MMSD survey results show 62% of 4k-2nd grade students will return to in-person learning this month

MADISON, Wis. — Nearly 4,000 4K through 2nd grade students will return to in-person learning in the Madison Metropolitan School District this month, according to newly released survey results.

After the district announced a phased return to in-person learning on Feb. 10, surveys were sent to parents who have students in grades 4k through 5th grade, asking if their child would return for in-person instruction or remain virtual.

Co-Chief of Elementary Schools Carlettra Stanford said the district received a 98% response rate from 4k through 2nd grade parents and a 91% response rate from 3rd through 5th grade parents.

Out of more than 7,000 4k through 5th grade students who selected to return in person, 3,994 of those students belong to the 4k through 2nd grade group and 3,069 are in the 3rd through 5th grade group.

Stanford said 3rd through 5th grade parents only indicated their preference in the survey, but do not yet have a set date as to when they would be able to return in person.

Kindergarteners will be the first group of students returning March 9 with nearly 1,174 students returning for in-person instruction that day. First and second graders will return March 16 with more than 2,300 students returning, and 4k students will return March 23 with nearly 500 students returning in person.

The district was recently described by an independent review firm as being “more than adequate” to provide students, staff and visitors a safe environment to learn and work.

“The district has done a phenomenal job with making sure we have our safety mitigations in place,” Stanford said.

Stanford said parents can change their decision on whether their child will learn in person or virtual but must indicate their change during certain time periods. From April 5-12, parents can select on the return preference app if they want to change their method of learning. Stanford said students who are learning in person but want to switch back to virtual can do so at any time. However, those who are learning virtually but want to switch to in-person learning will have to go through a waiting period.

“We do need time, which is about a three week period of time, to be sure we have adequate time to change transportation routes and adequate time to be sure we have all the safety mitigations in place,” Stanford said.

If parents wish to change their child’s learning process from virtual to in-person, Stanford said the first day students would be able to return to in-person learning is May 4.

MMSD does not yet know when it will send out preference surveys to middle school and high school students.