COVID-19 Information & Updates

  • Important Update: Face Coverings on Buses 3/25/2022

    Posted by Madison Communications on 3/25/2022

    Hello Madison Families,

    As a family who participates in transportation services provided by the Madison School District, we wanted to inform you of a change to the District Mitigation Plan.The CDC no longer requires the wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems. To read the updated guidelines, click here.

    To view the updated District Mitigation plan, click here.

    Madison School District continues to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. This change aligns with the updated guidance provided by the CDC addressing K-12 classrooms. While masking is optional, it is strongly encouraged.

    Thank you for your continued support,

    Madison School District 

    Comments (-1)
  • 2/23/2022 - Mitigation Plan Face Covering Update

    Posted by Madison Communications on 2/23/2022

    Madison Parents and Families,

    We have been through a great deal in the past 2 years. Through it all, students, staff, families and the Madison community have demonstrated resilience, patience and understanding. I am grateful to all who have remained engaged and who are determined when advocating for their children.

    As we have done throughout this pandemic, Madison continues to not rush into decisions, never wanting to modify our mitigation efforts without careful thought and planning. The decisions that have been made have not been made because they are popular or supported by everyone. They have been made in the best interest of students and staff using data provided to us by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Health, as well as data that we collect (some of the data follows this message). Decisions have also been made to ensure learning can take place in-person with minimal interruption while offering families a virtual option.

    After consulting with the MCDPH, the Governing Board, site administration and staff, looking at multiple data points, including vaccination rates within the Madison community, we will be updating our mitigation plan to have face coverings optional, but strongly encouraged, the day we return from Spring Break. Face coverings will still be required: 1) on school busses, per order of the CDC and TSA; 2) for individuals participating in the Masked Test-to-Stay program; and 3) the five days following a return to school after a positive test, per the MCDPH isolation requirements.

    Waiting until after Spring Break allows families the option of transferring to MVA and allows unvaccinated individuals time to consult with their medical provider regarding the available COVID vaccines. This decision also keeps in mind what we have learned about face coverings protecting not only others, but also the individual who is wearing a mask.

    In addition, it is important to keep the social and emotional wellness of all in mind. For some of our students, they fear what will happen when other are not wearing face coverings. The next two weeks provides staff and parents the opportunity to discuss this major change with students so that fears can be eased. I am also asking that our teachers and staff discuss the importance of respecting individual choices and not teasing, harassing or intimidating anyone because of their choice to, or not to, wear a face mask. I ask that our families do the same.

    For those who believe we should continue with the current requirement through the end of the school year, teachers and staff need this next quarter to help reassure their students so that they do not have to worry or be anxious through the summer. It is better to work out any issues with this change now rather than at the beginning of next school year. For those who want this change to happen immediately, I ask for your continued patience so that we do transition in a responsible manner as we continue other mitigation efforts outlined in our plan

    While we are not through with challenges that are before us, there comes a time for us to transition into the next phase of this pandemic as we make every effort to address the academic, social and emotional needs of our students. Whatever our point of view might be, we still are in this together. I ask for respect, grace and kindness. That is who we are and that is what we want to model for our children.

    May we keep in mind the secrets of childhood. To laugh often. To love unconditionally. To be bold believing that anything is possible. And to trust that a better tomorrow is before us.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Kenneth R. Baca
    SuperintendentCOVID Case and Vaccination Rate data

    Comments (-1)
  • 2/14/2022 Q4 Learning Sign-Up

    Posted by Madison Communications on 2/14/2022

    Hello Madison Families,

    As the District prepares for the fourth quarter, families will need to decide if their student(s) will attend school in-person or learn online through the end of the fourth quarter (May 25, 2022).

    The deadline to enroll in the K-1-2 remote learning option, MVA (grades 3-8), or switch back to in-person learning is Friday, March 4 at 5:00 p.m.

    Please note that you are making a selection for your child to attend in-person or online for the entire fourth quarter (through May 25, 2022). You will not be able to change your selection during the fourth quarter.

    If your child attends in-person or online and will continue with their current learning option, you do not need to fill out the form.  

    This form is only for families wanting to change their current learning option (in-person or online).

    To access the Q4 Learning Sign-Up Form, please log into your child’s PowerSchool account.

    From there, you will be able to make your selection (e.g., online to in-person, in-person to online).

    Currently Enrolled Students

    Click on “Families” from the top ribbon and select “PowerSchool”:

     Step 1

    Once logged in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal, click on Forms from the left-hand menu:

    Step 2

    On the Forms page, click on Q4: Student Transfer Request.

     Step 3

    Next, complete the form and click Submit when complete.  You will receive a confirmation that the form has been submitted.

    Step 4

     Step 5

    Thank you,

    Madison School District

    Comments (-1)
  • 2/11/2022 Important Information Aggregate Expenditure Limit and Mitigation Plan

    Posted by Madison Communications on 2/11/2022

    Madison Parents and Families,

    Many are aware of the upcoming deadline for the legislature to act on the aggregate expenditure limit and its impact on school funding if no action is taken.

    Madison is set to have just over a $6.6M cut in its budget if nothing is done by March 1. While other districts may have to take drastic measures immediately, such as shortening their school year, laying off staff and/or cutting employee salaries, Madison will NOT have to take these measures at this time. Because we have enough funds in reserves, we will be able to continue to operate normally for this school year.

    However, we will go into next school year with $0 in reserves and we will still need to cut $6.6M from our budget. As such, this will impact class sizes, teacher and staff salaries, the purchase of classroom supplies and instructional materials, and the number of days schools are open.

    We hope the legislature will act so that student learning is not disrupted. You can find additional information regarding this issue below.

    Finally, we have been planning to modify our current face covering requirement now that COVID cases are declining and there is no indication of a new variant of concern. We are in regular communication with the MCDPH regarding this issue. It is not a matter of IF we will make face coverings optional this school year; it is a matter of WHEN we will do this. Transitioning to an optional requirement will be done in a responsible and prudent manner. You can expect additional communication by either next week or the following week.

    We ask for your continued patience and understanding with this matter. We understand the various views of our diverse community and will do what is best for the students we teach and the staff we employ. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

    Aggregate Expenditure Limit Q&A*

    Why are schools exceeding the expenditure limit this year?

    For a few reasons:

    • The expenditure limit fluctuates based on school attendance from the prior school year and inflation.
    • School attendance decreased last year because of the pandemic, which has reduced the limit this year.
    • Funding for cuts to district additional assistance have been restored and funds for teacher pay have increased.
    • Prop 301 was extended by the legislature but its exemption from the aggregate expenditure limit was not continued. Now that more than $600 million per year counts towards the limit, the constitution would need to be amended to address this issue.
    • Other money has been added to K-12 funding over recent years, including results-based funding and for school facilities.

    Isn’t there Prop 208 funding in school budgets this school year (2021-22) that will help?

    No. The JLBC has confirmed that since Prop 208 is still being litigated, there is no funding from Prop 208 in school budgets. If Prop 208 is found to be constitutional, the soonest the funding would be in school budgets is in 2023.

    Can any potential budget cuts be offset with other funding that districts already have (e.g. a cash balance or ESSER funding)?

    No, the federal COVID relief funding (ESSER) has a specific use related to the pandemic. It cannot be used to support general operations of a school district. Also, the funds are given to schools as a reimbursable grant. Schools expend the funds, then ask for reimbursement.

    Is this an issue of schools overspending or not staying within their budgets?

    No. Schools were allocated this funding by the legislature in the current FY22 state budget. Schools worked with their governing boards to create budgets and are required to stay within those budgets. These budgets are within the limits set by the state legislature.

    The aggregate expenditure limit is a different issue. It is a cap that is calculated by totaling up all of the funding spent by all school districts as a whole. The cap fluctuates each year based on enrollment and inflation, but sets a ceiling that schools can’t exceed without permission.

    What is ADE’s role? What is the role of school districts?

    ADE calculates how much districts spend as a whole towards the aggregate expenditure limit. School districts set their own budgets and would determine any necessary cuts should the cap not be addressed.

    How is the limit calculated?

    The aggregate expenditure limit was set in 1980 and adjusts each year based on school attendance from the prior school year and inflation. 

    Can schools exceed the limit?

    Yes, schools can exceed the limit with a two-thirds vote of the legislature.

    Has the legislature allowed schools to exceed the limit before?

    Yes, most recently in 2007 and 2008.

    If the aggregate expenditure limit is not addressed and schools can’t spend the $1.1B already allocated to them, what happens to that funding?

    The funding has already been allocated to schools. The funds will sit on the books until they are allowed to spend it.

    If the legislature does not act, what happens?

    School districts will have to cut $1.1B from this year’s school budgets. Some examples of how the cuts could play out include teachers and staff being furloughed, classes could be combined, the school week could be shortened, access to electives or other programs could be cut or reduced, or schools could close down in April and May this school year. Again, for this school year, Madison will not have to do any of the above but may have to for next school year.

    What is the deadline?

    The legislature’s action is needed by March 1.

    If the spending limit is not addressed, when would schools have to implement the budget cuts?

    The cuts would begin implementation on April 1.

    *Information compiled from various sources.

    Thank you,

    Madison School District

    Comments (-1)
  • 1/28/2022 Suspending Weekly Batch Testing

    Posted by Madison Communications on 1/28/2022

    Madison Families,

    The increase in COVID-19 cases across the state has resulted in additional demand for testing, creating a delay in receiving our batch test results. Unfortunately, because of this delay, we cannot effectively contact trace and mitigate exposure through batch testing. Therefore, we will be suspending the optional weekly batch testing program until further notice. This only applies to the batch testing program, which takes place on Tuesdays. We will continue to follow our District Mitigation Plan, which includes mitigation measures such as our Mask Test-To-Stay Program. To view the District Mitigation plan, visit www.madisonaz.org/Page/458. 

    Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms and keep your child home if they are sick. 

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, 

    Madison School District

    Comments (-1)
  • 1/11/2022 Important COVID-19 Updates Regarding Testing, Communication, Etc.

    Posted by Madison Communications on 1/11/2022

    Hello Madison Families,

    Please review the important COVID-19 updates below regarding rapid testing, communication changes, classroom coverage, bus routes, and face coverings. Thank you.

    Rapid Tests

    • There are limited rapid tests available. We had enough tests to last a month when we returned from Winter Break. However, the State cannot fill our usual order and with the dramatic rise in demand, we are set to run out of tests by Thursday, if not sooner.
    • We have found a vendor that can provide us with a two-week supply. However, we are not sure when that shipment will arrive.
    • The District may have to suspend the Mask Test-to-Stay program if we do not secure additional tests.
    • This could mean staff and students may have to quarantine at home if they cannot be tested.
      • Reminder: the Maricopa County Department of Public Health has shortened the number of days needed to quarantine to 5 days.
    • This also means we may not have rapid tests available for individuals participating in our weekly batch testing program.

    COVID-19 Communication Updates

    • We are suspending the contact and general notices that we normally send out due to a large increase in case numbers and a high volume of emails being sent to families.
    • You will still be notified if your child has been directly exposed and needs to quarantine or participate in the Mask Test-to-Stay program.
      • You can monitor updated case numbers on the District website here: www.madisonaz.org/Page/514

    Classroom Coverage

    • We are doing all that we can to avoid combining classrooms.
    • Each school is unique and may address substitute availability and shortages differently.
    • Some elementary schools are canceling specials in order to utilize special area teachers to cover classrooms.

    Bus Routes

    • We are experiencing bus driver absences due to illness.
    • Some routes have already been delayed but not canceled.
    • We are doing all that we can to minimize disruption to transportation.

    Face Coverings

    • The CDC may update their face covering recommendations to protect against the Omicron variant.
    • It will be vital to have your students wear the proper face covering to reduce the spread of the virus in school.

    Thank you,

    Madison School District

    Comments (-1)
  • 1/7/2022 Updated Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

    Posted by Madison Communications on 1/7/2022

    Good morning Madison Families,

    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) recently updated their COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance.  

    Under the new guidance, students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 5 full days and can return to school after 5 days as long as they are fever free for 24 hours, have improved symptoms and wear a mask.  

    *Students and staff must wear a mask in order to return to school after 5 days.*

    Students who are exposed to COVID-19 and do not participate in the Masked-Test-to-Stay Program will be asked to quarantine for 5 days and wear a mask for an additional 5 days.

    You can read the updated CDC guidelines here.

    Our District and school Mitigation Plans have been updated to align with the new guidance provided by the CDC and MCDPH.  

    Visit www.madisonaz.org/Page/458 to access the updated Mitigation Plans.

    Additionally, the CDC now recommends that adolescents age 12 to 17 years old receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. For more information, click here.

    For a list of upcoming vaccination events, visit www.madisonaz.org/Page/274.

    Thank you,

    Madison School District 

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 1/3/2022 Update from the Superintendent

    Posted by Madison Communications on 1/3/2022

    Madison Parents and Families,

    Happy New Year. I hope you had a joyous holiday with your loved ones.

    When we left for Winter Break, we could not have anticipated the extent to which the pandemic would potentially impact us nor did we anticipate any major changes to the CDC guidelines. As we have heard about the disruptions that have taken place in the airline industry and with various events throughout the world of sports, education systems must also prepare for possible disruptions in the coming weeks.

    I wish to reassure you that Madison schools will be prepared to respond to interruptions that may cause a challenge in our ability to operate the District. Our planning DOES NOT include returning the entire district to remote or hybrid learning. However, it does mean that we will have to plan for classrooms that are not covered, bus routes that may be delayed or canceled and food services that may have challenges serving meals—all due to staff illness. We may need to use non-school personnel to cover classrooms and other areas essential to operating schools, including the use of parent volunteers. At this time, we just do not know if/when this might happen. We will do all that we can to limit any disruptions to you and your children.

    While we plan to implement the Mask Test-to-Stay program, the current demand for at-home COVID tests has caused a shortage. While we will continue to obtain a supply of tests from the MCDPH, we also must be prepared if there is a disruption with at-home test availability. If you have not already, you may wish to consider having your child participate in the District’s Batch Testing program that takes place each Tuesday. This can possibly count as one of the tests for this program. Batch testing also allows us to identify anyone infected early on so that we can mitigate the spread of the virus. 

    Regarding the CDC’s current recommendation for isolating COVID positive individuals, we are working with the MCDPH to see how they will adjust their quarantine mandates in order to align with the CDC. As a reminder, it is the MCDPH that quarantines individuals, not the District. I ask for your patience as we maneuver through this with the County.

    Following Madison’s Mitigation Plan is more important than ever. For parents who did not have children opt out of the mask requirement, please remind them of the importance of wearing their face coverings consistently and correctly. As a reminder, here is what is recommended by the CDC regarding the type of face coverings that should be worn:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

    I understand our desire to return to what used to be. The lingering pandemic will continue to challenge us individually and collectively. With a new year, my hope is that we can work together to limit any disruption to your child’s education while doing all that we can to keep them physically, socially and emotionally safe. Your cooperation and understanding are greatly appreciated.

    Dr. Kenneth R. Baca,

    Superintendent

    Comments (-1)
  • 12/15/2021 - Upcoming Mitigation Plan Changes

    Posted by Madison Communications on 12/15/2021

    Madison Parents and Families,

    As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, I wish to thank you for your continued patience and understanding. I know how difficult this has been on our students, families and community. 

    I want to brief you on two major updates that will be made to our Mitigation Plan once we return from Winter Break.

    PARENT VOLUNTEERS

    Beginning January 3, we will welcome parents who wish to volunteer back on campus. Our volunteers will need to wear masks but will be allowed to assist our schools. I know that our teachers are especially excited to welcome you back and appreciate all of your assistance. 

    QUARANTINES: MASKED TEST-TO-STAY PROGRAM

    Madison has been working closely with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health on a Masked Test-to-Stay Pilot Program. This pilot mirrors many of the programs being implemented in other cities, counties and states. We recognize that student at-home quarantines need to be minimized yet managed safely. For the academic and social/emotional well-being of students, they need to be in school.

    While the final results are not expected until later this month or early January, based on the preliminary results of our pilot, we will be expanding this program to all schools upon our return from Winter Break (January 3). Here is what this means.

    1. If a masked student is exposed to a masked or unmasked individual with COVID they will be able to stay in school during the 10-day quarantine period under the following conditions:
      • Fully Vaccinated: remain asymptomatic and wear a mask throughout the quarantine period.
      • Have Tested Positive for COVID Within the Past 90 Days: remain asymptomatic and wear a mask throughout the quarantine period.
      • Unvaccinated and Have Not Opted Out of the Mask Requirement: Obtain parent consent to participate in the program, continue to wear a mask, Remain Asymptomatic, test negative as soon as the exposure is identified, test negative on days 5 and 7 of the quarantine period.
    2. If a student has an existing mask opt-out in place, they can still participate in the program but must:
      • Obtain parent consent to participate.
      • Wear a mask throughout the quarantine period.
      • Remain asymptomatic.
      • Test negative each day of the quarantine period.
    3. Students who do not participate in the program, or who violate the parameters of the program, will quarantine at-home.

    The Mitigation Plan will be updated and posted to our website on January 3, 2022.

    On behalf of our Governing Board and employees, thank you for choosing Madison. I hope that the season of Christmas, Hanukkah and each holiday celebrated brings joy and good health. May each of us find peace within our heart and family, and peace throughout our Madison community, nation and world.  Have a safe and restful Winter Break!

     

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Kenneth R. Baca
    Superintendent  

    Comments (-1)
  • 12/2/2021 - Important Reminders

    Posted by Madison Communications on 12/2/2021

    Hello Madison Families,

    Please see the information below regarding Quarter 3 (Q3) Learning Sign-Up and upcoming vaccination events.

    Q3 Learning Sign-Up

    The deadline to enroll in the K-1-2 remote learning option, MVA (grades 3-8), or switch back to in-person learning is this Friday, December 3 at 5:00 p.m. Families will need to decide if their student(s) will attend school in-person or learn online through the end of the third quarter (March 11, 2022).

    Students will be able to transition back to in-person learning or to online learning on a quarterly basis.

    If your child attends in-person or online and will continue with their current learning option, you do not need to fill out the form.

    This form is only for families wanting to change their current learning option (in-person or online).

    To access the Q3 Online Learning Form, please log into your child’s PowerSchool account.

    From there, you will be able to make your selection (e.g., online to in-person, in-person to online).

    Vaccination Events

    The Madison School District, in partnership with Phoenix Union, Albertsons Pharmacies and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, will be hosting a FREE vaccination event this Saturday, December 4. This event is open to the public and will provide COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5+ as well as adults.

    Saturday, December 4

    9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    Madison No. 1 Middle School
    5525 N. 16th Street Phoenix, AZ 85016
    No appointment necessary.
    (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson + Boosters available for adults)

    Please visit www.PXU.org/BeHealthy to fill out a consent form prior to the event. To access information regarding free transportation, please call (602) 764-1500.

    In partnership with Native Health, Madison will host an additional vaccine event on Wednesday, December 8.

    Wednesday, December 8

    (Pfizer vaccine offered for children ages 5+ and adults)
    2:00-6:00 p.m.
    Madison Center for the Arts
    5601 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016
    No appointment necessary.

     

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