11/12/2020 - Update from the Superintendent

Posted by Madison Communications on 11/12/2020

Madison Families,

I hope everyone had a safe Veterans Day. I know you share my gratitude for those who have served, and who are serving, our great nation.

This past Tuesday, the Governing Board met to discuss the current COVID-19 data dashboards and the impact the increase in COVID-19 cases has on our current hybrid teaching and learning model. While the Board is concerned for the health and welfare of our students, teachers and staff, they also recognize the need for students to learn in-person while providing families the option to have their children learn from home. They also recognize the tremendous stress and time limitations experienced by our teachers in having to teach concurrently to the in-person students and the students from home.

While no decision was made, the Governing Board will meet on Tuesday, November 17, to discuss this further and will have additional COVID-19 metric information (released today) to help guide their decision(s). The Board has instructed me to present information for how to improve our current hybrid delivery model along with possible options to move from our current 5-day learning model to a 4-day model with the fifth day of from home independent (asynchronous) student learning.

A few benefits for this idea are to:

  1. reduce the number of days of possible COVID-19 exposure for all individuals attending in-person;
  2. reduce the amount of screen time for our online learners;
  3. provide more teacher preparation time to improve concurrent instruction;
  4. provide one day for students to complete and/or make up their work, relieving the pressures many students feel; and
  5. provide time for staff to meet one-on-one with students who are struggling academically, socially and emotionally.

I know that if the Board moves in this direction, it will have an impact on our families. I promise to do all that we can to alleviate this burden. Also keep in mind, this would not be permanent, but only until the virus is under control.

I implore us all to take this virus seriously both in school and out of school. Dr. Christ and State Superintendent Hoffman have emphasized the need to keep schools open. They recognize that for this to happen, we need the cooperation of our families to not have social gatherings, sleep overs, etc. where COVID-19 can be spread. They ask us all to limit our holidays to household members only during this surge of the virus. If we all want our schools to remain open and avoid having to return to at home learning, we all need to do our part, not forever, but throughout this pandemic.

If we are to remain open, I ask that you review the District’s School Opening Plan (mitigation plan) and adhere to mitigation strategies as many parts of the plan apply outside of school as well (wearing masks, washing hands frequently, 6 ft. or more physical distance, etc.). Please keep your children home when they are not feeling well and you must inform your principal if your child or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.

We remain committed to providing a high-quality educational experience for all students. We thank you for your continued support and ask for your continued cooperation.

Respectfully,
Dr. Kenneth R. Baca