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District's Medical Advisory Board Calls Families to Action: 10/2/20

While the Medical Advisory Board and District Leadership Team do not recommend any change to in-person learning, they are both calling for families to help stop the community spread of the coronavirus by limiting social engagements, play dates, and group gatherings. This plea follows a dramatic spike in Elmbrook Community data, where in the past two weeks the Community's Case Rate has jumped from 127 to 325 (per 100,000 over 14 days) and percent positive tests have increased from 6.2% to 14.3%. Both data exceed desired targets established before the start of the school year, when local student and staff infection rate data were not available. Since the start of the school year, student and staff data have consistently lagged that of the community, giving confidence in the District's risk mitigation measures and families adherence to keeping children with symptoms home. 

Additionally, the Medical Advisory Board has established a new threshold, student overall absence rate of 20%, to guide the temporary shift of any one school to virtual learning for a period of 14 days. Although none of our schools is close to this threshold now, it is meant to reflect concerns about the potential for disease spread in any one location if so many students are absent, regardless of the reason for absence. The absence rate will be added to the District dashboard next week. Other factors that could influence a change in our approach to in-person learning include:

1. Staff shortage or key staff constraints (e.g. no access to substitutes)

2. Increase of in-school transmission of the virus

3. Hospital bed capacity increase

4. County-ordered move to virtual

The District's Leadership Team continues to focus on staff continuity, and have deployed several different strategies to recruit people to open positions and substitute pools of workers. View the District's open positions here.

We will continue to share our data transparently with families, give as much notice as possible to any change in our learning continuum approach, and make decisions at the advice of our Medical Advisory Board, Senior Leadership Team, and Board of Education.

Recommendations

The Medical Advisory Board recommends that a school move to temporary emergency remote learning when the student absence rate reaches 20% or more and/or staff instability prevents delivery of instruction and/or operations.  Additionally, the MAB asks for surveillance testing options for consideration at the next meeting.

The Medical Advisory Board recommends the creation of medical accommodations for students with special health care needs that are defined as those who have a chronic physical condition, are non-ambulatory and who require health care related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.  Additionally, the recommendation includes mitigation strategies outlined in the Mask Accommodation Plan.

The Medical Advisory Board recommends that sports with sustained aerobic activity wear masks for all sessions that do not include aerobic activity including but not limited to transportation to events, warm up/stretching, timeouts, on the bench or otherwise idle time, and post event.

The Medical Advisory Board and Senior Leadership team recommends issuing a statement to families asking them to curtail outside activities and social gatherings to help slow the spread of the disease in our community.