Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about what school will be like this fall in Roseville Area Schools, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions below.
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Question: Are masks going to be required for students and staff at the start of school?
Answer: Yes. Our school board recently adopted a resolution requiring facial coverings for all staff and students at the start of the school year, regardless of vaccination status. This additional safety measure may offer comfort to some families who remain concerned about attending school in person.
Question: Do you recommend that students get a COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible to receive one?
Answer: Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend the vaccines for students. Getting students vaccinated will help protect those who are not yet able to be vaccinated, like younger siblings. Minnesota's Vaccine Connector will help you find a location to access a vaccine and answer questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Question: Will the district require proof of COVID-19 vaccine for students or staff?
Answer: No. Although most staff and many students ages 12 and over will be fully vaccinated, at this time COVID-19 vaccinations are not required nor included as a part of School Immunization Law in Minnesota.
Question: Will there be a full-time online learning option for families this school year?
Answer: No. We had hoped to be able to offer an ongoing full-time distance learning option for elementary grades. After surveying families, we found little interest in the option at the time. Without a sufficient number of students to enroll in an online program, we didn’t feel that we could staff a high-quality program.
Question: How is the district communicating with families this year?
Answer: As it was last year, our district website will remain a primary vehicle for communicating with the community. Other communication vehicles that can be utilized include:
- Voice mails, texts and emails to parents and staff via Blackboard Connect.
- School and district e-newsletters.
- District Facebook page.
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Health and Safety Measures
Question: Will there be daily temperature checks for students coming on-site to school? What about staff?
Answer: All students and staff are asked to conduct a daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms at home. Download a simple tool to help you conduct your daily symptom check. This daily screening for symptoms is very important to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
Question: Will my student be required to wear a mask during school?
Answer: Yes. The school board of Roseville Area Schools adopted a resolution requiring all students, staff and visitors in early childhood programs through grade 12 and adult education, to wear a mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Read about the board's decision.
Question: When and under what circumstances should my student get tested for COVID-19?
Answer: The Minnesota Department of Health has a simple chart with recommendations about testing.
Question: Will schools conduct COVID-19 testing?
Answer: The state recently shared that some options for testing will be available to schools, and we are currently learning more about those options. In the meantime, families are encouraged to access available testing in the community and continue health screenings at home.
Question: How will exposures be monitored and communicated?
Answer: Contact tracing and notifying close contacts will continue. The district will continue to follow Minnesota Department of Health's guidance for isolating individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Question: When would a student have to quarantine?
Answer: We are not anticipating large-scale quarantining of classes or schools, but some students may need to quarantine depending on the situation. Quarantine will not be necessary when both parties were wearing masks or when the close contact is fully vaccinated and not experiencing any symptoms. Options for shortened quarantines are available and will be communicated to affected individuals.
Question: What should I do if my student has COVID-19 symptoms?
Answer: A student should be tested for COVID-19 right away if symptoms develop, whether they are vaccinated or not. If the test is negative, and symptoms improve, they may return to school. If the test is positive, the student will need to isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. If a student declines to be tested, they must isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
Question: What happens when a student tests positive for COVID-19?
Answer: A student who tests positive will be required to isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of the positive test. Try to separate from other household members and wear a mask in the home.
Question: If there is a positive case in a classroom, will the entire class have to quarantine as “close contacts” like last year?
Answer: No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now exempts students from quarantine when they are a close contact as long as the student is either (1) vaccinated, or (2) was wearing a mask when exposed to the positive case.
Question: If my student has had COVID-19, do they still need to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive case?
Answer: After someone has a positive COVID-19 test, they do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact to a positive case during the 90 days following their positive test date. However, they will still need to isolate if they develop COVID-19 symptoms.
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Academics During Quarantine or Isolation
Question: What will my elementary (early learning through grade 6) student's learning experience be like if they must go into quarantine or isolation?
Answer: If students need to quarantine or isolate for 10 days or longer, the expectation is learning will continue. Students will be provided with a device and a hotspot for home (as needed). Teachers will provide asynchronous math and literacy lessons through Seesaw, Schoology, or Google Classroom. If students or families have questions, they can reach out to their teachers. Students in quarantine will have approximately the same amount of time as students in the classroom to complete the assignments. Students on individual education plans or receiving English language services will be provided additional learning opportunities. These opportunities will be communicated from their case manager or English language teacher.
Question: What will my secondary (grades 7 - 12) student's learning experience be like if they must go into quarantine or isolation?
Answer: If students need to quarantine or isolate for 10 days or longer, the expectation is learning will continue. Students will be provided with a device and a hotspot for home (as needed). They are expected to log in to Schoology daily to access teacher-provided lessons and be given approximately the same amount of time as students in the classroom to complete the assignments. Students will be provided opportunities to connect individually with their teacher during the week each day for academic support. RAHS students can request virtual meetings with their teachers during Raider Time (M,T, TH, F) from 2:10 - 2:40 p.m. through the Raider Hub.
Cleaning and Facilities
Question: What are the district's cleaning procedures in buildings?
Answer: Custodians clean and disinfect the common areas in buildings daily. The custodial staff has been equipped with battery-operated sprayers to increase efficiency and accuracy in disinfecting restrooms and high-touch surfaces district-wide. Teachers will have sanitizer for use throughout the day as needed on high-touch areas in the classroom.
Question: What is the district doing about air quality in schools?
Answer: Roseville Area Schools, as required by state statute, has had an indoor air quality plan for several years. District buildings and grounds staff, along with our heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) consultants have been working in our buildings over the past year to ensure that our classrooms have maximum fresh air inflow. Various repairs have been made to our facilities. Any remodeled or newly constructed areas have been updated to provide improved indoor air quality. When needed, we have disabled sensors that were installed to improve building efficiency in order to increase fresh air intake. We know it is important to purge our building before and after occupancy. In order to do this, we will be starting building systems several hours before occupancy and leave running several hours after occupancy. In the long term, the district is working to update our HVAC systems in all of our buildings through our long-term facilities maintenance plan. The district will be using a portion of the federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan funds to expedite some of this work. Final decisions will be made later this fall and shared with the community.
Question: What filters are being used with the HVAC system?
Answer: A filter's ability to capture particles is determined by its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). The higher the MERV rating the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles. Facilities with air handling units have been replaced or added (2018 and newer) are now filtered by two-inch MERV 8 pre-filters and four-inch MERV 13 filters. This includes all of Little Canada and remodeled and newly added spaces at all other sites. Existing air handling units are being evaluated on conditions for increasing filtration. The majority of the units are filtered to MERV 8. If limitations were present not allowing for increased filtration, modifications will be made (upgrading of motors, side stream filtering, units replacement, etc.). If we were to use the MERV 13 filters in an older unit not designed to accommodate the added static pressure, it could in fact cut down on airflow which may prove more detrimental to the building’s indoor air quality.
Question: What is the air exchange rate in the classrooms and areas where students will spend time?
Answer: All occupied spaces do have outdoor air ventilation. Typically there are seven air exchanges per hour, with three fresh air exchanges an hour in a typical classroom. In larger spaces, such as gyms, cafeterias and media centers, demand control ventilation is disabled (this control varies the amount of ventilation based on carbon dioxide levels). By disabling this, maximum outdoor air will be serving the space.
Question: Will rooms be relying solely on the HVAC system or will staff be allowed (or encouraged?) to open windows as the weather permits?
Answer: Typically, we would discourage staff from opening windows as it can impact the air balance within our HVAC systems. During the pandemic, we are allowing staff to open windows as weather allows.
Question: Will there be portable air filters in classrooms?
Answer: The district does not have plans to incorporate portable HEPA filters into any of our rooms. There is fresh air distributed to every occupied space in our buildings. We typically discourage staff from bringing in any personal portable appliances including space heaters, air filters, etc. The district also cannot ensure that the filters in the portable units are being maintained if they do not belong to us. In addition, purchased units are typically residential grade, and do not have the capacity to effectively side stream filter the air. According to the National Air Filtration Association, filtration in building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can be a part of an overall risk mitigation approach but is not generally regarded as a solution by itself. In order for filters to have any impact on infectious disease transmission, transmission has to occur through the airborne route, filters have to be properly installed and maintained in appropriate systems to treat recirculated air, and filters have to be appropriately designed for the building in which they are used.
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Question: Will schools offering free meals this year?
Answer: Yes. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended waivers that allow us to serve all students breakfast, lunch and after-school super-snack at no
charge through the entire 2021-2022 school year. All our menus are available online at rosevillenutrition.com.
Question: Will schools offer hot lunch? If so, will meals be individually plated? Will there be any self-serve food stations? Will students eat in the classrooms or cafeterias?
Answer: All students will have access to breakfast and hot lunch. Breakfast consists of an entrée, fruit, 100% juice and milk. Each lunch contains a choice of at least two entrées, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and milk. After-school super-snack will be offered to any student attending after-school programming. Breakfast service will vary by location; students will either have access to a grab-and-go meal in the hallway or through the cafeteria. Students will go through the lunch line and eat in the cafeteria. The self-serve utensils on the service lines will be replaced after each lunch to increase sanitation measures. Students will also have access to hand washing and sanitizer prior to lunch service.
Question: How will kids socially distance while eating?
Answer: Lunchroom supervision will remind students to maintain three feet or greater spacing between people, to the extent possible, in the lunch line as well during seated lunchtime.
Question: Will I need to put money in my child’s lunch account?
Answer: No, because all meals are at no charge to all students this year your child’s lunch account does not need to be maintained. There will be no ala carte offerings at any grade level. If students wish to supplement meals brought from home, they can take a fruit, vegetable and milk for no cost. If you would like to withdraw money from your child’s lunch account, please complete this form to be refunded.
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Athletics and Activities
Question: Are there going to be restrictions with athletics and activities this fall?
Answer: Participants and spectators will be required to wear a mask at indoor activities. For all outdoor activities, masks are strongly encouraged. Find additional information about athletics and activities at rosevilleraiders.org. The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and Minnesota Department of Education guidelines for athletics and activities continue to be updated regularly. Please refer to the MSHSL sport guidance and information for the most up-to-date information.
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Question: What are the masking guidelines for riding school buses?
Answer: Transportation guidelines for students riding buses are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and enforced by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Currently, both the driver and students are required to be masked while riding the bus. There are no longer distancing requirements between students. The two seats near the driver are to be left open. We will have windows open as before.
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