Reminder to WASBO Fall Conference and Midwest Facility Masters Attendees: COVID Precautions at Major Conferences
September 22, 2021
We are just weeks away from the WASBO Fall Conference (Elkhart Lake), Midwest Facility Masters Conference (Wisconsin Dells) and ASBO International’s Annual Conference and Expo (Milwaukee). For clarity and consistency, all three conferences are using the same COVID precautions.
Recently, both WASBO and ASBO released statements describing conference precautions for COVID and the circumstances which informed those decisions. Read the ASBO statement now and view the WASBO statement below.
Briefly stated, the COVID precautions for these conferences require attendees to be vaccinated, rather than simply a negative COVID-19 test, as well as mask wearing when indoors. These measures demonstrate a commitment by WASBO and ASBO International to offer, to the greatest extent possible, a safe meeting space. Doing so also serves to mitigate the risks presented by lesser restrictions.
We have tailored the vaccination policy, as legally required, to permit exceptions where a qualifying medical reason or disability precludes vaccination, or where a sincerely held religious belief counsel against receiving a vaccine. However, such exceptions are expected to be limited and should not conflict with our overall goal. Persons who feel they may qualify for such an exemption must submit a completed Request for Medical Exemption form or Request for Religious Exemption form to [email protected] to begin the accommodation process as soon as possible. Request forms for the Fall Conference are due at the latest by September 30 to be considered.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,
Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials
WASBO Statement on In-Person Conference Procedures
September 10, 2021
Thank you for your interest in WASBO’s 2021 Fall Conference and the upcoming Midwest Facility Masters Conference. We believe that in-person professional development conferences are incredibly important to our members and to our mission as an association. However, safe and responsible in-person conferencing during the ongoing pandemic demands the highest standards for preventing the spread of COVID-19. WASBO standards for health and safety are intended to protect in-person conference attendees, their families, and the school communities we serve.
Since its formation, our association has been rooted the belief that the school administrator’s top priority is the health, safety and welfare of the students and staff. And more recently, we have learned to appreciate the critical importance of keeping our schools open for face-to-face instruction every day. These values drive all our decisions related to health and safety standards for WASBO in-person conferences.
The common elements for COVID-19 mitigation are well established by now: get fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings, keep six feet apart, wash your hands, stay home when sick, and get tested if you have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. (Centers for Disease Control; Wisconsin Department of Health Services).
WASBO is committed to providing a safe experience at the 2021 Fall Conference and the Midwest Facility Masters Conference. We have continued to monitor federal and state safety guidance. With the recent surge in Delta variant cases, the following measures to promote health and safety will be in effect for both conferences:
Vaccine and Mask Mandate: All conference participants will be required to provide proof of being fully vaccinated. Information about the vaccination verification process will be sent to all participants and posted on the conference website and WASBO GO app once finalized. Booster shots are not currently required to meet the definition of fully vaccinated. Masking will be required in all public indoor spaces.
Reasonable Accommodation / Exception: Exceptions to the vaccination requirement will be considered only for a qualifying medical reason, disability, or sincerely held religious belief. A reasonable accommodation will be offered when doing so does not present an unreasonable hardship to the association or present an immediate health risk to the individual or other attendees. For those requesting an exception, WASBO reserves the right to take alternative COVID-19 mitigation measures, including requiring a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the conference. For more information on accommodation procedures, email [email protected]
Physical Distancing: WASBO asks that attendees refrain from close physical proximity, including hugs and handshakes, with other attendees. Conference seating will be arranged to promote physical distancing.
Acknowledgement: Attendees will be required to complete an Acknowledgement before entering the conference stating that the attendee has read and accepted the safety protocols outlined above.
WASBO’s health and safety measures described here are consistent with ASBO International’s protocols for the national AC&E conference in Milwaukee next month.
This memo, and specific health and safety procedures for the conference will be communicated to attendees and posted on the WASBO website and WASBO GO app, along with WASBO procedures for conference registration and cancelation.
Finally, federal requirements regarding COVID-19 are evolving and may impact local decision-making. WASBO will update requirements as needed.
We appreciate your support of WASBO and the schools, students, and staff we serve. We look forward to seeing you at the Fall Conference, Midwest Facilities Conference, and at ASBO’s national conference.
Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials