DeForest Area School District Superintendent Eric Runez has updated the district guidelines on masking in public places following Dane County’s decision not to renew pandemic masking orders on March 1.
Runez made the announcement via a parent letter, which is also posted on the district’s website. The letter reads:
Dear DASD families,
Effective March 1, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) will no longer require face coverings in public indoor spaces in light of steadily decreasing COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations.
Beginning Tuesday, March 1 in the DeForest Area School District:
Face coverings will be recommended and strongly encouraged (not required) in all of our school buildings.
Face coverings continue to be required on school buses. Dane County’s public health order expiration does not affect the federal requirement for face coverings on public transportation.
4K: Families with children in our community-based 4K program should follow your site's protocol, which may still require face coverings.
Choir/Band: If your child is in choir or band, we encourage you to take extra precautions (wear face coverings) due to the nature of the activities.
Students who have tested positive and are returning to school from quarantine will be required to wear a face mask for days 6-10 of quarantine both indoors and outdoors, except when eating. Staff will monitor these positive cases and quarantines in order to maintain this requirement. Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms at school will continue to be directed to the health services office and will be asked to wear a mask while awaiting pickup.
The district, with assistance from our medical advisory team, will continue to assess community infection rates, student and staff vaccination rates, and positive case counts within the district to inform decision making as we continue through the school year. If any safety and communication protocols are changed (including the use of face coverings in specific instances), we will communicate with you immediately.
Respecting Personal Choice
Students, staff, and families: please help us maintain a safe, respectful, and responsible school environment.
We are offering personal choice with the expectation that individual choices are respected.
One should not make assumptions regarding someone’s beliefs or health status, nor should they comment on them.
Be respectful if anyone requests that you remain physically distanced from them. We will continue to provide physical distancing to the extent possible in our classrooms.
Our staff will discuss the change with students in a developmentally appropriate manner, including how to respect everyone’s personal choice.
If your child(ren) expresses any issues or concerns, feel free to reach out to our student services staff for additional support as needed.
COVID Hotline: (608) 842-6590 | email@example.com
DASD students, parents/guardians of students, and staff members should continue to use this hotline to: ask a question, report if you have tested positive for the coronavirus, if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Contact Tracing & Notifications
Our District Health Service Team will not be conducting contact tracing for interactions at school.
In the event of a positive case in our schools (K-6 homeroom, club, activity, etc.), we will send an email notice to all families of the affected group. Our COVID-19 Dashboard will continue to be updated at least twice a week with active and cumulative positive cases and active quarantines/isolations by building.
No changes to our DASD Protocols and timelines for isolation when your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive COVID-19, awaiting a test result, or is a close contact of someone testing positive.
Our DASD testing site through Noah Clinical Laboratories will continue operating at 520 E. Holum Street. More information is available on our DASD COVID website.
Please continue to do your part to help ensure students and staff stay healthy — and maintain in-person learning without masks.
Keep your child home from school if sick, and get your child tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms, have tested positive, or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and are not exempt from quarantine.
If not done so yet, get your child vaccinated for COVID-19, including a booster dose as soon as they are eligible.
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we continue our commitment to providing safe learning environments for the remainder of this school year.
Eric Runez, Superintendent