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MMSD leaders explain decision to delay in-person learning

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 6:48 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - District leaders at the Madison Metropolitan School District are sharing more on the decision to delay in-person learning as students return from Winter break.

MMSD officials held a press conference Friday morning sharing that the concern amid rising COVID-19 cases in Dane County and within the district is the reason for the delay.

Instead of returning to classrooms on January 3rd as planned, students will resume school virtually on Thursday. The days in between are to allow students and teachers time to prepare for virtual instruction Thursday and Friday. It is also to allow people in the district to get COVID tests if needed.

Staffing shortages are also a challenging factor.

“Returning to virtual learning for two days will strengthen our ability to return to schools in person on Mon. Jan 10th. We are navigating this pandemic in real time and the recent surge of COVID cases in our community can’t be ignored,” said Ali Muldrow, MMSD School Board Chair.

Leaders confirm rising COVID-19 cases in Dane County are having a ripple impact within the district. “We know we’re looking at the total case count and they’ve been doubling for us at an alarming rate of like every 2 days we’re seeing this increase,” said Dr. Carlton Jenkins, District Superintendent.

Throughout the next week, district leaders will meet with health officials to discuss the timeline for a safe return to class. Getting more student vaccinated remains a goal as well. Officials are asking families for patience during this time.

District leaders will meet on Tuesday for a metrics meeting to discuss next steps. A new update will be provided to the public on Jan. 6 with the hope that in-person learning will be able to resume by Jan. 10.

NBC15 reached out to other area school districts. As of now, there are no other confirmed delays.

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