EagleHerald Staff Writer

MENOMINEE—Absences at Menominee Area Public Schools have gone down since the Board of Education implemented universal masking about two weeks ago.

“Many of the staff and students’ quarantines under the previous mitigation plan are coming to an end, so we should start to see a pretty strong drop in quarantines,” said Interim Superintendent Steve Martin.

He said last week Wednesday and Thursday attendance percentage has risen to between 80 and 90% attendance, with Monday’s attendance right at 90% across the three buildings.

Martin also said COVID testing plans are also in place at all three buildings. He said he recently spoke with two candidates for new positions in the district who would help with some of the testing for students and staff. “You can’t get those people hired fast enough, quite frankly, in order to relieve some of the pressure, especially with the testing. We’ve got kind of an ‘all hands on deck’ situation, both in making sure who needs to get tested and making sure they do get tested,” he said.

Going forward, Martin said the same testing protocols for students will also be used for testing staff. “The students were able to test out of quarantine while staff weren’t, so we were able to move over to do that because we’ve got to have staff here, too. As long as we’ve got those layers of mitigation, we can do that,” he said.

“I want to say to the administrators and your teams, great job with that,” said Board President Derek Butler. “Having that ability to test back in is really helping our attendance, and the mitigation change is helping. I can say first-hand, they’re coming in early, and this has been a trying two weeks. You guys have done an amazing job.”