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Madison Back to School Update


POSTED 8/3/2020


Dear Madison 321 Parents and Staff,


Welcome back!


We are excited to begin the 2020-2021 school year.


Despite all of the challenges presented by COVID-19, hopefully, you have been able to enjoy good health and additional family time.


During the spring and summer, we have been working with Eastern Idaho Public Health, Governor Little’s office, Madison Memorial Hospital, and regional / state health / education authorities to prepare for a safe return to school.


Reopen Agenda



Teachers and Staff:


Teachers and staff members, if you have any questions regarding returning to school, please

direct them to your building principal or supervisor.



Guiding Principles:


We believe that in class instruction is the best learning environment for the vast majority of students.


MSD 321 will take reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of our students and staff during these uncertain times. 


Moving forward, MSD 321 will continue to be in frequent communication with the Eastern Idaho Public Health Department, and other local health officials to continue providing a safe learning environment. 


Madison 321 Online Plan


All students registering with Madison 321 will be enrolled in their respective schools and simultaneously will be enrolled online.


MSD 321 will provide three options for our students:


  1. Full Time: In Class – attend one of our schools with certified educators.


  1. Full Time Online with courses facilitated by certified educators. 


  1. Dual Enrolled - Hybrid Model: if a student becomes ill and needs to stay at home for more than 12 days, they can switch to the online option and return to school once they become healthy.

                      Or, a student may choose to attend school or classes part time during the day and       

                      then work independently online


Madison School District will utilize Accelerate Education online curriculum to deliver accredited online content. All of our online content will be available in our new learning management system – Schoology. For questions regarding online schooling, reach out to your building




Our K-6 courses were built with the 21st century student in mind. Courses integrate online and offline activities to support multiple learning styles and to ensure that students are able to show mastery of concepts down to the objective level.


High-interest, age appropriate stories and informational texts were written especially for our courses based on the sight and spelling words for each lesson. Lessons and activities are interactive and visually engaging for young learners.


The K-6 online option requires a parent to work with their child 17-24 hours per week. 


Mary Robinson (robinsonm@msd321.com) will be our full time online K-6 grade teacher.  Mrs. Robinson is elementary K-8 and special education endorsed. Please contact her with additional questions.


We also have designated certified elementary teachers to assist Mrs. Robinson for each grade 1-6.



Accelerate Education’s 7-12 courses are designed to engage students with different learning styles and abilities, utilizing rich, interactive learning assets that provide both visual and auditory stimulation. Using cutting-edge technology, the courses offer rich, rigorous, in-depth standards aligned multimedia lessons. 


Students interact with this content via multiple presentation formats, including photos, visual learning animations, videos, interactive text, and guided and independent practice activities. These resources are especially powerful for relating instructional concepts to real-world contexts.


Each 7-12 grade course requires approximately 60 hours to complete over a 12-week period.


A variety of certified teachers will facilitate our 7-12 grade online program. 


If you feel like you would like your child to attend Madison Online K-12, please contact Mike Bennett at bennettm@msd321.com.


Special Needs students will continue to receive instructional assistance according to their respective IEP.


A supervised study hall will be provided at each secondary school for all online students wishing to work in the building.


Connectivity and Accessibility:


If a student or family is worried about access to devices or internet connectivity for online schooling, please reach out to your child’s Administrator to make arrangements that will work for your child/home.




Student participation in class is essential to maximize the learning process. However, due to COVID-19, MSD 321 is waiving all attendance polices for the 2020-2021 school year.


Whether in the classroom setting or online, students are responsible for completing their assignments.




Noninvasive thermometers are available at each school. Staff and students’ temperatures may be checked before entering school or as they enter the classroom setting. 



Face Masks:


MSD 321 highly encourages the usage of face masks for all students and staff, particularly, in situations where they will be in close proximity i.e. hallways, school buses, cafeterias, lab work etc…


MSD 321 encourages daily teaching of proper hygiene both at home and in the school setting.


Professional judgment should be used to determine whether masks will substantially interfere with instruction, or where masks may present a safety risk to the employee or students.




Social Distancing:


Where feasible, MSD 321 will implement or otherwise encourage social distancing.



Hand Sanitizer:


Regular handwashing and hand sanitation will be encouraged. Hand sanitizer will be provided in all classroom settings.



Sanitation Efforts:


Desks and other common surfaces will be disinfected on a regular basis.


Computers, Chromebooks, iPads will be cleaned regularly with disinfectant spray and microfiber cloths.


Outbreak Occurrence:


If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed, a building level risk assessment will be made, and parents will be notified.


A building closure of 1-2 day(s) may occur in order to thoroughly disinfect the building.


After a closure, non-invasive temperature checks will be implemented for all staff and students upon reopening of the school.


The affected student, or students will be allowed to attend school again upon receiving written clearance from a licensed, certified medical professional.


If a staff member tests positive, they will be asked to seek medical assistance, and stay quarantined until proper medical clearance is provided for their return.




School Buses will be cleaned and wiped down with disinfectant after each bus run.


Drivers, support staff, and children riding school buses are strongly encouraged to wear masks.


Extracurricular Events and Participation:


Madison 321 will be participating in all activities/athletics organized under the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA). Participation by students and spectators is completely voluntary. Social distancing by spectators is highly recommended.


Family Responsibilities:


Please teach and encourage personal hygiene, and daily monitor your children’s health


We request you to seek medical assistance and self-quarantine if you or your child are exposed to COVID-19.


Please keep your child or children home if they have a fever, cough, cold or flu like symptoms. They should be symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of medicine before returning to school.


Please talk to and help your children understand about the potential changes they may see due to COVID-19 while at school.


Encourage your children to wear face masks to help prevent the transmission of disease, especially during times where social distancing cannot be effectively maintained.


Ultimately, the decision to send your child to school rests with you the parent or caregiver. We respect this parental right and seek to assist you in your educational decision making.


Again, we are excited to begin the new school year! I hope that this year will a positive and safe one for all students, staff and parents.






Dr. Geoff Thomas


Madison 321





POSTED 6/29/2020

Dear Madison 321 Parents and Staff,


On behalf of the Madison 321 Board of Trustees and district administration, I first want to thank you for your flexibility and patience as we worked through the COVID-19 situation together last spring.


The rapid transition from face to face instruction in the classroom to full online was an “uneven” one.


Despite the abruptness of the transition, I appreciated just how quickly our amazing teaching staff was able to adapt to the change.


I was also very pleased that in Madison 321 we kept all of our staff employed and continued to provide food service for hundreds of our families.


I sincerely appreciate the parental support you’ve given during the stay at home experience. Many of you have children at different levels in the school district, which made juggling assignments and computer usage a challenge. Thank you for your care, hard work and dedication.


After deliberation with Eastern Idaho Public Health, our COVID-19 Task Force and the Madison 321 Board of Trustees, we are planning this fall for a full return to face-to-face classroom instruction. This includes a return to extracurricular activities in the fall.


We reviewed alternative scheduling models but were concerned about loss of instructional time for students and the adverse impact that alternating schedules would have on parents who both work outside the home. Online learning also presented and presents a very difficult challenge for many in our special needs population.


Therefore, we are excited for the upcoming school year and are looking forward to having our students return to their classes.


The Board of Trustees and I recognize that there is continuing concern regarding COVID-19. I want to assure you that we share your concerns and are being proactive in keeping our buildings as safe as possible for students and staff.


Though we cannot guarantee a germ free environment, or entirely prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 or any other virus, we are taking the following steps to sanitize our facilities:


Sanitation Efforts:


  • We are cleaning high traffic surfaces (i.e. drinking fountains and doorknobs multiple times with disinfectant during the school day).
  • School buses are cleaned on a daily basis.
  • We will be practicing and encouraging social distancing where feasible and are asking our students to space themselves apart while standing in registration and lunch lines or while waiting for the drinking fountain, etc…
  • Some classrooms and activities will require a non-invasive thermometer reading before entry or participation.
  • We have hand sanitizer available in every classroom
  • We will provide face masks upon request
  • We will be frequently teaching and demonstrating proper hygiene techniques to students.
  • We are dividing our “all school” assemblies in order to provide more effective social distancing




  • We are asking you as parents to provide your child with a washable and reusable cloth mask.
  • Some of our teachers and or their family members are in a high risk category, or have immune deficiencies and therefore, may reasonably be asking all of their students to wear face masks in their classrooms. We are asking you as parents to respect this request.
  • Please keep your child or children home if they are ill, particularly if they are coughing or have a fever
  • Please do not send children back to school until they have been fever free without the need for medicine, for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Please keep your child home if you as a parent or caregiver have a severe cold or fever
  • Encourage your children to not share their food or water bottles with others.




  • Due to the virus, as a district, we are suspending our attendance policies for the upcoming school year
  • We are requesting that you video your daily lessons and / or place all of your lesson content online in case of students who are home due to an extended illness
  • In order to reduce the number of online platforms we were using; Madison 321 has established “Schoology” as our K-12 district online learning management system. Using a single online platform should reduce confusion and simplify student and parental access.
  • The district will be providing instructional online lessons on how to access and utilize Schoology


Ultimately, we recognize and respect that the decision and responsibility to send your children to school remains with you the parent or care giver.


We are looking forward to a safe and healthy school year!




Dr. Geoff Thomas


Madison 321



Decision Tree


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