MMSD releases preliminary plans for fall instruction

A Madison Metropolitan School District sign
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MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Metropolitan School District has released its preliminary plans for reopening schools this fall in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release, MMSD has prepared three options for the 2020-2021 school year: an all virtual learning, all in-person learning and hybrid model that blends the two together.

The news comes days after the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released Education Forward, which contains guidelines for a safe return to schools in the fall.

“The health and safety of our students has been the cornerstone of our plan development for the fall,” said Interim Superintendent, Jane Belmore. “With guidance, information and research around COVID-19 evolving very rapidly, the district’s approach to the reopening of schools will need to be flexible, nimble and with a plan that positions the district in an optimal state of readiness.”

If the hybrid model is used, the following would be implemented:

  • Students divided into two cohorts.
  • Cohort A would learn in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and would learn virtually on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Cohort B would learn in-person on Thursdays and Fridays and would learn virtually on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • In addition to virtual learning for students, Wednesdays would be used for virtual teacher professional development and planning as well as deep cleaning of the schools between cohorts.
  • Also exploring an all-virtual learning opportunity for students who may not be able to be in-person until conditions change or a vaccination is developed.

The school district discussed the possibility of a hybrid model earlier this week but did not release the detailed plans until Friday.

MMSD said it formed its plans by presenting different hybrid options to focus groups made up of students, staff and families. The district will continue to collect more feedback in the coming weeks using a questionnaire.

“We know there are many details yet to be worked out for the hybrid model, with childcare and transportation among them,” Belmore said. “We continue to be grateful for our community’s grace and understanding, and we thank our school community for their partnership and important feedback.”