6-26-2020 Message to Families

Summer Greetings,

I hope you and your family are safe and well. Likewise, I hope you are enjoying the sunshine and summer weather.

As we look forward to fall, I know many of you are wondering how it will look. While there is uncertainty, I want to reassure you that we have been actively planning since early May for various scenarios to keep students and staff safe while continuing our mission of educating the whole child. We continue to work collaboratively with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Wright County Public Health, and more. 

In early June, Commissioner of Education, Mary Catherine Ricker, provided guidance on what fall will look like. Commissioner Ricker asked districts to plan for three scenarios using detailed guidance from MDH and MDE.

  1. Return all students to school buildings following the most current CDC and MDH guidelines.
  2. Return students to school buildings implementing a hybrid model following the most current CDC and MDH guidelines.
  3. No students return to school buildings. Implement a distance learning model.

In her communication Commissioner Ricker noted “This situation is fluid and decisions will continue to be reviewed in the best interest of public health, and specifically the health and safety of our school communities. As the situation evolves, decisions may change. That is why we are urging all school districts and charter schools to prepare for each of the three scenarios.”

For scenarios one ("regular" school with social distancing) and three (distance learning), we have sound plans in place as we have been working on these for quite some time. Scenario two (hybrid model) has been more challenging. For this scenario, the requirements permit 50% occupancy in buildings and buses with six feet of social distancing. For this scenario we are diligently exploring many possibilities including an alternate day schedule.

The timeline given to us by Commissioner Ricker notes a decision for the fall will be made the week of July 27. I want to be clear that at this time, the decision cannot be made locally by the district. Rather, Governor Walz will make the decision. Despite which of the three scenarios Governor Walz orders, we will be ready.

As additional information becomes available, we will update you. In the interim we will continue to plan by using survey feedback from students, staff, and families. We are grateful for the feedback as the voices of our stakeholders are very important to us and critical to our continued success. If you have feedback on fall plans, I urge you to contact Governor Walz. Your voice matters.

Lastly, we greatly appreciate your trust, support, and partnership. Our team remains deeply committed to our strong tradition of excellence and are eager to serve you and your child(ren) in the fall. Take care and be safe.

Respectfully, 

Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault

STMA Superintendent