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MACS COVID-19 Resources

August 25, 2021

August 2021 MACS ComeBack FAQ

Q: Is MACS encouraging vaccination against COVID-19?

A: Yes, MACS encourages all families to consider vaccination for eligible students. However, we will not be collecting or tracking vaccination status. We respect parental choice and student privacy. 

Q. Why is MACS recommending vaccination?

A. Vaccination is considered the most critical strategy for schools to offer safe in-person learning during this pandemic. Vaccines are widely available to ages 12 and up and are free of charge to everyone. The WIAA is strongly recommending vaccination for all student-athletes. Go to vaccines.gov for more information. 

Q: Are face masks required to be worn at MACS schools?

A: No, face masks are optional but strongly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals. (CDC mask recommendations HERE.) However, ALL students and staff are required to have a mask available to them at school in a secure, sanitary, and easily accessible location, e.g. their locker, desk, or backpack. Please contact the MACS Central Office at (715)723-0538 if you would like to request a mask for your student.

Q. Why isn’t MACS requiring face masks at this time?

A. As with vaccines, MACS respects the right of parents to make this decision for their own children. We are certainly not anti-mask and encourage all to be aware of current public health recommendations and risks. Compared to last year, the vaccine is widely available to individuals ages 12+ COVID-19 continues to pose a minimal risk to elementary age children. We are layering four CDC-recommended prevention strategies system-wide and we are continuing to enforce physical distancing and cohort grouping at grades K-5. Additionally, based on community feedback, masks were the least favorable of all the prevention strategies available to us. Given the conflicting data and reasonable disagreements surrounding masks, to mask or not to mask is the decision of the parent/guardian at this time. Please choose wisely.

Q. Will MACS inform me if my student is quarantined due to being exposed at school?

A. No. We expect that parents and the public health department will inform the school if a student tests positive for COVID-19 or is placed under a quarantine order or recommendation. We will not issue quarantine orders or calculate return dates. If we have a positive case in our buildings, we will contact trace the case and provide the names and contact information to public health for follow up. Families must communicate directly with the public health department. MACS will follow the return dates provided by the public health department. 

Q. Why isn’t MACS issuing close contact quarantine letters this year?

A. The reason is quite practical: MACS is not tracking student vaccination or infection status. Students who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days do NOT need to quarantine even if they are a close contact. Thus, it is appropriate for public health to make quarantine decisions and, when necessary, communicate with families about when their students can return to normal activities, including school. Incidentally, this is another good reason to consider vaccination for your student - so they can keep doing what they love instead of being sidelined by quarantine.

Parents - if your student is sick, in quarantine due to COVID exposure, awaiting COVID test results, or has tested positive for COVID, you must keep them home from school. The virus is very contagious and sending a student to school inappropriately puts other families at risk. 

Note: Our layered prevention strategies are reviewed weekly by our pandemic committee, with consideration of current public health information and school data. All strategies are subject to change on a weekly basis.

As always, we rely on both faith and reason to educate our students and navigate life’s challenges! Please join us in continuing to pray for a great start to the school year and the protection of our school community.


July 30, 2021

On July 30, McDonell Area Catholic Schools released the 2021-22 Back to School “MACS ComeBack” Parent & Student Guide. MACS will return to five(5)-day (full-time) in-person instruction during the 2021-2022 school year. By relying on the Lord in prayer, listening to our community, and reflecting on lessons learned, our approach to the 2021-22 school year is to welcome students back to school in a normal learning environment, with continued vigilance. Guided by the Holy Spirit and supported by your prayers, we will continue to serve our students and growing community. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).

We promise to: (1) Communicate openly with our MACS Community, including maintaining our COVID-19 Resources webpage; (2) Monitor school and local transmission of COVID-19 and variants in collaboration with Chippewa County Department of Public Health (CCDPH); and (3) Most importantly: support the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our staff and students. The MACS Pandemic Committee will continue to meet on a regular basis. 

We would like to again thank our MACS parents, the pandemic team, and our MACS staff, all of whom have prayerfully collaborated to serve students and families throughout this pandemic and recovery. We are so excited about the MACS ComeBack!


June 22, 2021

         Lifting of dispensation from Sunday Mass (pdf)


 

     Printable version of chart for close contacts without symptoms.

Close Contact with no Symptoms

If symptoms develop, self-isolate as soon as possible and contact a healthcare provider or Public Health.


Q. When does my child or family member need to stay home when showing symptoms, and when can we return? 

symptoms handout

Q. What if someone in my household has the virus?
     Printable version (pdf) of chart

A. Grades 4K-12 shorten quarantine "Next Steps after exposure to someone with the virus", three page handout with a monitoring chart. (pdf)

Q. How important are masks for prevention/protection?
A. 
Click here for Mayo Clinic research.

MACS Masks for sale 
We have available for purchase by clicking on this link:
Adult masks $10 (sizes S/M or L/XL)
Youth Masks $10 (size 7/12)
Child Masks $10 (sizes 4/6)
Lanyard $5

   
Masks


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
     COVID-19: Checklist to Guide Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers 

Mental Health
     Student: Want to know how to help a friend?

     Support a loved one going through a tough time.

Potential Exposure

Symptoms information:

     Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Exposure information:

     Chippewa County Public Health


As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know we are 100% committed to continuing our mission in mind, body, spirit, and community. 

Thank you! To our parents, teachers, staff, and students, we are so thankful for you always. God bless you! May the gifts of the Holy Spirit shower upon you and bear fruit that will last unto eternal life.

     Infinite Campus Parent and Student Portal

     Faculty and Staff Directory
 


Technology Help Desk 
     
Please contact our IT Department at this email.


Faith Resources

Feb 26, 2021 Celebration of Mass
Unless local regulations direct otherwise, it is the pastor’s decision to move churches from the 25% occupancy limit to the 50% occupancy limit.

     MACS K-12 Campus Ministry Google site 

     Chaplain Father Ethan Hokamp's YouTube Channel


Community Connected 
Food Pantry Locations
      Chippewa County Food Pantry times and days revised April 2020 (pdf)


Stay Active & Healthy
     MackFit Resources Google site for all MACS families and athletes. 

     Advice to protect your family's health during this pandemic.

If you have any sport specific questions, please contact our Athletic & Activities Director Emily Mallek. 


Follow MACS on Social Media

    Facebook @McDonellAreaCatholicSchools

    Instagram #TheMackWay

    Twitter McDonell_HS

    McDonellAreaCatholicSchools.org

    MACS TV

Our prayers continue for the intentions of our MACS community during this challenging time.