orders and guidelines. The District has guidelines for every area, including how isolation and waiting rooms work. Building leaders then adjust based on the specifics for their school.    Elementary schools will have their planning done before winter break, Cyra said, while middle and high schools are waiting to complete their documents as PHMDC orders may change. 

Health Services coordinator Danielle Krbecek then spent 20 minutes reviewing her departments efforts, including the safety measure that have been established.