COVID Opening Plan

Document ID
COVID2122
Title
SY2021-22 Milestone COVID Plan
Print Date  
Revision
1.4
Prepared By
School Meeting (committee of the Membership)
Date Prepared
February 9, 2022
Effective Date
February 9, 2022
Reviewed By 
School Meeting (committee of the Membership)
Date Reviewed
February 9, 2022
 Approved By
School Meeting (committee of the Membership)
Date Approved
February 9, 2022
Table Of Contents
  1. 2021-2022 COVID-19 Planning

2021-2022 COVID-19 Planning

August 5, 2021

Dear Members of the Milestone Community,

Please find a very detailed and comprehensive plan to address school safety specific to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This plan accounts for both the plan at present to re-open in person on August 17, 2021, as well as hypothetical situations in which we might need to shift to remote learning. We also include a plan for students who elect to be partially or entirely remote while the rest of the community is in-person. Please understand that there are a lot of moving parts to coordinate to keep our community safe. We have done our best to present a plan that is clear and compassionate, and that also adheres to federal, state, local, and MDS policies and procedures.

This is very much a living document; one that will need to adapt as we learn more about the evolution of the virus, mandates, and recommendations. The success or failure of this plan hinges on frequent, clear, consistent, and compassionate communication. MDS staff promise to be in communication often about any changes to this policy AND/OR changes to our plan to re-open in-person.

We have attached a one-page document that summarizes this policy for families. On that document, you will find contact information for our Health and Safety Coordinator. That said, you are always welcome to reach out to any staff member to ask questions, express concerns, or get clarification. 

We appreciate your grace as we work our hardest to manage a multi-level plan in unprecedented times. 

With gratitude,

The Health and Wellness Team of Milestone Democratic School

Milestone Democratic School (MDS) in 2021-2022

Milestone is committed to the health and safety of our school community above all other things. With this in mind, we have studied the recommendations for schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Dane County Office of Public Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Please remember that guidelines change daily, so we can only set policy, procedures, and expectations based on current recommendations. We will keep in good contact with our families and broader community any time there is a change based on updated recommendations from one of these entities. 

As of the beginning of August, 2021, the CDC recommends, “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.” It is these “layered prevention strategies” that we most want to address in this document, as well as our plans and procedures for moving to a virtual classroom scenario should there be new guidelines OR in the event of an exposure. 

As we have learned, a democratic, personalized learning environment requires three essential elements in its early weeks:

  1. building close and trusting relationships between the advisor and each of their students
  2. building a classroom learning community of mutual respect and trust within an advisory
  3. building a learning environment of mutual respect and trust across the entire school community and including all educators

It is our hope that everyone in our community will be committed to the policies and procedures outlined here so that we can continue to emphasize those two priorities, without having to return to a virtual classroom environment where it is difficult to build learning communities. 

Milestone is a membership-based not-for-profit organization, with rights reserved for the voting members of our community. The decision to remain open and to set this policy in place was made with an affirmative vote from Milestone members (which include students, families/caregivers, staff, and community stakeholders who apply for membership) to open the school building for the fall semester, WITH the aforementioned “layered prevention strategies” in place. 

While this document attempts to draft plans for a variety of circumstances, it cannot address all possibilities.  Therefore we fully expect this to be a living document which is updated and changed as needed throughout the year.

MDS’s Unique Context

We acknowledge in-person teaching and our school buildings are the best place for students to:

  • Receive necessary academic support
  • Receive necessary social-emotional development
  • Fully engage in learning activities designed to build intrinsic motivation
  • Build skills and experiences for their future plans

MDS is taking this into consideration as we develop the guidelines for opening our school.

Our Unique Strengths

Our Unique Challenges

  • We are highly flexible and clear about our mission
  • Student scheduling and support is already individualized
  • We are designed to handle absences, student shifts, and a transient population
  • Our students are resilient, committed, and resourceful
  • Our staff is motivated, capable, and has the IT equipment needed to transition on and off campus
  • Our facility is spacious; we can safely socially distance inside the building with appropriate measures.
  • Our curriculum and instruction is designed to be student-focused and engaging, increasing motivation
  • Many of our students will likely rely on public transportation to get to campus
  • Many of our students may be caretakers of younger siblings/older family and therefore, concerns about community-spread are very real
  • Many of our students and families will likely be at high risk for transmission due to factors related to institutional racism
  • Our students may lack devices and/or connectivity at home should we need to move to a virtual classroom model at some point
  • Many of our families will likely have significant basic needs
  • The Delta Variant puts even those who have been vaccinated at a high risk of contracting and/or spreading the virus

 

Goals for 2021-2022

  • Our students and staff are safe, healthy, learning, and growing
  • Our students meet their academic, social-emotional, and post-graduation goals
  • Our staff have the skills and support to provide high quality instruction and services to students while shifting seamlessly among contingency scenarios

Key Terms

  • Blended learning: a mixture of in person and online learning
  • Personalized Remote Learning: campus is closed and students are completing all coursework online, from home, with frequent in-person check-ins from advisors
  • Campus closure: when physical school sites are not open for students or staff.  Avoid saying “school is closed” (because online learning is still school!)
  • On campus: students are attending school buildings for in-person instruction
  • Synchronous: virtual class meetings happening in real time
  • Google Classroom: Our video conference platform (every student will receive a MDS email address which is to be used for communication, logging into meetings and classes, and for the completion of assignments virtually)

Decision Making

We want to ensure educators have the autonomy to make decisions quickly and effectively for their students. 

At the same time, we believe that there are decisions which must be made as a School Community. For the most part these are decisions that touch on mission, vision, legal, health or equity considerations. These decisions include, but are not limited to:

  • Driving goals and values 
  • If, when, and how to close and/or open a campus
  • Health screening, social distancing, and other facilities policies and protocols
  • How and when to communicate health information to staff, students, and the community 
  • Policies that affect staff rights and responsibilities (such as hours, time off, etc.)
  • Policies that affect pupil progression (such as grading, credit granting etc.)

Some decisions will clearly fall into the school or organizational realms and others will be less clear. Clear, consistent and compassionate communication will be key for figuring out where each decision fits and must follow MDS Bylaws. According to Article III Section 3, all members of the Milestone are eligible to create agenda items for Community Meetings and cast a vote at said meetings. This will include the vote to close or re-open the school building. 

It is important to note that any decision made must still account for County, State, and Federal Guidelines.

School Model Contingencies

The following lays out school models to be used under different functioning scenarios: campus fully closed, campus open with restricted capacity, campus open at full capacity. We might expect and prepare to move back and forth among these models at different times during the year. These decisions will be made based on federal, state, local, and MDS-specific guidelines. 

Our Current Model: School Model 1: Campus Open at Full Capacity

This assumes that there are no relevant restrictions on gatherings prior to August 17. 

Previously planned schedules are in place and all students can be served in the building every day.  

  • The following components are as normally planned by the school:
  • A flexible start time from 8-9 am will allow for staggered student intake and the ability for Staff to enact Facility Health Precautions.
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Assessment, grading & pupil progression
  • Attendance
  • All CL programming is in person
  • Details can be found in our School Plan Here

2021-2022 Weekly Schedule

Link To: 2021-2022 Weekly Calendar

2021-2022 Annual Calendar

Link To: 2020-2021 Academic Calendar

School Model 2: Campus Temporarily Closed (<14 Days) 

Individual school buildings may be closed for up to two weeks in the event of exposure/suspected exposure on campus or the city may mandate “rolling closures” to curb citywide outbreaks. A negative PCR test may be required of each student upon a return to School Model 1.

All staff and students are dismissed from the building and all functions continue virtually.

Considerations

Guidelines

Communication

  • Notification to families and the community is developed and shared by the Educators’ Cooperative. The Governance Board will be consulted on communication
  • As determined by a team of Advisor, Student, and Family/Caregiver, socially-distanced, masked, and safe in-person check-ins can be offered in order to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.

Equipment

  • All students take home a laptop and hotspot (as needed) at the end of the day 
  • Students who were not at school receive a laptop and hotspot (as needed) the next day 

Student Schedules

  • MDS Transfers to the:Virtual: Milestone weekly schedule 2021-2022
  • Classes maintain their most recent schedule: ie: advisories meet on Zoom at the hour that they would normally teach in person
    • School Meeting will take place via Google Platform
    • Internships and CL programming continues in person unless adjustments are required
  • Advisors reach out to each student individually at least 2x week during intake and release hours, and each Advisor is allotted additional specific time during the week during instructional time to ensure all students still have access to classes and learning during instructional hours from the other Advisors

Curriculum & Instruction

  • All classwork, assignments, and assessments are moved online
  • All advisories and classes are 100% online
  • Each advisor checks in with students in their advisory at least 2 times per week
  • Clear, consistent, and compassionate communication will be extended to CL Partners, and together with a Student and their Family/Caregiver and Advisor, a determination in proceeding with a CL program or Internship in person or virtually will be made as a team.

Pupil Progression

  • Attendance is based on attendance in Zoom classes, School Meeting, and participation in CL activities
  • Student Evaluation continues as normal with the understanding that if short closures occur frequently, the Educators’ Cooperative will convene all Advisors & Content Specialists at the end of the semester to review any final grade adjustments proposals.

Staff Responsibilities

  • Staff maintain their normal schedules, meetings, and responsibilities as closely as possible from home. 
    • Non advisory or teaching staff shift their responsibilities to support with technology and basic need delivery and support
  • In person contact with students is limited and should only be used for essential purposes
    • Technology equipment distribution
    • Food pantry deliveries
    • Other essential services (IDs, diplomas, etc)
    • Necessary in-person check-ins

 

School Model 3: Campus Closed for an Extended Period

All staff and students are dismissed from the building and all functions continue virtually via virtual learning.

Considerations

Guidelines

Communication

  • Notification to families and the community is developed and shared by the Educators’ Cooperative. The Governance Board will be consulted on communication
  • As determined by a team of Advisor, Student, and Family/Caregiver, socially-distanced, masked, and safe in-person check-ins can be offered in order to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.

Equipment

  • Laptops and hotspots (as needed) are delivered to students to ensure 100% of students have access

Student Schedules

Student schedules differ by advisory and are designed to:

  • Insure daily, high quality student engagement
  • Provide time for staff to plan and provide high quality virtual support
  • Provide flexibility for students and staff who will have additional responsibilities for childcare etc. during this time
  • MDS Transfers to the: Virtual: Milestone weekly schedule 2021-2022
  • Classes maintain the normal schedule: ie: advisories meet on Zoom at the hour that they would normally teach in person
  • School Meeting will take place via Zoom
  • Internships and CL programming continues as evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • Advisors reach out to each student individually at least 2x week during intake and release hours, and each Advisor is allotted additional specific time during the week during instructional time to ensure all students still have access to classes and learning during instructional hours from the other Advisors

 

Curriculum & Instruction

  • All advisories and classes are 100% online (see below)
  • Every advisory will meet live for at least 30 minutes per day but no longer than 90 minutes per day in one sitting.
  • Advisory can meet multiple times 9-11am in one day.
  • Each advisor checks in with students in their advisory at least 2 times per week for at least 30 minutes each session
  • Class options may be limited to ensure that Advisors have sufficient time to meet each student individually 2 times per week for 30 mins at a time.
  • Internships and CL experiences will be supported and/or supplemented by Advisors.
  • Clear, consistent, and compassionate communication will be extended to CL Partners, and together with the Student, their Family/Caregiver and Advisor, a determination in proceeding with a CL program or Internship in person or virtually will be made as a team.

Pupil Progression

  • Attendance is based on attendance in live components
    • Student Evaluation continues as normal with the understanding that if closures are indefinite, the Educators’ Cooperative will convene all Advisors & Content Specialists at the end of the semester to review any final grade adjustments proposals.

Staff Responsibilities

  • All staff work from home
  • In person contact with students is limited and should only be used for essential purposes
    • Technology equipment distribution
    • Food pantry deliveries
    • Other essential services (IDs, diplomas, etc)
    • Necessary in-person check-ins

Instructional Frameworks and Resources

To provide rigorous, high-quality learning experiences continuously amid the uncertainty of this year, all MDS classes and services must take on a blended learning framework.  That is to say, all advisories, classes, and services should be planned to easily shift between online and in person. 

  • A blended framework can work within each possible School Model identified above.  As restrictions are lifted or reinforced, our approach can be adjusted accordingly to ensure students continue to receive high-quality instruction.
  • During closures or restricted campus capacity, 100% of our students will have access to technology and internet at home, allowing them to stay connected to their classes and complete online coursework at home.

The chart below provides some examples of how curriculum and instruction can be leveraged in a blended learning model.

Blended Learning Model

Description

Graphic

Enriched Virtual

The Enriched Virtual model is an alternative to full-time online school that allows students to complete the majority of coursework online at home or outside of school, but attend school for required face-to-face learning sessions with a teacher. Unlike the Flipped Classroom, Enriched Virtual programs usually don’t require daily school attendance; some programs may only require twice-weekly attendance, for example.

 

Flipped Classroom

The Flipped Classroom model flips the traditional relationship between class time and homework. Students learn at home via online coursework and lectures, and teachers use class time for teacher-guided practice or projects. This model enables teachers to use class time for more than delivering traditional lectures.

 

Station Rotation

The Station Rotation model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar with rotating in “centers” or stations.

 

Information from Blended Learning Universe

We are NOT mandating the use of a specific blended learning model. We know we and our students are all in different places in our familiarity and facility with virtual learning and we know we are still learning and exploring what works best for our students.

However, in order to create a blended learning environment, all advisors and other staff must:

  • Effectively manage Zoom sessions 
  • Develop proficiency in recording and sharing instructional videos
  • When designing lessons, assignments, projects, and assessments, note how they could be adjusted for virtual if needed– much the same way you would note how to adjust them for students needing differentiation. 

Through the Educators’ Cooperative, we will be constantly improving and refining our strategies, collaborating, and when appropriate, adjust as we go.

Curriculum

Regardless of the School Model, all schools and teachers will continue to use the high quality, rigorous curriculum they have already selected for 21-22.  This includes continuing to use student-directed and created Personal Learning Plans (PLPs). The curriculum model of MDS is unique to support student engagement throughout the potential of extended school-building closure. With the individualized model, Advisors will be able to curate the learning experience for each student and ensure continuity of instruction.

The focus of the first Trimester will be the required project for every MDS student, “Profile of a Graduate.” This project will be able to earn students necessary and mandatory credits for graduation requirements, and it will be functional across all four models of instruction. The project will direct the curriculum and instruction for each as the year goes on.

The Educators’ Cooperative will actively work for learning opportunities for students that can take place virtually and maintain all safety guidelines. This includes internships and CL activities.

We know we and our students are all in different places in our familiarity and facility with virtual learning.  And we know that we must all learn to be effective virtually.

Therefore our expectations for ALL STAFF MEMBERS (instructional and non-instructional) become versed in all agreed upon platforms used within the school. It will become the responsibility of the Advisors to ensure that students have the capacity to navigate the technology they are expected to use.

Social Emotional Support

Advisory

The MDS School Plan and Structure is poised to place Social and Emotional Support at the center of the student experience. Students are grouped into Advisories at MDS, and included is the language of the school plan

Advisories are the central “Hub” of relationships and learning at Milestone. Each Advisory is made up of one Advisor who works exclusively with a small group (no more than 22) of mixed-age learners. The main objective of the Advisory is to provide a trusting community that supports academic, social, and emotional learning. Students remain connected to their Advisory for the duration of their time at Milestone Democratic School. Each Advisory is responsible for democratically designing its own structures, schedules, agreements, and practices, including the schedules for when the Advisory meets. The Advisory is the time and place for students and Advisors to build community and culture, understand identity, and practice deliberation and democracy. It is also the time and place for reflection and check-in circle. The Advisory becomes a collective, and the forum for developing, reviewing, and revising Personal Learning Plans and more specific learning experiences and having one-on-one/ small group coaching meetings between advisors and students.

With that, the Advisor serves as the point of contact for each student. Because Advisories are limited to 22 students, each Advisor at Milestone will be responsible for consistent and regular check-ins with the students of their Advisory. The Advisor to Student ratio guarantees individualized attention. As noted above, Advisors will be meeting with students at least two times weekly on an individual basis. The relationship established between the student and Advisor calls on the Advisor to seek out and provide necessary supports for Social and Emotional Well-Being. Below is the language of the School Plan.

Advisors play a critical role in the Advisory. Advisors are the main point of contact for their students and their families. They are mentors, confidants, guides, and cheerleaders for their students. Advisors may teach lessons or units within their Advisory, they may offer small group projects or learning experiences that allow their students to meet Learning Goals, and they may host guests from the community — all as decided by the Advisory community. Students work with their Advisor one on one throughout their school career to develop, revise, assess their Graduate Profiles, Personal Learning Plans, and Learning Experiences. Advisors help guide democratic processes within their Advisory and help to sustain a positive and safe space for learning to take place.

Advisors will also be responsible for maintaining regular contact with families and caregivers. Clear, consistent, and compassionate communication will be essential throughout all models of school operations.

Motivation

Across the country, students said “Staying Motivated” was the most difficult thing about school-building closures due to COVID.

Fortunately relationships are both the most important component to keeping students motivated AND the thing that MDS staff like to do best. 

All teachers and staff should directly address motivation through strategies including, but not limited to:

 

  • Clear and simple instruction and access
  • Frequent texts and calls
  • Individualized tutoring sessions
  • Individualized student projects
  • Building relationships with families

Special Populations

Special Education

As all students with IEPs are part of the general student population, students with IEPs will be receiving highly Personalized Learning. MDS will ensure students have meaningful and effective access to the resources necessary in order for a student to receive the services, accommodations, and support necessary to be successful in their Personalized Learning plan. Least restrictive environment (LRE) should be central to decision making. In the event that students do need to be remote, any accommodations or modifications listed in the IEP will be reflected in a Personalized Remote Learning Plan. In the event of remote learning, Director of Special Education will make themself available to all students and families for support and to ensure adherence to the IEP. 

MDS will develop a plan for ongoing progress monitoring toward IEP goals regardless of whether a student is on-campus or learning remotely. As with all students, Advisors will communicate with families frequently to determine the best ways of meeting the needs of their children if there is a closure and provide resources on how families can support learning. This could look like more frequent meetings with a student in the remote setting. 

IEP meetings will follow the School Model and Safety & Health Guidelines. 

The Special Education Coordinator at MDS will work closely with the Advisors to ensure that student IEP accommodations and services are being met with fidelity.

MDS will also follow Wisconsin DPI Guidelines for Special Education. 

Compliance Considerations

MDS Advisors will consider the obstacles to obtaining all data and requirements for IEP goals in the event of Personalized Remote Instruction and work with the Director of Special Education to meet the needs of our students. Referring to the DPI Guidelines and FAQs, as well as updates, will be critical in ensuring what changes must be made to IEPs in order to address meeting the needs of students within the situation of a global pandemic. 

ELL Students

MDS will work with family units and community partners to meet the needs of EL students. MDS also refers to DPI guidelines for EL students.

Wisconsin DPI EL FAQs

Homeless Students

The Director of Operations in coordination with the Advisor will work with family units and community partners to meet the needs of homeless students. 

Students Who Opt Out/Family Selects Quarantine 

We acknowledge that some families and students may decide to opt/out of in-person instruction.  

All students who opt out of in-person instruction will follow the Virtual Model described in Model 2 or 3. Students will participate in Advisory and Classes via the google platform, with Advisors streaming the in-person classes. Pending the student population opting out of in-person instruction and needs, class schedules may be adjusted to provide Advisors adequate time to deliver in-person instruction and check in with students participating in the Personalized Remote Learning. 

Families will receive education prior to making decisions on in-person or personalized remote learning to ensure they are confident in the decision for the health and well-being of the student and family unit, as well as any adjustments that will need to be made to ensure learning.

Vulnerable Populations

MDS Families are asked to notify the Advisor if their child may be considered vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. For these students, the following supports will be in place:

  • Students and families will be notified that these students can work from home if they have health concerns preventing them from leaving their house at any point during the year.
  • See Student Health for additional information.

According to the CDC, students who have the following conditions are considered more high-risk for contracting and having severe illness from COVID-19. This list is not necessarily exhaustive.

  • Unvaccinated people
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Immunocompromised including:
    • Cancer treatment
    • Smoking
    • Bone marrow or organ transplantation
    • Immune deficiencies
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • Severe obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease/undergoing dialysis
  • Liver disease

Community Learning

Leaving to Learn

“Leaving to Learn” is a core experience at Milestone, as we know the deepest learning happens in real-life, hands-on practice in the community with mentors. Students take the lead, aided by advisors and Milestone’s Community Learning Coordinator, in connecting with learning experiences outside of the four walls of Milestone, with the goal of nourishing their interests and helping further their goals and advancement in their learning plans. Students can have individual Community Learning (“CL”) experiences, or come together with their peers who share their interests to engage in experiences that support their educational needs and wants. Before entering a community learning site, CL students and advisors work together to create a detailed plan that includes how they will take advantage of the CL to best benefit their learning plans. In the conclusion of a CL, students meet with advisors to share and reflect on what they learned and gained, and how they grew from this learning experience.

CL Experiences / Internships / Apprenticeships

The Community Learning Experiences are at the core of MDS and the Big Picture Learning model we also follow. COVID-19 presents this foundation with a challenge.

At this time, we expect that CL opportunities will be available for students in the coming year, taking appropriate precautions into consideration. The first two weeks of the 2021-22 school year will be devoted to developing the Profile of a Graduate project in the School Plan for each student, social emotional learning, and relationship building with a students’ Advisor. Much of this work will be done in Advisory. This project will guide students CL experiences in the year going forward. 

In a fully remote environment, the decision for CL experiences in person will be a decision made by the team of a student, their family/caregiver, the Advisor, and the Mentor/Partner for the CL experience. Our goal for all students is safety, and if a CL can be offered digitally, MDS fully supports these opportunities.

In the event a student cannot find a CL during the year due to COVID setbacks, the MDS School Plan refers to other opportunities and ways for students to earn credits. The Personalized Learning Plans offered at MDS allow for all situations and scenarios; Advisors will adapt with students to the ever changing landscape to ensure students are provided with meaningful learning activities while we navigate the challenges of COVID.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions will remain consistent throughout the 20-21 school year. Student Exhibitions at the end of each semester will follow the current School Model and all Safety Guidelines. MDS is poised to hold Exhibitions virtually and evaluate all student work via google platform.

Technology

Our goal is for 100% of students to have access to a laptop and internet connection to ensure they are able to stay connected to school regardless of campus restrictions.  In order to realize this goal, we have applied for additional technology equipment and funding to purchase more equipment.

In order to effectively manage students’ technology access, we will

  • Offer on-demand tech support to students and staff
  • Closely monitor check in and check out systems to ensure equipment is being tracked through our asset management system
  • Create systems for ensuring students have access to technology equipment while on campus

CESA2 has also released the Digital Learning Bridge to support schools and districts with getting the materials and support they need for Distance Learning. CESA2 and DPI develop surveys for families, and through their programs, offer purchasing programs and discounts for schools.

Facilities Health Precautions

The following lays out facilities and health precautions that we will have in place for parts or all of 2021-2022. All precautions may not be necessary at all times, we should expect and prepare to move back and forth among these interventions at different times during the year. 

  • Masking will be mandated in our building (follow this link for more information)
    • If a student has a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a mask, they must provide a signed doctor’s note on letterhead to the student’s advisor
    • Family members, guardians, guests, and staff will not be allowed inside the building without a mask.
  • The EC has recommended that Airflow rates in and out of the building will be increased in accordance with recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency for Schools and Daycare Facilities.
  • Anyone inside the school building will be required to socially distance; the current recommendation is to leave 6’ between people (given we cannot assume everyone is vaccinated). Classrooms and common areas will be set up accordingly.
  • Students will eat lunch outside or socially distanced in the MakerSpace (if inside, they must sit at least 6’ apart from another person); tarps will be used when it is raining and students will need to dress accordingly. 
  • The Design Team will make recommendations for lunch once the weather turns colder so that more current guidelines can be taken into account. These recommendations will be due for adoption by September 17, 2021.
  • Although surface transmission has been observed at very low rates compared to airborne transmission, a cleaning and sanitizing schedule will be maintained throughout the day.

Transition to In-Person Learning

The transition back to full-time in-person learning represents a shift for most families and staff members. Our students do come from a number of different school districts, but the transition back to full-time, in-person learning will be a big change for everyone. With this comes a need for patience, flexibility, and above all else, clear, consistent, and compassionate communication. 

There will be specific requirements of students, families, and/or caregivers in order to keep the health and well-being of all students, staff, and school community safe. We also acknowledge, just as in our Governance Structure, this process will be a communal effort.

  • All students must have up-to-date and working contact phone numbers in our Student Information System.
  • Caregivers must acknowledge that they have to be available for communication to the best of their ability during the school day, especially during student intake times.
  • All students must have an additional Emergency Contact on file in the event that a Caregiver cannot be available in a time of illness.
  • Students, Families, Caregivers, and School Community inside the school-building acknowledge that they are a part of a shared community, and the health and well-being of one may affect all. Each party agrees to sign the MDS Health Reporting Agreement, modified from the Dane County Recommendation.
  • A student’s personal health information and that of the family will not be shared with any other student or family. Notifications on COVID exposure will remain anonymous.
  • In the event that a student or immediate family member receives a positive test, they MUST notify MDS within 12 hours of receiving the results AND they are not report to school. 

Daily Precautions to be Used

Health Screening – Daily

Health screening will consist of two parts: verbal intake and a temperature scan. Based upon the results of this screening, admission to the facility will or will not be granted. 

Verbal Intake: The verbal intake will consist of two yes/no questions: 

1) In the past 24-hours have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 

2) In the past 14 days have you had contact with a person known to be infected with the novel coronavirus?

Temperature Scan: Individuals with a temperature of 100.4° F or above will not be admitted to school buildings following CDC guidelines. 

If a student does not pass the Health Screening, they must leave the school-building for the day and return home. Students may participate in Remote Learning for attendance.

  1. Staff determines how the student arrived at school.
    1. If a student arrived via Private Transportation, the student will be released back to their vehicle if still on the premises. If not, proceed to Step 2.
  2. Staff directs student to wait isolated in the Health Room
  3. Staff logs Student Name, Date, Temperature, and other Notes.
  4. Staff contacts Caregiver to arrange for transportation from the building.
    1. If Primary Caregivers are unavailable, the Emergency Contact is called.
  5. The student waits in the Health Room until transportation arrives.
    1. In the event a Caregiver or Emergency Contact cannot provide transportation
      1. The student will remain isolated in the Health Room and participate in class remotely.
  6. Students should follow the Return to School guidelines.

In addition to attending to the student above, the following protocols must also be followed.

  1. Staff will disinfect with an approved cleaner the entrance way of the school
  2. Staff will disinfect the Health Room after the student is transported home.

If Staff or a building visitor fails the verbal intake or temperature scan, Staff will log the name and issue in the building sign-in binder and they will not be admitted to enter the building. 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Masks will be provided by the school or you may wear your own
  • Everyone who enters the building will enter with a mask on and will wear that mask throughout the day while indoors
  • Those refusing to comply, could be instructed to leave the building

Masks will be mandated under the following conditions:

  1. Ensuring students ages 3 and up wear face coverings indoors or off-campus for CL. 
  2. Ensuring employees are provided with and wear a face covering indoors or off-campus for CL.
  3. Ensuring students and employees are wearing face coverings and are at least six (6) feet from other students and employees to the greatest extent possible. 
  4. Ensuring students and employees are wearing face coverings and are at least six (6) feet from other students and employees on buses, school vans, and cars to the greatest extent possible during school-related and non-school-related transportation. 
  5. Outdoor Activities: During the times staff take their students outside, masks will still be required by both staff and students.  This requirement will continue to be in place until such time as the spread of the virus and its variants  is reduced to a level that will allow mask-free outdoor activities.   When outside, students and staff must continue to maintain a 3’ distance from each other.

Social Distancing 

Social distancing will be maintained at a 6ft distance for those who are vaccinated and 6ft for those who aren’t vaccinated to as great an extent as possible at all times. Communal spaces will have limited spaces available to ensure social distancing.

Protocols for COVID Exposure on Campus

Student / Staff Exposed to Close Contact COVID Positive Individual Off Campus. Close Contact is defined as people who were within 6 feet, for fifteen minutes or more, of a person who tested positive for COVID in the previous two weeks.

  1. The individual will notify MDS by phone (608-305-4332 – call/text) or email at office@milestonedemocratic.org.
  2. The individual will immediately begin a quarantine for at least seven (7) days.
  3. Staff will notify all students or staff that shared Advisory, Classes, or Communal Spaces (i.e. Makerspace) that an individual has begun self-isolation.
    1. Notified students DO NOT need to begin mandatory isolation.
  4. On or after the sixth (6th) day past exposure or onset of symptoms, get a COVID test.
  • If Positive, continue your quarantine to ensure the full ten (10) day quarantine is followed.

  1. The individual will follow Return To Campus guidelines. 

Student / Staff Tests Positive for COVID

  1. The individual will notify MDS Staff.
  2. The individual will immediately begin self-isolation.
  3. Staff will notify all students/families or staff that came into Close Contact (shared Advisory, Classes, or Communal Spaces i.e. Makerspace) that an individual has tested positive for COVID.
    1. All Students and Staff notified must begin a mandatory 10-day isolation.
  4. Staff will notify all other students and staff that an individual on campus has tested positive for COVID.
  • Staff is NOT required to report a Positive COVID Test to DOH. 
  • MDS will temporarily close the school-building and transition to SCHOOL MODEL 2 for all 10 quarantine days. 
  • Staff will use this time to notify all School Community Members.
  • All facilities will have to be disinfected and cleaned according to CDC and County Recommendations.
  • Staff will determine if additional time is needed for the school-building to remain closed.

Permanent Adjustments

As a best practice, these adjustments will be in place for the entire 2021-2022 school year.

HVAC Systems and Filtration

The proper usage of HVAC systems can help to filter the air and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of COVID-19 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. HVAC filters, along with other strategies, help to reduce virus transmission while removing other air contaminants that may have other health effects. The Educator’s Cooperative recommends upgrading the school building air flow pressure from 10% to 20%. Additionally, the EC recommends the installation of ionizer air filters in each building vent. 

Movement and Tracking

In order to support Contact Tracing, all individuals who enter the building must sign in and provide contact information. This includes individuals who previously may not have been signing in including: 

  • Parents
  • Alumni
  • Contractors
  • Inspectors
  • Family members of staff

The only exceptions are:

  • Students: because their attendance is already tracked.
  • Staff: because their attendance is already tracked.

CL potentially places our students into contact with more individuals than the school staff and students and their family unit. Students and families will work closely with MDS Staff to track and trace students participating in CL opportunities in-person.

ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN AN IN-PERSON CL OPPORTUNITY MUST NOTIFY MDS OF ANY CONTACT WITH A POSITIVE COVID CASE THROUGH THEIR CL EXPERIENCE.

Handwashing, Handsanitizer, & Personal Hygiene 

  • Every room and hallway will have hand sanitizers and tissues
  • All bathrooms and classrooms will have signs regarding sanitizing/washing hands
  • All students and staff are required to disinfect or wash their hands at least once every 2 hours 

MDS fully committed to safeguarding the health and safety of all Staff & Students. For this reason, effective immediately, all MDS Staff & Students must comply with the following personal hygiene policy: 

Handwashing Policy

MDS is responsible for explaining to all Staff & Students how to hand wash: Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, or use hand sanitizer. 

MDS is responsible for explaining to all Staff & Students when to hand wash.Staff & Students must wash hands, at a minimum:

  • At the beginning of each day,
  • Between every class,
  • Before interacting with other students/staff,
  • After touching mask,
  • When switching tasks, 
  • After using the restroom,
  • Before and after breaks,
  • Before and after eating lunch
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing nose,
  • When hands are visibly soiled, and
  • Prior to leaving for the day.

Staff & Students are responsible for replenishing or letting the Front Desk Manager know when hand washing supplies or hand sanitizer are low.    

Cough & Sneeze Etiquette 

MDS is responsible for providing tissues at work stations, if feasible. 

MDS is responsible for explaining cough and sneeze etiquette to all students/staff. To help stop the spread of germ employees should:

  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • If don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into elbow, not hands

Adopted from the Public Health of Madison Dane County “Dane Forward Guidelines”

Cleaning and Disinfecting

MDS is fully committed to safeguarding the health and safety of all Students, Staff, and School Community Members. For this reason, effective immediately, all MDS Staff, regardless of position or authority, must comply with the following facility cleaning and hygiene policy: 

In addition, MDS is proposing the cleaning schedule, procedures, and chemical safety concerns specific for this facility.

Person-in-charge must ensure:

  • All employees understand facility cleaning and hygiene procedures;
  • The cleaning frequency of the facility is increased, including the restrooms (CDC Cleaning Guidelines);
  • High-touch surfaces (keypads, pens, counters, etc.) are disinfected multiple times a day, ideally between users;
  • Only EPA approved disinfectants effective against COVID-19 are used;
  • Ensure handwash sinks in break rooms and restrooms are always stocked with soap and single-use towels;
  • Where possible, provide hand sanitizer for customer and employee use throughout the facility and at employee workstations;
  • Employees do not share equipment or tools. If not possible, disinfect between users; 
  • Where possible, provide sanitizer wipes to employees for wiping baskets, door handles, and other frequently touched areas.

Staff are responsible for:

  • Replenishing or letting the person-in-charge know when cleaning supplies are low;
  • Performing cleaning as scheduled;
  • Using proper disinfecting supplies.

Each classroom and office will have a “cleaning kit” including:

  • Disinfectant solution or wipes
  • Alcohol wipes (for electronics and calculators)

All staff should use a provided disinfectant solution to desks, chairs, and other high touch areas inside the classroom between class periods. Teachers should also be aware of disinfecting commonly shared classroom implements such as computers or calculators. It is recommended to use alcohol wipes to disinfect electronic items between uses. 

Isolation Space

MDS will have a space that can be used to isolate a student, staff member, or visitor who:

  • Fails the health screening
  • Exhibits symptoms
  • Becomes ill during the day

These individuals will be supported until they are taken to the hospital or off campus.  The room will then be “off limits” until it can be thoroughly cleaned.

Adopted from the Public Health of Madison Dane County “Dane Forward Guidelines”

Student Health

When to Stay Home

Students who exhibit symptoms, or report symptoms, related to COVID-19 are excused from participating in school for 10 days while they quarantine.  Symptoms can include:

  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Students or families who self-report immediate proximity to someone contagious (example: another person living in the same household tests positive for COVID-19), they are also excused for 10 days while they quarantine.

During this excused time, students’ grades are paused; this time will not affect their progress negatively.  Students who are well enough to study will be provided a laptop and internet access and given the opportunity to continue their classes online.  This will positively, but can’t negatively, affect their grades.

 

When to Return to School for Students & Staff Isolated due to COVID-19

MDS will follow all Federal, State, and Local Guidelines if Campus is open and an individual has isolated due to COVID-19. MDS will follow the structure as outlined by Public Health of Madison/Dane County for employees and for students and schools. Please refer to the linked document for specific definitions and more information.

Staffing Considerations

Staff Health 

Our staff’s health and safety is of the utmost importance and we will do everything we can to ensure adequate safety precautions are taken.  

First and foremost, we require that any member of the staff get vaccinated for COVID-19 allowing for members to claim religious, spiritual, and/or health-related exemptions, so long as they provide twice-weekly negative COVID tests to the Health and Wellness Coordinator. 

MDS does not expect to have the capacity to provide COVID-19 testing.  However, employees are strongly encouraged to get a test from their doctor or a public testing site if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 at any point, they are required to:

  • Notify the other members of the Educators’ Cooperative.
  • Leave the physical building and not have physical contact with students or staff for 10 days following the onset of symptoms or the initial positive test (if no symptoms develop).
  • Employees who are quarantined but not feeling ill may continue their responsibilities virtually.  If all their responsibilities can be done virtually then these days will not be considered sick or personal days.

Important Note: While we normally keep all staff health information confidential, we must follow all public health agency disclosure requirements. 

Sick Time

While it is very important to our students that all of us are working every day, it is also important that our policies do not inadvertently encourage staff members to come to work when they might spread COVID-19.

 

Positive test for COVID-19

COVID-19 Symptoms but no test

Other, unrelated, illness

First

Staff member uses all paid Sick and Personal Days

Staff member uses all paid Sick and Personal Days

Staff member uses all paid Sick and Personal Days

Then

If necessary, additional days will be unpaid until staff member has been symptom free for 10 days

If necessary, additional days will be unpaid until staff member has been symptom free for 10 days

Staff member may be eligible for short term disability and/or FMLA (see Staff handbook for details)

Then

Staff member may be eligible for short term disability and/or FMLA (see Staff handbook for details)

Staff member may be eligible for short term disability and/or FMLA (see Staff handbook for details)

 

Important note: It is vital that you accurately track your sick and personal time.  There MAY BE some federal support for employees who are ill with COVID but ONLY if we have accurate tracking!

Sick Time While Working From Home (In The Event of Campus-Closure)

When our campus are closed, we are still working (and getting paid!) Therefore, we must follow the same expectations for documenting and counting sick and personal days as we do normally.

Vulnerable Populations

According to the CDC, adults who have the following conditions are considered more high-risk for contracting and having severe illness from COVID-19. Adults who are or have (this list may not be exhaustive):

  • Unvaccinated people
  • 65 years or older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility 
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Immunocompromised including:
    • Cancer treatment
    • Smoking
    • Bone marrow or organ transplantation
    • Immune deficiencies
    • Poorly controlled HIV/AIDS
    • Prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index of 40 or higher) 
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • Liver disease

Staff members are not required to reveal their age or health information to their employer. However, if a staff member believes he or she may need additional accommodations due to being vulnerable, it is necessary for that staff member to reach out to the Educators’ Cooperative to work through the necessary staffing adjustments.

Special accommodations must and will be provided on an individual basis as long they are not an undue hardship to the school or its students. Appropriate documentation will be required.  Every situation will be unique. Below are some examples which can help us think through appropriate supports:

Situation

Appropriate Supports

Undue Hardship

Staff member has a documented condition on the list above

Move to a larger office and re-arrange furniture so can sit 6 feet away from a student

 

OR

 

Working from home for 2 weeks between chemo treatments to decrease risk of infection

Paid leave of absence without a defined time limit or a time limit which is open “until COVID-19 goes away”

Staff member has to care for a sick family member

May use all paid sick and personal time.

 

May access unpaid FMLA leave (if available)

Paid leave for as long as needed

Position Responsibilities

As much as possible, each of us will be able to continue the responsibilities in our Job Description.  However, we must all be prepared that our responsibilities may shift.

  • All staff are required to learn the technology needed to take their responsibilities virtual
  • All staff are required to continue working from home if needed
  • All staff are required to maintain regular working hours, unless taking approved sick or personal time off

We recognize that some staff are less comfortable with technology, and may have been hired prior to them needing to use certain technologies. However, in the spirit of learning and growing – just as we expect our students to adapt to our new methods of teaching and learning –  we also expect ourselves to adapt and learn these new tools so we can continue to teach our students.

Childcare

We recognize that many staff members will struggle with childcare as their children’s schools and daycares may have alternative schedules and/or rolling closures and/or if their in-home childcare provider becomes ill.   While we are not equipped to substitute for permanent childcare or school, we want to be responsive to staff needs. Please make the EC Manager aware of any specific needs or concerns.

Professional Development

The timing of professional development sessions will depend upon the Model currently in use and each campus’ schedule.  However, at minimum:

  • Each Advisor will have daily planning time

Staff Handbook

To best support our staff during this unprecedented year, some staff policies and procedures may need to shift from those under normal circumstances. As this document is a living document that may continue to develop, if a policy or procedure in this document appears to conflict with MDS Staff Handbook, please consult the Educators’ Cooperative Manager.

Data and Privacy 

Confidentiality and Student Data

All staff are required to follow the MDS policies for maintaining confidentiality of student information.  

Online Confidentiatity

All Google Platform classes and student meetings must be password protected.  

Meetings among staff when any confidential information will be shared must also be password protected.  Staff should put the password in the invitation to the meeting to make it easy to find.

Any platform for video conferencing is required to password protect the meetings.

Removing Files from the Buildings

If a building is physically closed, policies prohibiting the removal of student records from the premises will be temporarily suspended.

Staff who take student records home with them during building closures must:

  • Take responsibility for the safety and security of the files
  • Email a list of the files taken and the address at which those files will be held to the Educators’ Cooperative

Communications Plan

Health Messaging

MDS will follow all the messaging requirements of the Dane County or State Health Department. 

Mass Messaging

MDS communicates important messages to students, parents/guardians, and staff via the following platforms.  All schoolwide messages should be communicated through all four of the following channels in order to ensure the widest reach possible:

  1. Text Messages / Phone Calls
  2. Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter)
  3. MDS Schools website
  4. Email

Examples of relevant information that will be communicated via these platforms include 

  • Announcements relating to campus closures and reopenings
  • Updates to school calendars
  • Information regarding student schedules and class expectations

Other Considerations

Transportation

We would like to encourage families to utilize private transportation when possible. If public transportation is used, please observe social distancing, masking, and other precautions. Please refer to the bulleted list below for best practices related to transportation.

In the event that MDS provides transportation, we will adhere to the following guidelines when possible.:

LIMIT CONTACT  

  • If using shared rides with people from different households, group the riders to the extent possible. 
  • Set up routes and pick-ups to ensure the same group of riders are traveling together.  
  • Create six feet physical distance between passengers (from different households) on transport vehicles (for example, seating one passenger per row) where possible.  
  • Transport no more than 10 people at a time (not including driver).  
  • Do not let passengers sit in the front seat.  
  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from passengers when you are outside the vehicle.  
  • Consider asking passengers to handle their own personal bags and belongings during pick-up and drop-off.  
  • Consider putting a partition or barrier between driver and passengers, if available.  
  • Avoid using the recirculated air option for the vehicle’s ventilation during passenger transport; use the car’s vents to bring in fresh outside air and/or lower the vehicle windows.  
  • Avoid contact with surfaces frequently touched by passengers or other drivers, such as door frames/handles, windows, seatbelt buckles, steering wheel, gearshift, signaling levers, and other vehicle parts before cleaning and disinfection. 

CLEAN AND DISINFECT  

  • Get and carry cleaning and disinfectant spray or disposable wipes and disposable trash bags with you in your vehicle.  
  • Follow the directions on the cleaning product’s label.  
  • If surfaces are visibly dirty, they should be cleaned with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.  
  • Disinfect high touch points (handrails, doors, front/back of seats, etc…) in between each ride.  
  • Clean the operator cab whenever switching operators.  
  • Appropriate disinfectants for hard non-porous surfaces include:  
    • EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2  
    • Diluted household bleach solutions prepared and used according to the manufacturers label for disinfection if appropriate for the surface  
    • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.

Calendar

As much as possible, the agreed upon 2021-2022 calendar will remain the same. However, there are some circumstances under which the calendar will need to change:

  • City, county, or state mandates
  • Policy changes to instructional time requirements, state testing windows, etc.

Changes to the calendar will be made by the Educators’ Cooperative, MDS Governance Board, and voting members of Milestone Democratic School. 

Student & Family Handbooks

The following information and policies will be added to the Student Handbooks:

  • Social Distancing, handwashing, and PPE expectations
  • Care of computers and hotspots at home
  • Communication, scheduling, and expectations during Virtual Learning

Website 

The most up to date plans and documents will be available publicly at www.milestonedemocratic.org.  The link to this page will be frequently shared with families and students in order to minimize confusion about where to find relevant information.

Resources 

Appendix: Summary of Procedures & Regulations for print and distribution

January 2022 COVID Daily Protocols Addendum

**This is a summary of our comprehensive plan for quick and easy reference. Please refer to the plan on the Milestone Website for comprehensive policies and procedures.

School COVID-19 Procedural Models

*School Model 1: Campus Opens at Full Capacity* 

  • this is the CURRENT plan

School Model 2: Campus Temporarily Closed | Remote Learning <14 days

  • Model to be utilized in the event of campus-wide exposure or mandate 

School Model 3: Campus Closed for an Extended Period | Remote Learning

  • Model to be utilized if we are mandated to close for more than 14 days

Facilities Health Precautions

The following lays out facilities and health precautions that we will have in place for 2022. We should expect and prepare to move back and forth among these interventions at different times during the year.  Any change from Model 2 or Model 3 back to Model 1 may require a negative COVID-19 test before staff or students can resume in-person learning.

  • Masking will be mandated in our building AND in any off-campus, MDS events including staff.
    • Students who are unable or unwilling to wear masks for any reason will be required to transition to virtual learning.
    • Medical masks (acceptable mask types as of 1/10/2022 are N95, KN95, KN94, or KF94 masks) will be provided by the school. Acceptable mask types will be reevaluated based on local transmission levels and availability. 
    • No one will be allowed inside the building without an acceptable mask. 
    • In the event that someone, including staff, is in the building and not properly wearing a mask covering their nose and mouth, please respectfully remind them that wearing a mask is a requirement inside the building for the protection of all and that they put their mask on. The first warning for mask violations will result in a phone call to parents.  Any further masking violations will result in having to leave the building for the day.  Students will need to recommit to masking in order to resume “in-person” learning.
  • Anyone inside the school building will be required to socially distance; the current recommendation is to leave four feet between people (given we cannot assume everyone is vaccinated). Seating in classrooms and eating spaces will be assigned.  Common seating spaces will have distance markings.  In the event that someone, including staff, is not following assigned seating or distancing guidelines, please respectfully remind them that this is a requirement inside the building for the protection of all and that they need to follow the guidelines. Multiple warnings for distancing violations will result in a conversation with families and may result in having to leave the building for the day.  Students will need to recommit to distancing in order to continue “in-person” learning.
  • Students can only eat outside or socially distanced in the MakerSpace (they must sit at least 6’ apart from another person).  Masks may only be removed while actively eating and seated in their assigned space.  Masks must be worn while heating food, getting food from the refrigerator, cleaning up after yourself, etc.
  • Although surface transmission has been observed at very low rates compared to airborne transmission, a cleaning and sanitizing schedule will be maintained. 

Daily Precautions to be Used

We will complete a daily health screening at school. Guardians are asked to also take their student’s temperature before bringing them to school AND ask them if they are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below.

The Health Screening will consist of two parts: verbal intake and a temperature scan. Based upon the results of this screening, admission to the facility will or will not be granted. 

Verbal Intake: The verbal intake will consist of two yes/no questions: 

1) In the past 24-hours have you experienced any of the following symptoms?

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 

2) In the past 14 days have you had contact with a person known to be infected with the novel coronavirus?

Temperature Scan: Individuals with a temperature of 99° F or above will not be admitted to school buildings following CDC guidelines. 

If a student indicated “yes” to any portion of the  Health Screening, they must leave the school-building for the day and return home. Students may participate in Remote Learning for attendance. In the event that a student fails the screening or develops symptoms throughout the day, a family member will be contacted to come pick the student up. If a parent cannot be reached, an emergency contact will be called. If that person also cannot be reached, the student will be isolated and allowed to join class virtually or work on their project. 

Once the student leaves the building, the area from which the student left will be cleaned and sanitized before it is used for any other purpose.  

Weekly COVID Screening

Students and staff engaging in “in-person” education will be required to participate in weekly covid screening tests to reduce the risk of asymptomatic covid transmission.  MDS will provide on-site testing through Fitchburg Family Pharmacy for students and staff who wish to use those services. Families who choose not to utilize on-site testing must communicate their testing plans and timeframes with the Health, Wellness, and Safety Coordinator at office@milestonedemocratic.org or 608-305-4332 (call / text).

Fitchburg Family Pharmacy is currently scheduled to provide testing at Milestone from 4:00 – 5:00pm every Wednesday.

Outdoor Activities

During the times staff take their students outside, masks will still be required by both staff and students.  This requirement will continue to be in place until such time as the spread of the virus and its variants  is reduced to a level that will allow mask-free outdoor activities.   When outside, students and staff must continue to maintain a 3’ distance from each other.  

Positive COVID Tests and Contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19

If a student, staff person, or  someone residing in their place of residence tests positive for COVID-19; OR a student or staff person has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they must contact MDS within 6 hours of receiving the positive test. You should not report to school. The Health and Wellness Coordinator will coordinate a process to determine whether other students / staff may have been exposed, notify the appropriate people (with full respect to student, family and staff confidentiality), and coordinate with staff to create a comprehensive plan for ensuring that the staff person’s school duties are adequately covered.  The MDS community will be notified of any student or staff COVID-19 transmissions.   

Vaccinated/Unvaccinated Students/Staff

All staff and students are encouraged to receive the recommended vaccinations for COVID-19.  As a community, we realize that there are reasons for some people not to receive a vaccine.  As we learn more about the science and epidemiology of this virus, the recommendations for best practice may change based on vaccine status.  We recognize the right of each person to maintain their health confidentiality.  If an individual wants to be recognized as vaccinated, they must present confirmation of their vaccination status to the Health and Wellness Coordinator.  People who have not confirmed their vaccination status will be expected to follow the recommendations for unvaccinated persons.

For those staff who are not vaccinated, they will be required to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week and provide the documentation of negative test results to the Health and Wellness Coordinator.  Additionally, the coordinator will alert families that not all of the staff is currently fully vaccinated and will share the plan for the required COVID-19 testing for those staff members.  

The protocol for COVID-related restrictions is subject to revision based on the recommendations of CDC, DPI, and our local community.  As our area currently has a very high rate of transmission for the COVID virus, the prevention measures of this protocol are necessary to provide the greatest opportunity for all of us to be safe and healthy.

Last updated bySean Anderson on July 24, 2022
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