MILWAUKEE — With COVID-19 cases plummeting across Wisconsin, one of the largest school districts in the state is holding a special meeting to potentially adjust some of its protocols.
For the last four months, the Milwaukee School Board says it has gotten countless calls and questions about its current COVID-19 protocols, with special focus on what threshold would push a school to close and if it should close at all.
As it stands, if 3 percent of a school’s population tests positive for COVID-19, the campus has to switch to virtual learning for two weeks. The new recommendation would require school cases to stay above 3 percent for 10 days before making the switch, and would cut the time down to only a week.
Another proposal Thursday night would look at how families are informed of exposure. The new plan would give parents a warning notification if their child’s school is close to reaching the virtual learning threshold, in order to offer some extra time to prepare.
When it comes to quarantine, MPS’ current practice is a 14-day quarantine for positive cases and any close contacts, but can be shortened to 7 days for people without symptoms and a negative PCR test on day 6 of exposure. The new recommendation would keep that in place, as well as push for a quarantine for anyone in the same household.
In response to the potential changes, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association President Amy Mizialko released this statement:
"MTEA has been and will continue to discuss reasonable alternatives to the 10-day temporary virtual rule for schools that reach 3% positivity with MPS Administration. It is not helpful that the School Board is rushing into a decision Thursday with minimal public notice and, to our knowledge, no alternative proposal from the board member who requested the meeting."
With thousands of students and families potentially impacted by the changes, we wanted to hear from you, reaching out on our social media channels to get your thoughts.
Many people said the protocols definitely need to change, with one parent telling us her oldest daughter missed almost a month of in-person learning last October because of the quarantine rules.
It is important to note that masks are not on the agenda due to the city’s current indoor mask mandate.
The special meeting is a public hearing and anyone who would like to share their thoughts is encouraged to register and attend.
This meeting will happen virtually at 6:30 p.m. Click this link to find multiple ways to watch or listen to the meeting.
You can also read the PowerPoint presentation that will be used during the meeting.