Hamilton Middle: From a distance.
This section includes updates on reopening schools in MMSD and at Hamilton. You are encouraged to also check out the following section and the referenced articles on reopening schools world-wide.
July 17 Update: The Madison Metropolitan School District has made the difficult decision to start the school year 100% Virtual Learning. Virtual Learning will take place at least through first quarter (October 30). See this link for the full story from MMSD.
July 6 Update: The model of instruction that we return to in the fall will be determined by the district. In determining this model, the district will be required to follow guidelines established by the State of Wisconsin. These guidelines are currently in a state of flux as the State makes adjustments based on the ever changing evolution of the pandemic. The school district is currently considering three options for returning to school in September: 1) Return to school as normal, 2) All online learning, and, 3) A hybrid model of some learning taking place in person, and some learning happening online. Some parents have been asking if, regardless of the model of instruction, they can choose an all online option for their child's education in the fall. This parent choice option is currently being considered by the district, but a final determination has not been made.
ARTICLES PERTAINING TO SCHOOLING IN A PANDEMIC
The following links are to articles of interest that give us hope with regard to an eventual return to school. Linked articles are not meant to be in support of any model of schooling or suggestive of a timeline for our return.
There are more than 170 COVID-19 vaccines in development. Here's where they stand. (Washington Post, September 2, 2020) Tracking 200 experimental vaccines aimed at ending the pandemic, a scientific quest moving forward at record-breaking speed.
How Long Will Immunity To The Coronavirus Last? (NPR, July 23, 2020) Includes and 3-minute audio file in addition to print.
Analysts Are Starting to Pick Their Covid-19 Vaccine Winners, but There’s Still a Long Way to Go (Barron's, July 21, 2020)
Coronavirus doctor's diary: So, did the Bradford choir have Covid-19 in January? (BBC, July 19, 2020) Gives an overview of two types of cells in our bodies that help to fight off viruses.
Is In-Person School Safe? Your Coronavirus Back To School Questions (NPR, July 15, 2020) This link goes to an audio file of the story.
When It Comes To Reopening Schools, 'The Devil's In The Details,' Educators Say (NPR, July 9, 2020)
What Parents Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During Lockdowns (NPR, June 24, 2020)
MEETING BASIC NEEDS
Hamilton Families: If you are needing assistance accessing resources in the community, please feel free to text or call Kristin Ensminger, Hamilton social worker. Her number: 608-561-2883. In addition, this link is to a survey provided by Madison General Defense Committee and is a way to request support for basic needs. This is not an MMSD link.
Neighborhood Food Sites: MMSD is now offering curbside meal service at 40 school sites, for all children 18 years of age or younger. Each site has pickup one day per week for family convenience (including one day each week at Hamilton). Students will receive a market food box with all of the components for 5 balanced breakfast and lunch meals that meet the requirements for the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs. See this link for more information on Neighborhood Food Sites, including dates, times, and locations.
If you lost your job or your hours have been reduced, you may eligible for unemployment under Wisconsin and the federal government. Information will be coming on supplemental unemployment benefits from the federal government. To apply for unemployment in Wisconsin, use this link.
For Frequently Asked Questions on unemployment benefits, see this link (Available in Spanish and Hmong):
Latinx: Emergency Assistance for Latinx, see this link
This link to a community COVID-19 resource page offers a compendium of most anything that you might want to know about COVID-19 including links to resources to address issues that include financial, emotional, logistical, and childcare challenges. Resources have been collected from news articles, local Facebook groups, grassroots organizations, etc. This document is not an MMSD creation.
MMSD Link: Use this link to access the MMSD information page on COVID-19.
Hamilton Library Link: Take note of this link to the Hamilton Library Portal. It is filled with many links to keep your child's brain active over this unexpected break from school.
Talking with Kids About COVID-19: In my role as principal, students often ask me about COVID-19. Most of these inquiries are surface level, and for sure some are trying to get at the school closing question, but nevertheless, I think the questions do indicate some broad level of anxiety. I work hard to reassure students that they will be okay. Here is a link to a decent article by the CDC on talking with children about COVID-19 that the district shared previously.