Revised safety practices begin June 14th

Revised safety practices begin June 14th
Posted on 05/27/2021
Superintendent Holzman

We are in the final weeks (days) of the school year.  Monday, we celebrate Memorial Day, and I encourage you to take time in your own way to say thank you to all who have and continue to serve our country.


The purpose of this communication is to provide information to families about what safety practices will be in place beginning June 14.  The district will continue to monitor the health and safety of staff, students and the greater Manitowoc community.  We reserve the right to modify district protocols if necessary.  


Will staff be required to wear masks?

No.  Regardless of vaccination status, being inside or outside of district buildings, wearing facial coverings is optional.  Staff who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a facial covering especially when in contact with students.

  • Note:  Staff involved in student sanctioned athletics, must continue to follow WIAA guidelines regarding facial coverings

  • Note:  Staff involved in caring for ill students in our building offices/health rooms will continue to follow use of PPE as directed by your school nurse.  


Will students be required to wear masks?

No. Regardless of vaccination status, being inside or outside of district buildings, wearing a facial covering is optional, but strongly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals. 

  • Note:  Students involved in sanctioned athletics, must continue to follow WIAA guidelines regarding facial coverings

  • Students who become ill with certain symptoms may need to wear a mask while waiting for a parent to pick them up.


Will students be required to wear masks on buses?

No, wearing a facial covering on a bus to and from school is optional, but strongly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals.


Will the MPSD continue to conduct contact tracing?

Yes. Contact tracing will continue for any positive staff or student cases that occur in our buildings. 


Beginning on June 14th, what are the health protocols if a student is ill prior to school or becomes ill during the school day?

If a student is absent from school, we ask the parent/guardian to call the school and report their illness . If they become ill during the school day and are too ill to remain at school, a parent/guardian will be contacted for pick up.  The student may return to school when they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and their symptoms are improved. 


If a parent suspects the illness may be COVID (as defined by the CDC) and decides to obtain a COVID test, the student may not return to school until a negative test is received and reported to school.   If the test is positive, then the parent/guardian should report the result to the school for purposes of contact tracing and length of quarantine period. 


The MPSD will no longer track student symptoms and return to school dates, with the exception of students that test positive for COVID, or are deemed a close contact. The three options for returning to school when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will no longer be used.  


During Summer School or other times when students are in the building, do students need to stay within their cohorts when passing in corridors, playing outside, etc.?

Cohorting is no longer required.  However, with the decrease in other prevention measures, cohorting helps to facilitate more accurate contact tracing and should be considered when possible.   


What are the protocols for elementary recess and use of playground equipment?

Students may use the playground structures and equipment. Continued hand hygiene is recommended.  


Do staff and students need to continue physical distancing?

Physical distancing is not required but is encouraged when feasible.  Physical distancing helps mitigate the spread of COVID along with many other illnesses and should be considered when possible.


What is the expectation for hand hygiene?

Staff and students should continue frequent hand hygiene via washing hands with soap and water and the use of hand sanitizer when hand-washing is not available.  Frequent hand hygiene helps prevent the spread  of many illnesses.


What will be the standard cleaning protocols in buildings?

The district will return to pre-Covid cleaning and disinfecting.  

Exception:  If there is a positive student or staff COVID case enhanced cleaning/disinfection will occur in that room/space prior to staff and students being allowed to return to that area. 


May staff or students share food?

Yes. Including staff and/or students bringing in treats for birthdays or other special events.


Can the building cafeterias be used?

Yes.  Building cafeterias may be used for serving and distributing food.  Students may eat in the cafeteria. Over the summer, meals provided to students/families in the community will all be distributed in a ‘grab n go’ style with no option to eat in the building cafeteria.  


Will there be any health and safety protocols related to band and orchestra?

Yes. 

Strings instruments

  • Hand hygiene is required if sharing


Band Instruments

  • Band instruments with bells will have bell covers

  •  6’ distancing is recommended all facing in the same direction when inside

  • No sharing of instruments that cannot be cleaned between use

  • Hand hygiene is required if sharing


Will there be any health and safety protocols related to students singing?

Yes.  Social distancing is recommended inside or outside whenever possible.  The use of facial coverings is optional.  


What are the protocols for sharable items (books, math manipulatives, instructional materials, playground equipment, board games, etc.,)?

There are no restrictions with the exception of band instruments.  Staff will continue to utilize enhanced hand hygiene when students / staff are sharing items.  


Will visitors be allowed in the building?

Yes.  Visitors should follow pre-Covid visitor protocols including checking in at the office.  


Can staff meet in person with families and students over the summer in MPSD buildings? 

Yes. Staff, students and family members are welcome to meet in our buildings for gatherings. Examples include, but are not limited to, IEP Team Meetings, family engagement events, conferences, PTA Meetings. 


Will outside community organizations be allowed to use our building spaces?  

Yes.  This link provides information on how to request building use.


May staff members go to student homes?

Yes.  Masks are strongly encouraged along with good hand hygiene.  


What will the health protocols look like for the start of the 2021-22 school year?

We are encouraged by the current health of our staff, students and community.  For the 2021-22 school year, we are planning on returning to the health related protocols that we are accustomed to from the past.  We are not planning on requiring students or staff to wear masks when we return to school.  We will continue to utilize hand hygiene and other health strategies to promote an overall healthy school environment.  The District will continue to monitor our community’s health and we reserve the right to make adjustments to our plan when appropriate.


In the MPSD our core values include  Relationships, Compassion, Collaboration, 

Dedication, Integrity and  Inspiration. I am committed to those core values and to having excellent communication with MPSD families. Please reach out to a building administrator or me if you have questions or other input.


Be Well,

Mark Holzman

Superintendent

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