9/24/2021 - Update from the Superintendent

Posted by Madison Communications on 9/24/2021

Madison Parents and Families,

Many have been wondering what Madison plans to do with the impending court ruling regarding the law prohibiting school districts from requiring face coverings. I had hoped to communicate the decision of the court and any changes needed sooner; however, since that has yet to occur, below you will find two different scenarios and how Madison will respond.

SCENARIO 1- Judge Rules in Favor of the State- Prohibiting Mask Requirement Goes into Effect September 29, 2021

Madison will comply with State law and alter the current mask requirement. Under this scenario, we will no longer require face coverings for students or staff. However, we will continue to require face coverings for anyone who is not a student or employee. This includes parents, families, visitors and volunteers. The law only prohibits face covering requirements for students and staff. 

In order to limit disruption to your child’s learning, I ask that parents consider the following:

  1. Reduce the Likelihood of Needing to Quarantine Your Child- Masks
    Per the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, “a student who was within 3-6 feet of an infected student is not considered a close contact if both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks at all times.” In this situation, only the student who is infected needs to quarantine. Please have your child wear a mask.
  2. Reduce the Likelihood of Needing to Quarantine Your Child- Vaccine
    Per CDC, ADHS, and MCDPH, “…all close contacts who have been fully vaccinated (starting 2 weeks after the final COVID-19 vaccine dose) do not need to quarantine if they do not have any symptoms.” We respect each family’s right to make health decisions for their children. If skeptical or undecided about vaccinating your child against COVID when he/she is eligible, please consult your family physician.
  3. Consider Others Who Are Immunocompromised
    There are students and staff who are at risk if they become infected with COVID. Personal mitigation efforts will help to protect members of our Madison family, students and staff alike, who rely on others for their safety.

SCENARIO 2- Judge Rules in Favor of the Plaintiffs- Strikes Down Law Forbidding Mask Requirement or Issues an Injunction

Madison will extend the mask requirement currently in place for students and staff unless the court rules otherwise.

Additional Mitigation Efforts

In coordination with each school’s PTO, Madison is in the process of purchasing additional air purifiers to ensure every classroom is equipped with this additional protection. Many of our PTO’s have already donated purifiers and, working together, we hope to accomplish this task ASAP.

As temperatures begin to cool, many of our schools will transition students to be able to eat outdoors. This will allow for students to spread out further to mitigate the spread of the virus during meals. 

Required Quarantines

I understand the disruptions that come with quarantines. To be clear, in Arizona, local public health jurisdictions have the delegated authority to determine which contacts of a COVID-19 case must quarantine. This is outlined in the Arizona Revised Statutes [Title 36, Chapter 6, Article 2 (36-624)] and Arizona Administrative Code [Title 9, Chapter 6 (R9-6-361)]. The full text of both are included at the bottom of this communication. As government entities, schools are obligated to uphold public health quarantine on school grounds. As with any court ruling regarding facing coverings, Madison will adhere to State law.

Update to the Mitigation Plan

We have gone through many changes and adaptations to our Mitigation Plan and a new update will be posted on our website by next week that will contain information outlined in this communication.

I trust that you recognize our teachers, support staff, administration and the Governing Board are working hard to ensure your child has the best possible education while attempting to keep everyone safe. Like you, we do have pandemic fatigue and desire for life to return to normal.

My hope is that we can continue to be respectful and responsible without causing any stress on those who care for students. I believe that there is a lot of kindness within our Madison community and I ask that we do our best to practice that kindness even if we disagree. As a community, we will get through this together. Your patience, compassion, grace and understanding are deeply appreciated!

Respectfully,

Dr. Kenneth R. Baca
Superintendent 


Arizona Revised Statutes [Title 36, Chapter 6, Article 2 (36-624)] and Arizona Administrative Code [Title 9, Chapter 6 (R9-6-361)]

36-624. Quarantine and sanitary measures to prevent contagion

When a county health department or public health services district is apprised that infectious or contagious disease exists within its jurisdiction, it shall immediately make an investigation. If the investigation discloses that the disease does exist, the county health department or public health services district may adopt quarantine and sanitary measures consistent with department rules and sections 36-788 and 36-789 to prevent the spread of the disease. The county health department or public health services district shall immediately notify the department of health services of the existence and nature of the disease and measures taken concerning it.


R9-6-361. Novel Coronavirus (e.g., SARS or MERS)

A. Case control measures:

  1. A diagnosing health care provider or an administrator of a health care institution, either personally or through a representative, shall isolate and institute both airborne precautions and contact precautions for a novel coronavirus case or suspect case, including a case or suspect case of severe acute respiratory syndrome or Middle East respiratory syndrome, until evaluated and determined to be noninfectious by a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse practitioner.

  2. A local health agency shall:

    a. Upon receiving a report under R9-6-202 of a novel coronavirus case or suspect case, notify the Department within 24 hours after receiving the report and provide to the Department the information contained in the report;

    b. In consultation with the Department, ensure that isolation and both airborne precautions and contact precautions have been instituted for a novel coronavirus case or suspect case to prevent transmission;

    c. Conduct an epidemiologic investigation of each reported novel coronavirus case or suspect case; and

    d. For each novel coronavirus case, submit to the Department, as specified in Table 2.4, the information required under R9-6-206(D).

B. Contact control measures: A local health agency, in consultation with the Department, shall determine which novel coronavirus contacts will be quarantined or excluded, according to R9-6-303, to prevent transmission.