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