Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

Emily Hamer:

An independent review of COVID-19 mitigation measures at Madison School District buildings found that the steps taken are “more than adequate” to create a safe environment for students, staff and parents.

The 176-page report was posted to the district’s website Tuesday. McKinstry, a local building company, conducted the Feb. 26 analysis of the school buildings and physical changes, such as air filters, that have been put in place to protect from COVID-19.

The report comes as the district plans to start reopening to in-person learning March 9, beginning with kindergarten students. Teachers and some community members have expressed frustration with the reopening plan, arguing that staff should be vaccinated first.

Some teachers and staff plan to teach their online classes from outside their schools buildings Thursday to protest returning to in-person classes before being immunized.

McKinstry said “it is clear” that the safety precautions the district has taken “meet or exceed” recommendations from local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19.

One of McKinstry’s focus areas is helping ensure health care environments are safe.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.