Madison schools announce all-virtual start to the school year

The Madison Metropolitan School District will hold classes entirely online to start the school year
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 10:12 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 10:31 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Metropolitan School District will hold classes entirely online to start the school year.

Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore said the district is making the announcement now to provide parents with “as much advance notice as possible” so they can begin coordinating their child care and work schedules.

“We are committed to informing families as far in advance as we are able, therefore it is our hope that decisions will be made two to three weeks prior to the start of each school year quarter,” she continued.

If conditions do improve, the district hopes to see students returning to their classrooms “in some capacity” by November 3.

The district said in a statement that it plans to work proactively with families to support students when they are not involved in in-person instruction

District officials said their decision was based on the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, both in the city and in the county.

“Today as local cases continue to surge, and the ongoing analysis of public health data to provide guidance on how to implement requirements they expect schools to have in place to open safely, has left us with limited options,” Belmore explained.


The school district admits is still has some planning to do before it is ready for the all-virtual classes. Some of the challenges it plans to tackle in the coming weeks include:

  • Continued partnership and planning with community agencies to increase childcare support
  • Providing teachers with expanded training in online education to better meet student needs
  • Providing students with additional training at the start of the year to better support their virtual learning experience
  • Providing increased online support for parents to make it easier for them to participate in the education of their students and maximize the use of the online enrollment process to eliminate in-person enrollment events and provide individualized supports virtually
  • Customized planning by Principals will continue to ensure the safest possible reopening
  • Continue providing free meals at the current distribution locations
  • Continue its work to provide strong rigorous virtual learning instruction and planning for the hybrid learning model
  • Continue to assess available data and make adjustments accordingly knowing that families need lead time to make arrangements should we change our learning model
  • Finalizing a process to determine limited face to face instruction for students with disabilities whose programs can not be implemented virtually

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