High Schools, Middle Schools, Elementary Schools:
Madison Metropolitan School District, in compliance with CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Students are required to wear cloth masks during outdoor activities on school grounds, but when eating and drinking. Students and staff must cloth wear masks, however, while on buses regardless of vaccination status.
Additional key practices and recommendations include:
- Maintaining a minimum three feet of physical distancing (when possible) for all individuals
- Scheduled cleaning of district buildings throughout the day
- Following practices of proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette and monitoring symptoms
- Recognizing that some special education functions necessitate faces to be visible during instruction, Student Services will supply clear face masks and face shields with masks to staff or students who need them.
- Practice washing masks after each use. After taking off cloth masks, store in breathable paper bags. Do not store in plastic bags.
- MMSD school nurses will collaborate with Public Health Madison & Dane County to provide contact tracing within schools for MMSD employees and students, following the PHMDC’s Action Plan for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in a Dane County school.
- Every morning families and staff will receive an email prompting them to monitor their/their child’s symptoms. Students or staff who have any symptoms of illness will be directed to stay home. (Any symptom alone, such as a runny nose or congestion, may be an indication of COVID-19. It is important to stay home to avoid spreading illness to others. Those showing symptoms of illness at school will be sent home.)
“Together, we have made great progress, nevertheless now is not a time for complacency,” MMSD Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said. “We must continue to be diligent in following the guidance of health experts and practicing safety protocols in order to provide safe, healthy in-person learning environments.”
Students, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks inside Verona Area School District and Sun Prairie schools, along with school buses during the 2021-22 school year.
Masks will be required for all regardless of vaccination status, and the Verona is strongly encouraging families of eligible students and staff who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as quickly as possible.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison requires all students, employees and visitors to campus to wear masks when inside campus buildings. This went into effect on Aug. 5. Fall semester instruction begins, Wednesday, Sept. 8.
- Residence halls: Masks may be removed inside your own room when only you and roommates are present but should be worn in all common spaces
- Work spaces: Masks may be removed if you are working alone inside an office or lab with the door closed
- Meals: Masks may be removed while actively eating and drinking but should be promptly put back on when finished
- Outdoor spaces: Masks are not required, but may be worn if you wish, on the Terrace and other outdoor spaces adjacent to buildings
- Vehicles: Masks should continue to be worn on Madison Metro buses and should be worn in campus vehicles when two or more people are present
“Going back to masking is not a step that many of us wanted to take, but it is important to protect the health of those on our campus and in our community,” an Aug. 3 university press release reads.
Edgewood College requiring masks indoors for students, staff, faculty and visitors. The fall semester begins Aug. 18.
“While we have heeded the specific guidance of our public health professionals from the first days of the pandemic, we have also made decisions that are best for the community of Edgewood College,” Heather Harbach, vice president for Student Development/Dean of Students, said in a press release. “We take this step to keep all of our communities moving in the right direction to slow the spread.”
The mask requirement on campus remains in effect until it is no longer needed, Harbach added.
Madison College’s indoor mask requirement resumed in compliance with recommendations from the CDC, which push all Americans, regardless of vaccine status, should wear a mask indoors to prevent Delta transmission.
“Madison College’s face covering requirement will be in place until further notice, pending continued monitoring of health and safety conditions. At this time, no other previous protocols are being reinstated, such as door screeners nor the health screening requirement to enter buildings,” Madison College President Jack E. Daniels III said in a news release.
Fall semester starts Aug. 30. Please follow these face covering guidelines:
- Face covering means a piece of cloth or other material that is worn to cover the nose and mouth completely.
- A face covering must be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head and must fit snuggly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Cloth face coverings must be made with two or more layers of breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
- A face covering does not include bandanas, single layer neck gaiters, face shields, goggles, scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, shirt or sweater collars pulled up over the mouth and nose, or masks with slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.
Physical distancing recommended
- Physical distancing of 6 feet or more while on campus is recommended, but it is no longer required.
- Signage indicating physical distances, elevator practices and room capacities will remain to assist those choosing to follow the recommendation.
Marquette University is enforcing a campus protocol requiring all students (undergraduate, graduate, professional) who will be attending classes during the 2021-22 academic year must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 1.
The university said the majority of faculty and staff have voluntarily submitted their proof of vaccination, and there will be incentives and giveaways throughout the month for faculty and staff who submit or have submitted their proof of vaccination, according to the BizTimes. Regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, the university is strongly recommending everyone wear masks indoors.
“Scientific evidence has shown that vaccines are safe and effective at reducing transmission of the virus,” said Marquette President Dr. Michael R. Lovell. “A vaccinated student population will allow us to provide you with a richer in-person experience, reduce testing and let you interact more freely across campus.”
Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 30.
20 Questions to Ask Before Sending Your Kids Back to School
Courtesy of Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The risks to students from school closures, including “virtual dropouts”, lack of food security, safety, and adverse impacts on social, physical and mental health, must be weighed against risks from being back in school. The scientific evidence to date about COVID-19 tells us that kids are:
- less likely to get infected than adults
- less likely to suffer severe effects if infected
- less likely to transmit to others (particularly true of those aged 0-9 years old)
There is no such thing as “zero risk” in anything we do, and certainly not during a pandemic. There will be some risk to students, teachers, staff, and families. As such, it is important to reduce these risks to the extent possible.
Returning to school should not be “school as usual.” While we offer some insight into the responses you might receive, and expect, each school’s response will be different because there is no “one size fits all” plan for COVID-19.
We prepared the following set of questions as a guide for parents, teachers and school staff who may not be sure what to ask or look for at their school.
- Are the number of cases in the area low enough for schools to reopen?
- When and how will masks be required and how will the school support mask use?
- Will hand washing stations or hand sanitizer be available throughout the school and when will children be required to wash their hands?
- When and how will physical distancing be maintained throughout the school day?
- Will outdoor air supply rates (ventilation) be increased in school buildings, including classrooms, and how will the school verify that ventilation is adequate?
- Does the ventilation system use a filter with a rating of MERV 13 or higher for the air going into classrooms and has it been inspected or replaced recently?
- Will portable air cleaners with HEPA filters be used in classrooms and other relevant spaces in the school?
- Will any physical barriers (e.g., plexiglass) be installed in the school?
- Will de-densification strategies, like staggered arrival and dismissal times, be implemented?
- Will the school consider using alternative classroom and lunchroom spaces?
- How will the school limit the amount of shared surfaces and what is the plan for regularly disinfecting surfaces throughout the entire school?
- How will transportation to and from school change when school reopens?
- Who is the “point person” or person in charge of the COVID-19 response team/plan and how will they communicate changes in school policy to parents/students?
- What guidance for contact tracing, testing, and quarantine/isolation is in place in the event that my child’s teacher or another student in the class contracts COVID-19?
- How will parents, students, and staff be educated about symptoms and will temperature or other health checks be done on students, staff and teachers every day?
- If a teacher or student has to stay home, what strategies are in place to support remote work or learning and make sure students don’t fall behind in their schoolwork?
- What other policy changes are being considered to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk?
- What precautions will there be during physical education, indoor choir, band, or theater to make these activities more safe?
- Will recess be modified when schools reopen?
- Will students be allowed to participate in sports?
Disclaimer: This document is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to offer guidance regarding questions about best practices regarding the general operations of buildings in an effort to reduce the risk of disease transmission, specifically novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19.
The document is in no way intended to override or supersede guidance from government and health organizations, including, without limitation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the United States Government, and or any states.