July 29, 2020

Hamilton School Board members accepted four administrative recommendations concerning the opening of the 2020-21 school year, including requirement of face masks for students and staff who are involved in traditional in-person learning.school board meeting_type

Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said the district was taking guidance on the use of face masks from the Waukesha County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics which all endorsed the use of masks when social distancing is not possible.

Policies will be written providing exemptions for individuals with medical, developmental, mental health or religious consideration. In addition, students will not be required to wear masks while outside. Students will be instructed on the proper use and care for masks, and breaks will be built in during the day.

In addition to the mask decision, the School Board agreed that the district should:

  • develop metrics and ranges to determine if school should be conducted virtually based on community spread of the virus, active staff and student confirmed cases, student and staff absences due to close contact, rate of infection among students and staff, overall teacher absence rate and ability to replace staff who are absent with a substitute;
  • research potential to use a hybrid option during significant community spread
  • continue researching new cleaning products and procedures.

More details about health and safety measures were provided in a written report to the board.

Earlier in the meeting Buildings & Ground Manager Jeff Grove described the array of equipment, technology, sprays and chemicals custodial staff will use to clean schools. Grove said the schools will have additional cleaning to reduce and eliminate the virus.

Instructional Services Supervisor Cathy Drago, Curriculum Specialist Whitney Roth and Program Support Coordinator Katie Foy gave School Board members details on how instruction will be delivered next fall. They focused on emergency remote learning for students who might be out of school for up to 21 days due to COVID exposure, extended school closures and the 100% virtual option.