Statement from Madison Athletics Regarding the Continued Focus on the Health and Safety of Students as Our County Enters Another Week under Red Status


Staff Report

To our parents, fans, and community,

As directed by the Jefferson County Health Department we will enter another week of Red status which continues limited attendance at a number of events throughout our district. We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that we hear you. We understand and share your frustration regarding the continued limitations this places on attendance at all events. We understand the importance of fans in the stands to support all of our teams and students. However, our priority is the health and safety of our students. Our focus is to provide them with the safest environment possible to give them the opportunity to continue to play.

WHY is game attendance limited to FAMILY MEMBERS of athletes only at this time?

● The guidelines in place throughout our district apply to all school-sponsored events and have been carefully considered, submitted in writing, and approved by the Jefferson County Health Department.

● At the CENTER of these approved protocols is the health and safety of our students, their families, event staff, and our community.

● Each Madison event staff member feels a responsibility to respect, follow, and do their part to enforce the approved guidelines as a service to our student-athletes so that we can continue to offer our students the opportunity to compete.

WHAT does it take to make sure a venue is ready for competition?

● The increased sanitization of all facilities is a stretch both financially, as well as, on our custodial resources.

● Our teams go to great lengths to ensure that not only learning spaces are safe to occupy daily, but also our common areas and competition venues that may be visited after hours by members of the community.

● In order to do this, we have enlisted the help of students who have stepped in to volunteer to help our building custodians with sanitation efforts before, during, and after events in order to ensure they are ready for the next event.

○ Students were selected for two reasons: 1) students are already in the building each day and familiar with our health and safety protocols and have a vested interest in making sure this is done well for the sake of their peers and their own personal safety; 2) many of these students are also athletes and have asked to do this as part of their community service efforts toward their team expectations and varsity letter requirements.

● Many of you have enjoyed the benefits of the various live-streaming services we have provided. This too, is a student-enhanced experience, whereby students have stepped forward by volunteering to create, produce, and deliver quality play-by-play/color commentary for home games via the NFHS network. These students have volunteered to learn how to utilize numerous camera angles, production software, and learn to provide an engaging commentary. This work and learning has been done above and beyond what their class requirements are throughout the day and is being provided as a service to our community. WHO is permitted to attend road events and what is the process?

● Each community is different. Guidelines and mandates around the state will likely change by the day/hour. Our protocols will follow what is necessary in order to compete following other school’s protocols at the time we are guests within their facilities.

● We provide a verified list of names of household family members of athletes who will attend the game to the athletic department of the host team. This is cross-referenced at the gate for tickets.

○ We can only control our compliance with their documented protocols. We cannot control what other schools do regarding flexibility to the written protocols they have provided to our teams.

● We will follow guidelines and protocols in order to keep your children, our student-athletes, and visiting athletes as safe and healthy as we possibly can by doing our part. We have received a number of phone calls, emails, text messages, and had conversations with parents and community members who are unhappy with our efforts. We understand everyone is frustrated. We are also frustrated. However, our only goal is to keep our students as safe as possible so they can continue to compete – and stay in school face-to-face.

We will continue to follow the guidelines and open our venues for spectators for as long as we are able to do so safely. We ask that you follow the guidelines and try to realize that we are doing the best we can in order to keep our venues open for as many as we are able to safely host.

We will continue to follow the guidelines. We will control the things we can control. We will continue to monitor the data. We will continue to support our students. We ask that you do the same and respect the efforts of everyone who is working diligently to make opportunities available for our students.

The final alternative, if we are not able to collectively respect and comply with protocols, is to close all venues to athletes and essential game personnel only.

Sincerely, Joe Bronkella, Athletic Director Madison Consolidated Schools