Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 7:52 am 

The Board of Education held a listening session with staff from Glacier Creek and Kromrey for approximately 45 minutes before their regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.

More than 50 people participated in the virtual session. 

In other news from Monday's meeting:   * The Board tabled the discussion about grades 3-4 returning to school buildings.  

* The Board unanimously approved temporary COVID-related leave. The proposal had been presented at the meeting on Dec. 7.   Assistant Superintendent of Operations Lori Ames noted the District brought plan provides up to 80 hours of leave and covers wages while for staff in isolation or quarantine. She noted it encourages all staff members if exposed or who test positive to share the information with the District because it won't result in an unpaid status while away. She also reminded the Board that some staff may feel well enough to work remotely but there are employees who have duties where that isn't an option.  

* The Board unanimously approved a special meeting on Dec. 21. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

* As part of the superintedent's report, Dana Monogue noted she had planned to address questions the District has been hearing from families about the elementary instructional model timeline and noted families have been reminded everyone needs to be flexible. However, Public Health Madison Dane County sent updated guidance around 4 p.m. today, which will result in the District reviewing plans and adjusting accordingly. 

Monogue noted the new guidance removes metrics used to open schools and instead recommends districts have mitigation and safety protocols along with contract tracing in place in determining when or if to open schools. A team of administrators will meet on Tuesday afternoon to determine next steps and a plan will be shared with the School Board on Dec. 21.

Monogue also noted the Dec. 14 meeting was supposed to include a discussion about grades 3-4 returning to school buildings on Jan. 25. and that Dr. Ellen Wald and Dr. Sabrina Butteris were available to answer questions and offer feedback. However, Monogue suggested the discussion be tabled so her team can bring forward a plan for all grades on Dec. 21. Monogue also noted the District will need to discuss the 2-1-2 model and a timeline for implementation and reminded the members a half-day model won't work at the secondary level.  

Members asked if the District needs more than one week to bring forward a model recommendation and Monogue noted she will know more after Tuesday's meeting. Members also asked if it might be possible to bring back elementary students four days a week, but Monogue noted guidance still indicates schools must continue to provide 6 feet of physical distancing and that the vast majority of school classrooms are not big enough to likely accommodate that.

* Board president Annette Ashley said approximately 20 letters from residents were received. She noted letters haven't been read since virtual meetings begin in March but will be posted on the District website's Community Announcements page once personally identifiable information is redacted. She identified who submitted the communication and briefly summarized what each letter included.