MMSD to require masks for everyone indoors and on buses to start school year

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Metropolitan School District has released its COVID-19 safety plan for the beginning of the academic school year.

A news release Thursday said masks will be required inside buildings but will not be necessary for outdoor activities. The plan was formed with the help of local and state health experts and in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Key practices from the plan include the following:

  • Masks will be required for students and staff while inside school buildings and on buses
  • No masks required during outdoor activities or while eating or drinking
  • 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

“During in-person learning last spring, we followed the science (and the guidance) to ensure we kept students safe as they connected with friends, teachers and staff,” Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said in a statement. “Together, we have made great progress, nevertheless now is not a time for complacency. 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.”

With the Delta variant and other COVID variants emerging throughout the state, health experts have stressed the continued importance of masking as students and staff head into the new school year.

“Where the rubber hits the road is on masking,” said Dr. Gregory DeMuri, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We mask so we can have a safe, productive school year; keep our schools open; and have sports and co-curriculars like band and all those great things our kids are doing now that they weren’t doing a year ago.”

The release said MMSD will provide families with further safety information in the coming days regarding the full return to athletics and co-curriculars.