Coronavirus - COVID-19
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Evers declared a Public Health Emergency for the State of Wisconsin and called upon the people of Wisconsin to work aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19. On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Evers directed the Department of Human Services to close all schools in Wisconsin until April 6 2020. On March 17, 2020, Governor Evers issued another order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. It also amended the timeline for school closure which originally included a return to school on April 6, to a closure for "...the remainder of the public health emergency." On March 24, 2020 Governor Evers issued the Safer at Home order to be in effect from March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, requiring residents of Wisconsin to avoid all non-essential travel and business services.
On April 16th, Governor Evers extended the Safer at Home order through May 26th and further closed our schools and programs until the end of the school year (June 30th).
The School District of Menomonee Falls values the health, safety and well-being of students, staff and families. We will continue to monitor federal, state and local legislation in order to provide pertinent information to our employees in a timely manner.
We have created this site for employees to reference critical communications from the district office as well as provide helpful resources during this time. Please contact the Human Resource team with any questions or concerns you may have.
- Human Resources Information
- District Safety Protocols
- Illness and Exposure Protocol
- Time off needed due to COVID-19
- District Travel Safety Procedures
- Health and Wellness Community Resources
- Employee Benefit Resources
- Staff Meeting FAQ
- 5.21.20 All Staff HR Update
- 5.12.10 All Staff HR Update
- 5.5.20 All Staff HR Update
- 4.28.20 All Staff HR Update
- 4.21.20 All Staff HR Update
- 4.14.20 All Staff HR Update
If you are exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms (to include but not limited to coughing, fever, upper respiratory issues) or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, it is mandatory that you do not physically report to work and contact Melissa Beck in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at (262) 255-8396.
The District is requiring any employee who is reporting to a building site to complete the COVID-19 Daily Health Screening. You may access the Daily COVID-19 Screening by clicking HERE or from the District Staff page.Please review the District Safety Guidelines below.
Our goal is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the District. Although we have the necessary safety measures in place, we cannot eliminate the risk of potential illness and/or exposure. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC outlines that in order to be considered exposed to the COVID-19 virus, an individual would have to be considered in close contact with an infected person. Any employee(s) who have been identified as exposed due to close contact will be notified by the District and be directed on next steps.
What does it mean to have Close Contact with someone with COVID19
General Information on COVID19 Illness/Exposure in the workplace
Due to the current Pandemic, we understand employees may have individual circumstances that will prevent them from reporting to work physically and/or virtually. Please review the information below on options that may apply to your specific circumstance.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is new legislation effective April 1, 2020 that requires employers to provide employees with additional paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. For more information on how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act may apply to your circumstance, please review the Employee Paid Leave Rights and FFCRA Q&A.
Please review the request forms below dependent on your circumstances:
Request for Paid Sick Leave/Emergency FMLA under the Families First Coronavirus Act - You are not able to report to work due to quarantine, illness, or lack of childcare due to COVID-19
Request for Family Medical Leave - Request for medical leave due to serious health condition
The District is requiring all employees to notify the Human Resource Department of any recent/upcoming travel plans. If you are traveling out of the country, on a cruise, to any locations now identified or become identified as Alert Level 2 or Warning Level 3 area, it is mandatory that you notify Human Resources by completing the required Google survey - Mandatory Travel Reporting.
What if I have upcoming travel plans?
Review updated CDC information for travelers, including FAQ for travelers, and consult with state and local health officials. Please contact the CDC directly at (800) 232-4636, TTY (888) 232-6348 for the latest guidance as well. The District will reinforce the CDC’s recommendations on exposure risk and subsequent quarantine.
Does the District offer any travel assistance programs?
All employees of the District have access to Travel Assistance through our carrier partner Reliance Standard. This service provides emergency medical, legal and travel assistance information and referral service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What if I am quarantined due to my travel?
If staff is traveling for personal reasons, any time missed from work due to a subsequent quarantine will be excused. Please contact Human Resources for further information on applicable paid time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
What if I travel to my destination, and it changes to an Alert Level 2 or Warning Level 3 area?
Any staff who have returned from a Level 2/Level 3 Risk Area, or who have been in contact with others who have returned from a Level 2/Level 3 Risk Area will be asked to not return to work or attend district-related events as directed by the CDC. Please review updated CDC information for travelers, including FAQ for travelers, and consult with state and local health officials for guidance. The District will reinforce the CDC’s recommendations on exposure risk and subsequent quarantine.
The Optum Emotional Support Help Line at 1-866-342-6892 is free of charge and available to anyone, so you can share it with family and friends.
Caring professionals will connect people to resources. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We know this is a difficult time for employees as you must ensure the health and safety of your own family. Here are some additional resources to support you and your family during this time.
- General Health and Wellness Guide (DPI)
- General Mental Health and Wellness
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellness
- Parent, Caregiver, and Educator Mental Health and Wellness
- Positive Parenting and Safe Home Environments
- Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak (from SAMHSA)
- Menomonee Falls Food Pantry. Click here
There are many ways to keep you and your family active and engaged during this time. Here are just a few!
- Click here for ways to stay active and healthy during this time
Here are some ways to enjoy the extra time we have with our families:
- 101 things to do when the kids say they are bored (these may not all be applicable at this time but there are some great ideas!)
- Start a puzzle (a big one!)
- Fly kites
- Online kids cooking videos
- At home with Y - Join a challenge or virtual workout!
- Download the Audible app for FREE books for you and the kids!
The District offers TELADOC, which gives you access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to a board-certified provider through the convenience of phone, video or mobile app visits. Accessing care virtually will reinforce social distancing and limit risk of exposure. The District highly encourages staff to log on and enroll in the program before you need access to care. Teladoc FAQ’s
TELEMEDICINE is NOW covered under our health plan
The District has implemented the coverage of Telemedicine for all covered members effective back to 3/1/2020 to support employees and their families in getting the care they need during this time. This benefit will cover virtual visits with your providers as in-network benefits that will track towards the in-network deductible.
Please note that this benefit is different than your Teladoc benefits. Teladoc visits are set at a specific cost to members. Telemedicine coverage allows us expanded access to virtual visits with our own personal providers, however, the cost for the visit can vary and may be at the same cost share to us as a regular office visit.
Testing and Treatment of COVID-19 under the District Health Plan
Testing for COVID-19 will be covered as 100% preventive (no out of pocket cost to employee) under the District's health plan. Treatment for COVID-19 is a covered health benefit and will be subject to the deductible and out-of-pocket cost under the plan.
Over The Counter (OTC) Medications NOW covered under HSA/FSA
With the passing of the CARES Act, coverage for Over the Counter (OTC) drugs and medicines has been reinstated under our FSA/HSA benefits! This includes commonly used items such as pain relievers, aspirin, allergy medicines and cough suppressants. It also further expands the definition of qualified OTC items to include menstrual care products. This is a HUGE addition to our benefits as it greatly expands the list of items that qualify for tax-free reimbursement through our FSAs and HSAs. CLICK HERE for more information on how to submit claims for these additional benefits.
We are making every effort to answer questions promptly, using the best information we know at the current time. We will continue to share new information with you as it becomes available. We appreciate your patience.
1. What options are available if I become ill and cannot work, if my child’s school or child care center closes, or if I, or one of my dependents, needs to quarantine?
The District is implementing the CARES Act and the FFCRA, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides for emergency sick leave for up to 80 hours (prorated based on employee FTE) which does not come out of an employee's leave balance as well as for expanded FMLA for child care purposes which is at 2/3 salary and does not use any of the employee's leave. Regular FMLA for illness is still available and would come out of an employee's leave balance.
At this time there is no increase to the amount of sick leave provided. Once the available leaves under FFRCA have been exhausted, the leave would come out of employees' leave balances or be unpaid.
Forms and information located at: https://www.fallsschools.org/divisions/hr/covid-19-employee-resources
2. What options are available if I would like to work remotely/virtually?
At this time anyone who would like to be considered for remote/virtual work for any reason must fill out the request form: https://www.fallsschools.org/divisions/hr/covid-19-employee-resources - it is the tab that says “time off needed due to COVID-19”.
All requests will be reviewed for any available remote/virtual work positions/options.
3. What is being done to reduce class size?
We are working at balancing class sizes. Our goal is to utilize the cohorts and decrease intermixing. If we go to a hybrid model, that would cut class sizes in half for those impacted classes or schools. All schools do have alternative spaces that could be repurposed to help with spacing out students.
4. What is being done to make the health rooms safer?
We have restructured the heath rooms. Health room assistants, as well as front office staff, will receive additional training regarding tending to student needs while keeping themselves safe.
5. What is the criteria for staying home when you have a fever?
This will depend on the situation. Many illnesses cause a fever for different reasons, not all fevers will be a result of COVID-19. If the fever is directly related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the person must be fever free for 72 hours.
6. What additional cleaning and sanitizing measures will be taking place in the District? What about shared classroom materials?
We are committed to deep cleaning all schools/offices daily as well as common touch points frequently during each school/work day. We are opening up our HVAC dampers in all possible spaces to allow for more fresh air circulation. However, it will be up to all of us to not look at disinfecting as someone else’s job, we will all be equipped and expected to contribute to the cleaning efforts, especially in our personal work spaces and those high contact areas like door handles, your desk, and keyboards.
We added hand sanitizers in every classroom and other key areas in every building. We updated many of our bathrooms during the past few years that include the automatic features. The most important preventative measure is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. We are turning off all powered hand dryers and will be using paper towels.
We are providing sneeze guards to every school.
The student supply lists will be updated to reflect any needed items. There should not be any shared supplies during this time. We need to limit sharing of materials wherever possible and have cleaning protocols in place where materials must be shared. We would like any cloth materials out of the classroom as they are very difficult to disinfect. Cleaning of materials will be done, however the students and staff should be disinfecting the materials and other high touch areas often.
7. What additional considerations are being considered for staff who work in cubicles?
After review of numerous articles and discussions with healthcare professionals, cubes are considered safe and provide the required social distancing. Cubes are being used again in workplaces that went to open concepts. The cubes are to go above the head of the individual while seated just as the plexiglass partitions do in other places where cubes are not used or have very low walls. People should not enter other employees' cubes and wear a mask while in the common areas passing by cubes and offices. Employees do not have to wear a mask if they are alone in their cube or office.
8. How will prep time be affected by the re-opening plan?
The principals in all schools are working with their leadership teams on schedules including prep time. This information will come directly from your school.
9. What is the definition of close contact?
Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more and without a face mask.
10. Will staff have access to the staff survey data?
The information from the staff survey is available as an attachment to the agenda for the July 20, 2020 meeting of the Curriculum and Learning Committee. https://go.boarddocs.com/wi/mfalls/Board.nsf/Public
11. Is the District going to offer early retirement?
At this time the District is not making any changes to its retirement criteria.
12. Will face masks be required? Will usage be enforced?
The Board of Education will be considering mandatory face coverings for all staff, students, and visitors who are in/on District property. The final drafts of the new Board policy and procedures will be brought forward at the meeting of the Board of Education on August 10, 2020. https://go.boarddocs.com/wi/mfalls/Board.nsf/Public.
All staff will be given three washable, reusable cloth face masks. The student supply list will be updated to reflect the need for cloth face masks and the District will also have cloth face masks available for students in each school.
The policy and procedures contain language about enforcement and consequences for failure to comply with the mandate for students, staff, and visitors.
13. How will staff be chosen for virtual teaching assignments?
At this time, the assignment of virtual teaching will be determined based on student needs and enrollment in the virtual program option. Staff will be chosen from those who have requested a remote/virtual option based on a documented medical need or ADA accommodation (along with other selection criteria) first.
14. Are mental health services being provided to students?
Our pupil services staff continue to be available to support individual needs of students. In addition our branch offices continue to provide services for our students.
15. Will parents be required to sign a form agreeing to comply with all of the health requirements?
A parent acknowledgement form will be signed by all families upon registration. That document is being reviewed by the Board at the August 10, 2020 meeting of the Board of Education and will be available to view. https://go.boarddocs.com/wi/mfalls/Board.nsf/Public.
16. If I become too ill to teach, am I responsible for sub plans? Will there be subs for the school year?
As always, teachers should prepare emergency plans in the event that they are unable to complete a plan for a substitute teacher. In the event of a prolonged teacher absence, building principals will work with grade-level or content-area teams to assist substitutes.
In addition to the five subs already in place every year, there have been an additional ten subs requested for the 2020-21 school year, as well as working with contractors for additional coverage for specialized services coverage. As formal requests for leaves are processed, this request can be increased based on needs. Sub movement will be as limited as possible while still meeting the overall needs for coverage in the District. Classrooms would not be "doubling up".
17. Will sporting events continue?
We will follow all WIAA guidelines. The WIAA Board approved conducting the fall sports season with a delayed start. The sports of girls golf, girls tennis, girls swimming and diving, and boys and girls cross country will be permitted to begin practice with prescribed acclimatization protocol Monday, Aug. 17. The earliest practice date for the sports of football, boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball is Monday, Sept. 7. https://www.wiaawi.org/.
18. If I take a leave of absence for the 2020-21 school year, will I be guaranteed to have my job back in the 2021-22 school year?
Anyone who takes an approved leave of absence for a school year (not just this school year), will not be guaranteed to have their job back.
19. Do I qualify for Workers’ Compensation if I get COVID-19 from work?
Employees may file for workers’ compensation if they believe it is job related. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier makes the determination if an employee qualifies or not.
20. Will staff and students be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing?
At this time there will not be mandatory testing of students or staff.
21. Will the District make the metrics it is using for planning purposes publically available?
22. Will IEP meetings be virtual?
Yes, IEP meetings will continue to be virtual for now.
23. Will staff receive training on the new protocols?
We will be working with teachers to understand how to manage the day to day procedures students will follow under the safety guidelines and recommendations. Teachers will be essential in developing these procedures.
The August In-service for 2020 is being planned in collaboration between Curriculum and Learning, Pupil Services, and Human Resources. Safety protocols and other information related to COVID-19 risk mitigation practices will be included.
24. What is the district doing to limit the interaction traveling (multiple rooms or buildings) staff have with students/others?
Schedules are being reviewed with the understanding we want to limit the contacts adults are having. Guidance has also been developed to mitigate the risk through safety protocols.
25. Will the dress code be changed/relaxed?
No, the dress code will remain the same.
26. When will a final decision be made on the reopening plan?
At this time, the Board of Education will discuss this at the meeting on August 10, 2020.
27. What safety measures are in place for district office?
The safety protocols were sent out to all DO staff via email as well as an "all DO' virtual meeting on July 20, 2020. Signs are placed around the DO office space with reminders about safe practices and the mandatory protocols. Employees should work with their direct supervisor about specific requests for space and relocation within DO. There is enough space for people to be able to spread out and not share space. We are committed to deep cleaning all schools/offices daily and common touch points frequently during each school/work day. We are opening up our HVAC dampers in all possible spaces to allow for more fresh air circulation. However, it will be up to all of us to not look at disinfecting as someone else’s job, we will all be equipped and expected to contribute to the cleaning efforts, especially in our personal work spaces and those high contact areas like door handles, your desk, and keyboards.
28. What is the protocol for when a student, staff member, of immediate family member of a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19?
The District will be working with the Health Department for contract tracing and proper protocols. Quarantine guidelines would be followed if deemed necessary.
29. Will teachers be evaluated the same way or will adjustments be made?
The Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System guides teacher evaluation in public schools in Wisconsin. To date, guidance has not been released on any adjustments being made for the 2020-2021 school year. We are closely tracking this information and will provide updates as information becomes available.