Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Dear FPMS Parents/Guardians and Staff,
Over the last week, we have experienced a significant increase in student COVID-19 positive cases at Forest Park Middle School. As of this morning, we are very close to exceeding the 1.5% 14-day positivity rate at which point we will require that masks be worn indoors at school.
Here are some details for how we will operate if we have to require masking.
- In the event we move past a 1.5% 14-day positivity rate, we will communicate with all families and students about the switch and when we will begin to require masks for 10 calendar days.
- If we switch to required masking, all students will be required to wear masks during the school day and during any indoor after-school activities. Athletes and performers may remove masks during active participation. Student spectators will be required to wear masks indoors.
- We anticipate that masks will not be required outdoors at any time.
- During that 10-day period, we will continue to monitor the 14-day positivity rate. At the end of that required masking window, if the FPMS rate has decreased to below 1.5%, we will return to recommended masking. If the rate is still 1.5% or higher, we will continue masking for another 10 calendar day period and repeat this metric check process.
- Masks would be required of all individuals regardless of vaccination status. While many of our FPMS students are fully vaccinated, recent medical data has shown that vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID-19. Fortunately, as a result of being vaccinated, individuals are significantly less likely to become severely ill or hospitalized. However, vaccinated individuals can still spread COVID-19 if they are infected with the virus.
Required masking is the next step in our efforts to not exceed a 3% 14-day positivity rate at Forest Park Middle School. As a reminder, if we exceed that 3% rate, we would pivot to at-home instruction in an attempt to prevent the further spread of infection. We would very much like to avoid this.
Please continue to do what you can to help slow this spread which includes:
- Monitor for these symptoms and keep your child(ren) home if they exhibit any of these symptoms.
- Keep your child at home if they are identified as a close contact. This includes social events and gatherings to prevent the risk of spread.
- Wear a mask when indoors regardless of vaccination status per the recommendations of the CDC, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Franklin Health Department.
- Explore vaccination options for your child (vaccinefinder.org) if they are not yet vaccinated. We have been fortunate enough to quarantine far fewer students this year due to the majority of our students being vaccinated.
For now, we will continue to operate with recommended masking. We will publish our next COVID-19 dashboard on our Communications Hub this Friday. We will communicate with FPMS families and students again if we move past the 1.5% positivity rate. Thank you for continuing to do what you can to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Jacob Misiak, Principal
Forest Park Middle School