Dear MPLSD Parents and Guardians,
Greetings! I hope this finds you healthy and well!
First, I want to thank you for all of your support. We cannot do this without the support of our families and community. Again, thank you! You are helping us to prove that all of us really are MP Strong!
Secondly, I wanted to share some insight with you regarding the cases that we have had here at MPLSD and our plans moving forward. Though we are not permitted to speak about individuals or provide health information that would allow people to discern who is sick, we can say that with the information we have, it does not appear that any of the cases that we have had in the school district thus far are related to any of the others. It does appear they have all been the result of community spread outside of the school. We are monitoring the status of this health crisis closely. Because the level of community spread in the county is up, the number of cases we see in the school district are bound to reflect that trend.
We have worked hard to try to make sure that MP is as safe as it can be. Before the school year even began, we had made changes in the district such as putting table barriers (a.k.a., desk shields) in classrooms and in the cafeterias, following state guidance to require staff and students to wear masks, cleaning high-touch surfaces on a regular basis, changing student “traffic patterns” in the hallways, serving breakfasts and lunches in ways that are different than the ways they were typically served, and utilizing our gym and cafeteria spaces on both sides of campus so that students can be distanced from each other while they eat lunch.
With regard to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, as I type this correspondence, Madison County is currently “orange” (i.e., Level 2) with a “High Case Incidence” designation. The county is currently hitting three indicators, and it is conceivable that a fourth indicator could be met soon. If that were to happen, it would put the county in the “red” (i.e., Level 3) designation.
Our Responsible Restart plan is correlated with the Risk Levels; however, the plan states that the levels (i.e., education delivery methods) may change if the district is directed to do so ….” It also states, “All plans are subject to change based on evolving conditions, data about the status of the pandemic, and recommendations and guidance from MCPH (Madison County Public Health).
Madison County Public Health has told us that we have done an exceptional job with our safety planning and execution. They have indicated to us that, based on an evaluation of county-level data and trends over the last few days, we can remain in the educational model we are currently in at this time.
Our students are here to get an education, and by coming here, they get even more. For some of them being here is important so that they get food; for others it is important they are here so that they receive the social and emotional support they need. Being here is the best thing for their education, and it is the best thing for them with regard to other aspects of their lives, too. Additionally, we understand that parents and guardians are relying on us to have their children attend school so that they can go to work. Making a decision to change educational delivery methods needs to be considered thoughtfully, and we do not want to panic.
As such, if the county were to move to a “red” designation, we will carefully monitor the situation and frequently consult with Madison County Public Health to understand county trends. If the county were to be designated red for two consecutive weeks, we may move to a hybrid delivery model in accordance with our established Responsible Restart plans. Again, we do not want to panic, and we do not want to pull the rug out from under our students and our families with short notice, which is what we would do if we changed delivery methods for a significant period of time with only a couple days of notice. We want to be thoughtful about and responsive to the situation and the data we have.
We will continue to keep you posted as circumstances change. We value the partnership we have with our parents, guardians, and community. As noted above, we cannot do this without you. We appreciate all of the efforts everyone is making to help this be as successful of a school year as it can be.
We are MP! We are MP Strong! Go Eagles!
Chad Eisler, Superintendent
Madison-Plains Local School District