As we prepare for our summer and fall programming, we are excited to share our district’s updated COVID-19 protocols. There is so much we have learned since March 2020 about COVID-19. Treatments are available, data have been studied, and vaccinations are now available for everyone 12 years old and older. County case rates are low, and we are eager to transition from a crisis intervention approach to a COVID-19 surveillance and reporting plan. We want to keep our students in school with the least amount of disruption possible, by balancing public health safety, educational needs, and social-emotional connections to others.
We will continue to confer with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), while moving ahead with our district plan based on feedback collected from stakeholders throughout the year, and current public health information. We created a plan that we feel best meets the needs of our families and staff.
Here are the highlights of our new school protocols for summer learning:
- Face coverings are required on public transportation, including school buses (this is a CDC requirement).
- Face coverings will continue to be required inside school buildings for summer learning programs until July 6, 2021. Beginning that date, face coverings are not required but recommended.
- Face coverings are recommended but are no longer required for vaccinated staff in buildings when working alone or with other adults.
- Beginning now, face coverings do not need to be worn outside.
- Harambee will continue to require face coverings until their last student-staff contact day on July 29, 2021.
Physical distancing and cohorting
- Physical distancing is no longer required but will be offered inside school buildings to the extent that is feasible.
- Cohorts will be maintained indoors, for now.
- Cohorts do not need to be maintained outdoors, such as outdoor recess.
Health screening, isolation, quarantine
- Students and families coming into school buildings must continue to use the Daily Screening Tool and monitor for symptoms at home.
- Staff will continue to monitor for symptoms and will work with their supervisor and HR regarding absences due to symptoms, isolation, and quarantine.
- Isolation and quarantine will continue to be required if someone tests positive for COVID-19 or lives with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Handling a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
- Families will be notified (phone call, email or text) if a positive case is within their student’s classroom or school activity.
- Students and staff will not be required to quarantine if they are a close contact to a COVID-19 case at school or school activity.
- General notification letters may be sent to the school community when there is a positive case in school.
Student and staff COVID-19 testing
- Ongoing testing to screen for COVID-19 is strongly encouraged for all students, families, and staff.
- COVID-19 testing is available in the community for those who wish to participate. Community testing information can be found at Getting Tested for COVID-19.
- COVID-19 lab tests can be ordered from MDH and taken at home via Zoom with a healthcare provider. Order a home lab test kit at COVID-19 Test at Home.
- School-based staff testing is available every other week.
- Over-the-counter home test kits without a healthcare provider are not considered valid tests at this time, per MDH.
Thank you for your patience and support as we make this transition.