MARINETTE â The Marinette School Board on Tuesday discussed the current state of COVID-19 in the district and how the district will continue to manage it.
Superintendent Corry Lambie said a COVID plan was discussed with the rest of the board at a workshop, and reviewed the plan at the regular board meeting for those not at the workshop . He said the COVID plan for the future will be based on a series of thresholds and parameters based on the size of buildings.
He said the plan’s goals are to ensure the safety of students and staff, as well as to keep them in school for in-person education, using official state and federal guidelines. âSome of these things are not perfectly followed; looking at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) directive that all students and staff are masked, everyone knows we have optional masks right now, âhe said.
He said the way the plan is designed, the district would be able to use layers of attenuation depending on the school, rather than switching from optional masking to universal K-12 masking all at once, per example. âIt can be done in isolation in maybe a classroom for students coming out of their 40s. Either way, we want to have a certain level of flexibility. It’s fluid and intended to meet the needs of approximately 2,000 students and 250 employees, âLambie said.
Lambie said masking is still optional in all buildings but required on buses until January. Contact tracing and quarantine is still in progress if necessary.
Lambie said the mitigation plan will be a three-tier plan. âWe wanted some flexibility, so as we work on it we can make the necessary adjustments. One of the parameters starts at 0-5% (absent). This does not mean that you have to wait until it reaches 5% to take a step; you can move away from the educational model or any other mitigation strategy, âhe said.
This would be used building by building, as the number of students constituting a certain percentage of the building’s student population differs. Taking Garfield Elementary as an example, he said that 5% of a building with 140 students would represent about seven children. âSeven students could make you a pivot in this building,â he said.
The three mitigation categories (green, yellow and red) are divided into mask use, close contact, cleaning protocols, facility use and several other categories based on the severity or tame of COVID in buildings in the district.
He said the last time this was discussed, the council asked for some sort of transparent online dashboard that would show the number of positive cases in the district, the number of students with COVID-like symptoms, the number of out-of-school students and staff on COVID-related absences, etc. He said a three-phase framework based on the percentage of absences due to positive cases. âInitially, if there is a combination of positive COVID cases and a number of COVID-like symptoms, you can make a decision in one building that you may not have to make in another because they don’t ‘don’t have as many with those same symptoms, “he said.
He said the West De Pere School District helped Marinette’s IT department create the dashboard. âWe don’t think it’s going to be a huge company, but we need to make sure our people have the right skills and ask the right questions for the third column: How do we determine what the reasons are for COVID-19? It could be close contact, waiting for a test, or COVID-like symptoms, âhe said.
Between October 12 and this Tuesday, Lambie said there was one new case of COVID at Sunrise Early Learning Center, one new case at Merryman Elementary, 19 at Marinette Middle School and 25 at Marinette High School. The number of staff remained low, with the total number of cases among all students and staff representing about 2% of the district population. The dashboard will also show the number of students absent due to close contact in the near future.