The Madison Metropolitan School District launched a website Wednesday to keep families updated on reopening plans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, including metrics that will be used to determine if and when schools will open for in-person instruction.
MMSD is expected to announce its plan for the third quarter, which begins Jan. 25, by Jan. 8. Parents and students are being surveyed about returning to school buildings, while staff were asked about their ability to return based on health in their own survey.
The new website includes metrics that will guide the district’s plans, which were created by a team of 10 MMSD administrators that monitors data, consults with health experts, reviews guidance from health organizations and looks at lessons from school districts around the country, according to the website. District officials have also consulted with a three-person Advisory Principal Panel, leadership at Madison Teachers Inc. and a health advisory panel with experts from various local health groups.
Most students in MMSD have been learning virtually since March, though the district brought back select students in Special Education programs and have hosted the MSCR Cares daycare program in some buildings this fall.
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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.
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