COVID Update & 21-22 Virtual Registration

COVID Update & 21-22 Virtual Registration
Posted on 05/12/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

Overall COVID-19 activity has remained pretty stable this past week across the country, state, and local community. Despite this good news, it is important to understand that COVID-19 is still circulating in our community and can be easily spread if proper precautions are not observed. Please continue to be mindful of any gatherings, consider getting vaccinated, and do what you can to Wash Up, Mask Up, and Back Up

SDMA COVID-19 Survey: As planning continues for summer school and the 2021-2022 school year, the SDMA administrative team will be seeking family, staff, and student feedback in relation to the district's response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year. Please look for an email tomorrow and take a few minutes to complete the survey. Results of the survey will be reviewed by the administrative team and a summary report will be shared with the school board.

SDMA Learning Options for 2021-2022: On Monday, the school board approved the SDMA Instructional Plan for the 2021-2022 school year. Families will once again have the option to have children attend school in person or virtually through the Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS) program. The application window for students to enroll in online classes through WVS for the fall semester is now open. The SDMA encourages families to learn more about the SDMA Virtual School Option on the district website and consider how it may or may not benefit each child. Families who choose the virtual school option for their child(ren) must commit to the online platform for a minimum of a semester. The early application deadline for the Fall 2021 semester is June 1, 2021 for those families that are confident their child(ren) will attend school virtually next year. Fall applications will be accepted until August 6, 2021 for those who need more time to make a decision.

Mask Use in the SDMA: The use of cloth face coverings is required in the SDMA through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. It is anticipated that the school board will decide on any masking requirements for summer school at the Board meeting scheduled on May 24.

Vaccine Information: Everyone in Wisconsin age 12 and older is expected to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination this week, and appointments are readily available in our community. Please see the attached information about the Community Vaccination Clinic being offered at UW Stout on Thursday, May 13. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals 12-17 years old. Parents may wish to reach out to your family health provider and consider the Student Vaccination Guidance developed by the SDMA when considering a vaccination for your 12+ year old child. I am hopeful that more restrictions could be lifted in our schools next school year if case counts go down and/or more people choose to get vaccinated.

Vaccination Student Exclusions Reminder: Students who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine due to being a "close contact", so long as they are asymptomatic. If fully vaccinated students are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms (whether or not they were a close contact) they will need to follow the district's protocol for exclusions with either a full or abbreviated quarantine period.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Data
According to the Department of Health Services website, the 7-day average in Wisconsin for new cases is 491 today (down from 626 last week) and percent positivity is 3.1% today (down from 3.4% last week). 

Dunn County COVID-19 Data
According to Monday's update on the Dunn County Facebook page, disease activity across the county is still "High" with 41 active cases in Dunn County and 2 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (36 and 1 last week). The COVID-19 vaccine series has been completed by 14,236 Dunn County residents- 31.4% of the county population (up from 13,376/29.5% last week). 

SDMA Student COVID-19 Data
One of the newly reported confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dunn County over the past week was a student enrolled in the SDMA. With 2,833 students participating in the in-person instructional model, the SDMA currently has 1 active student case- 0.04% [same as 1 active case (0.04%) last week]. The breakdown of active student cases includes:

  • Menomonie High School-     0 (down from 0 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School-  0 (down from 0 last week) 
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools-  1 (down from 1 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-                     0 (same as 0 last week)

Student COVID-19 exclusions across the district declined over this past week. Today, 1.59% of the students in the SDMA were excluded from school due to close contacts, symptoms, or other COVID-19 concerns (down from 2.08% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 2.01% (down from 2.16% last week). 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      1.21% (up from 0.88% last week)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   1.55% (down from 1.90% last week)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           0.29%  (down from 0.87% last week)
  • River Heights Elementary-    4.53%  (down from 7.37% last week)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            1.89%  (down from 3.15% last week)
  • Knapp Elementary-                1.22%  (up from 0.00% last week)
  • Downsville Elementary-         0.00%  (same as 0.00% last week)
  • Menomonie 4K-                     0.61%  (same as 0.61% last week)

SDMA Staff COVID-19 Data
There has not been a reported case of COVID-19 by SDMA staff since the beginning of February, and there have only been a few staff exclusions related to COVID-19 this past week. There are still "0" active COVID-19 cases with SDMA staff. Today, 0.00% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (same as 0.00% last week). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 0.08% (down from 0.25% last week). All SDMA faculty and staff members had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and approximately 70% of SDMA employees reported that they have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series. 

Hopefully the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is already behind us, but it is important that we all stay vigilant for a little while longer. 


Joe Zydowsky