Holiday Update from the SDMA

Holiday Update from the SDMA
Posted on 12/16/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

Season's Greetings from the School District of the Menomonie Area!  Winter break in the SDMA begins next Thursday, December 23, and classes will resume on Monday, January 3. The entire district calendar is posted on the school district website.

Here are a few important updates for families as the district prepares for a new year:

  • SDMA Facebook Page: Beginning in January, the SDMA will be expanding its social media presence through Facebook. Please follow us on Facebook at "Menomonie Area Schools"  (see informational flier).
  • COVID-19 Testing: The SDMA is now partnering with Accelerated Clinical Laboratories to provide free COVID-19 testing for students, staff members, parents, guardians, and siblings. Hopefully easier access to testing will allow more students and staff to be able to stay in school or return to classes quicker. More information is posted on the district website.
  • Abbreviated Quarantine: In an effort to keep more students in school, the district's protocols for the use of abbreviated quarantine have been updated to expand eligibility for students in grades 5K-2. Previously, abbreviated quarantine was only allowed for students in grades 3-12. Asymptomatic household close contacts will be allowed to attend school as long as abbreviated quarantine provisions can be met. Please contact the school nurses for more information. 
  • Online Threats, Vandalism, and Mischief: The SDMA has become aware of some troubling posts that have been shared widely on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. These posts refer to a number of inappropriate school behaviors, and one recent post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17. The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from other districts that the same post is circulating in their schools. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously. Additionally, the district has been in contact with the Menomonie Police Department regarding some recent vandalism and to review school safety plans. We may have an increased police presence in our buildings on Friday as an added precaution. These situations serve as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to inappropriate behaviors and school safety threats. Even if threats are not credible, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online. If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member or trusted adult right away. As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.
  • New Contact for SDMA Community Education/Pool and Field House: Beginning January 1, Perry Myren ([email protected]) will be the SDMA's contact for the Field House, Pool, and Community Education Activities. This is the position previously held by Kale Proksch. Mr. Myren also serves as the Activities Director at Menomonie High School. Mr. John Samb will be serving in the high school assistant principal position previously held by Mr. Myren.

Thank you for your partnership and support in 2021, and best wishes on the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Joe Zydowsky