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