COVID Plan 2020-2021
On March 18, 2021, the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) updated the city's COVID response orders as cases in Milwaukee continue to trend downward. These orders are consistent with the newly published CDC guidance and allows schools in Milwaukee to expand capacity limits in classrooms, pending the submission and approval of a school's revised safety plan.
Earlier in the month MUHS submitted an amended safety plan and received notification from the MHD that the plan has been approved. Based on the order change and plan approval, MUHS returned to full in-person learning on Monday, March 22, 2021.
The health and safety of students and employees remains our top priority. We continue to adhere to rigorous safety measures to mitigate any risks of virus transmission including continued masking, daily health screening, daily temperature checks, required quarantines, hospital-grade air ventilation filters, hand sanitizing, and distancing to the greatest extent possible.
The following modifications have been made in our daily protocols.
- Consistent with CDC guidance, students must maintain at least 3 feet distancing in classrooms and at least 6 feet distancing at lunch when they are unmasked to eat or drink. Studies have shown 3 feet distancing is as effective as 6 feet distancing when masks are worn.
- Seating charts and in-person attendance will be maintained by the school in each classroom. These seating charts and attendance records will be used for contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID case. If there is a COVID positive case, students sitting within 6 feet of the positive individual are considered "close contacts" and will be required to quarantine for 10 days (or 7 days if there is a negative test after 5 days of the most recent contact).
- Carbon filters for masks will be provided (but not required) for those who would like to use them.
MUHS will continue to offer the Hilltoppers@Home virtual option to parents. If trends in Milwaukee revert to previous levels these orders may be altered. If this happens, the school is prepared to return to the internal hybrid schedule. Further, if our record of safety is compromised we are ready to make our own changes independent of MHD orders.
Will all students be in classrooms for their classes?
Yes! Now that the city of Milwaukee has issued a new order and based on the release of recent studies the CDC has issued new guidance to schools reducing the physical distancing between students to 3 feet in classrooms. Studies have shown 3 feet distancing is as effective as 6 feet distancing when masks are worn. Per this new guidance, we will continue to adhere to 6 feet distancing between students and faculty and staff.
Will students who are feeling sick or have COVID symptoms have the option to learn remotely?
Students should complete the daily MedBot app screening for COVID symptoms or exposure. Students who are experiencing COVID symptoms should remain at home. In this case, parents should call the attendance office. Our nurses Mary Nolte and Jennifer Brooks will follow-up with quarantine guidelines. Students who are home due to illness will be able to participate in classes virtually if they are able to do so.
Will MUHS continue to offer the Hilltoppers@Home program?
Yes! MUHS will continue to offer the Hilltoppers@Home virtual option to parents. We expect students to remain in one mode of learning rather than switching back and forth between virtual and in-person classes.
Are Hilltoppers@Home permitted to participate in athletics and co-curriculars?
We have allowed these students to participate in co-curriculars if given permission by their parents. We will continue to allow Hilltoppers@Home students to participate in spring sports and co-curricular activities.
What are the changes in quarantine requirements?
Consistent with CDC and Milwaukee Health Department guidance, MUHS adopted the 10-day exposure quarantine for students who were exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, but who have not tested positive.
If there is a COVID positive case of an MUHS student, we will identify "close contacts" through tracing efforts. Tracing will be based on classroom seating charts and student attendance. Due to relaxing the 6 feet distancing in classrooms, those students sitting within 6 feet of the positive individual are considered "close contacts" and will be required to quarantine for 10 days (or 7 days if there is a negative test after 5 days of the most recent contact).
It is very important that we remain vigilant in our fight against COVID and not compromise the health and safety of those around us. Any questions regarding quarantine requirements may be directed to our nurses at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will lunch work?
Students will eat lunch in designated spaces including the Gym, B&G Room, the Commons, and an outside tent when weather permits. We require 6 foot distancing at lunch while students are unmasked to eat and drink. Students may choose to eat in the location of their choice. (We do not have assigned seats.) Senior open lunch privileges will begin this week. Our lunch provider, Quest, will continue to provide "grab and go" items in the Commons.
Will all students attend homeroom?
Yes! All students will report to their homerooms during designated homeroom periods.
Will all other safety measures continue to be implemented?
Yes! We want to emphasize that the health and safety of students and employees remain our top priority. We will continue to adhere to rigorous safety measures to mitigate any risks of virus transmission including continued masking, daily health screening, daily temperature checks, required quarantines, hospital-grade air ventilation filters, hand sanitizing, and distancing to the greatest extent possible.
Where will students report during study halls and unscheduled periods?
Students may report to areas where 6 feet distancing will be maintained. These areas include the Gym, Atriums spaces, and Library. Students may choose where they will study during unscheduled class periods.
Are there any travel restrictions for Easter break?
Currently, there are no domestic travel restrictions or required domestic travel quarantines for students this Easter break. All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. Homeland Security has restricted the arrival of passengers from these countries. MUHS will provide updates if there is a change in CDC travel policies. We ask everyone's cooperation to adhere to safety measures during travel to avoid the spread of the virus. Students who have symptoms should not report to school.
Do students have the option to learn remotely due to travel?
Student absences from in-person learning due to travel must be cleared by Mr. Kowalewski. Pre-planned absences due to travel require the completion of our planned absence form. If this form has already been submitted, it does not need to be resubmitted. If there is an approved absence due to travel students may attend classes remotely for the 4th quarter.
How will AP tests and final exams be handled?
In the coming days, we will issue specific information regarding final course assessments. It suffices to say that we will strive to offer in-person testing to the greatest extent possible.
What will happen if there is another surge of COVID in this area?
If trends in Milwaukee revert to previous levels the Milwaukee Health Department orders may be altered. If this happens we are fully prepared to return to an internal hybrid schedule. Further, if our record of safety is compromised we are ready to make our own changes independent of MHD orders.
Are students able to arrive to school early or stay late?
Yes! Students arriving early to school may use the gym, the Commons, library, or atrium spaces before school for study. These spaces are also available for student use while waiting for co-curricular activities or rides after school.