SDMA End-of-Semester Update

SDMA End-of-Semester Update
Posted on 01/21/2022

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

As we get ready to close up another week and the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year, a huge amount of thanks and appreciation goes out to everyone who helped make the first semester a success in the School District of the Menomonie Area.

This semester surely had its challenges, but the students, families, and members of the SDMA staff and community have worked well together to provide our kids with the best and most productive experience possible. A special thanks goes out to the teachers, support staff and administrative team members who have so often modified their plans and worked outside of their normal schedule to serve our students during the peaks of the pandemic surges experienced this semester. The district would not have been able to keep our schools open without the dedication, commitment, and sacrifices by these individuals. THANK YOU!

In addition to offering my thanks, here are a few other notes to consider for the beginning of the second semester:

Winter Weather: As we move toward the end of January and into the depth of the winter season, it is common for questions to arise related to possible school closings for inclement weather. Please review these blog posts from previous years (Adjusting to Winter Weather & Winter Weather Update) if you would like more information about how the district handles decisions related to winter weather. 

ASC Staffing Changes: There will be a few staffing changes at the Administrative Service Center beginning next week. After completing coursework in the teacher preparation program at UW Stout, SDMA Accountant Andrea Gores will be teaching in the Business Education Department at Menomonie High School, and my assistant, Janet Quinn, will be transitioning to the district accountant position. Jenny Mikesell, who has worked as a paraeducator in the district and most recently as a front desk receptionist at the ASC, will become my new assistant. 

COVID-19 Protocols: With so many changes over the past several weeks, it has been difficult for everyone to keep up with the most current CDC recommendations and how school protocols related to isolation and quarantine may be impacted. As previously noted, the SDMA has adopted abbreviated isolation protocol that allows asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 to return to school after fives days of isolation as long as a mask can be worn until the full 10-day isolation period is complete. The SDMA does not required classroom close contacts to quarantine, but the district's quarantine protocols for household close contacts have also been updated to reflect shortened guidelines for abbreviated quarantine periods.

Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests: This week it was announced that every household in the country is eligible for four free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests can be ordered online at or by calling a government hotline (more info here). The scarce availability of rapid antigen tests has limited the SDMA testing center to only PCR tests in recent weeks, but we are hopeful that this supply chain issue will be addressed soon. More information about the SDMA's testing center is posted on the school district website.

Hopefully this most current wave of the pandemic is almost behind us, and best wishes for a productive and healthy second semester. For your convenience, the 2021-2022 district calendar is linked here.

Joe Zydowsky