Board receives blended model update

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Superintendent Dana Mongoue, Deputy Superintendent Sherri Cyra, and Assistant Superintendent of Operations Lori Ames provided their regular update on the blended instructional model plan.

Board president Annette Ashley presided over the meeting at the District Services Center, while other Board members participated remotely. The School Board has been meeting virtually since mid-March.

Monogue noted the presentation can be found in the Jan. 25 expanded agenda on the District website. The presentation will also be available on the Meeting Presentations page later this week.

Cyra reviewed the number of students in the Universal and Fully Virtual models. She noted because enrollment is down across the District, class size averages are also lower in each model.

Cyra noted the Fully Virtual numbers are also slightly lower than what was in the Board packet because the Two-Way Immersion students were removed and added to the Sauk Trail Universal section. She reminded members that the Universal model is split into two cohorts so the average class size for in-person instruction will be between 6 and 12 students per cohort.

Ames reviewed the staffing adjustments that needed to be made with 707 students switching to the Fully Virtual model. In all, 64 certified staff changed assignments, with some moving to Fully Virtual, partially virtual or changing positions. In all, 41 certified staff were approved for accommodations, while four staff were approved to take leaves, which has created three vacancies to fill. Among support staff, 13 changed assignments. and three have been approved for a leave or accommodation.  

Monogue noted all MCPASD staff members will be included in Group 1B, which is the next group expected to be vaccinated. The staff who were part of Group 1A have already been offered their first vaccination dosage. The District is also participating in a Rapid Antigen test pilot through UW-Madison with Northside as the pilot site. In all, 40 test kits will be available to test symptomatic students and staff.  

Monogue reviewed the work that has been done to prepare buildings for the return of students. She  noted all buildings have completed a planning guide checklist. Verification walkthroughs have been completed at the elementary schools and will take place in the next week-plus at the secondary schools.  

Ames noted elementary bus routes are being finalized this week. Families will receive information about how to find their child's bus route on Tuesday. Buildings will receive information about routes and seat assignments by Wednesday, she said. Drivers will do test runs this week, with kindergarten students being picked up on Thursday or Friday for orientation, Ames added. All buses will have seat assignments and the plan is for students who get on the bus first to be assigned to the back of the bus.

Monogue noted the consulting firm the District has been using to help review efforts has been working at the middle and high schools and will provide written recommendations in the next week or two. The company will be available to staff once students return to buildings.

"It's been a nice value add, for sure,'' Monogue said.

Board members offered questions and feedback for approximately 15 minutes.