11-17-2020 Message to PK-4 Families

STMA Parents of PK-4 Students:

I hope you and your family are well.
Last week I communicated that students in grades PK-4 will remain in their current in-person learning model. That is still the case. However, I want to update you on a couple of changes that we believe will allow us to maintain our current learning model in grades PK-4.

On Monday, November 30 we will move to a more restrictive in-person learning model. Our buses will move to 50% capacity which will permit more room for social distancing. This may affect pick-up/drop-off times for some so an email will be sent to families that are impacted by this change on Friday, November 20. The information will also be updated on the parent portal. We will also continue our efforts to maintain six feet of social distancing in our classrooms and buildings. The in-person model does not require these more restrictive measures but we believe this will help keep our students in school.

We also want to update you on a change to our hybrid learning model should an even move restrictive learning model be necessary. Since July, school districts have been operating under the Governor’s Executive Order 20-82. In November, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-94 and Executive Order 20-95. The new Executive Orders clarify many topics but also mandate additional teacher prep time. At STMA, our current practices and procedures are in sync with the new EOs with the exception of additional teacher prep time.

The new Executive Orders require districts to incorporate an additional 30 minutes of teacher prep per day for any teacher providing distance and hybrid learning. We originally planned to dismiss students early on Wednesdays but with this new mandate we will have to have students learn remotely on Wednesdays. This change is only necessary if we move to a hybrid learning model. For more information about what the PK-4 hybrid learning model looks like, see page four of the FAQ. Please note this change will not affect the schedule for Bright Beginnings Preschool.

We acknowledge the tremendous impact a shift in learning models has on students, staff, and families. Families should prepare ahead of time should a learning model shift be necessary. We strongly encourage families to have a plan should a shift in learning models be necessary.

We will continue to closely monitor the case rate numbers in our PK-4 schools, district, community, and Wright County. All decisions regarding shifting learning models will be based on data from credible county and state agencies. Likewise, we will continue to collaborate with MN Department of Education (MDE), MN Department of Health (MDH), Wright County Public Health, and our Regional COVID-19 Support Team. If and when we need to change to a more restrictive learning model, we will give staff and families as much time as possible to prepare.

Please remember that PK-4 students will not have school on December 7 to provide time for staff to plan for trimester two. Please see the Modified Academic Calendar.

Lastly, please help us keep our youngest learners in school. It will take ALL of us, working together, to decrease the spread of the virus. As we approach the holidays, it is important to follow state guidelines and implement the recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health. We understand this is difficult but these steps are critical if we want to continue in-person learning.

  • Wear a face covering when outside your home.
  • Maintain at least 6 ft of distance from persons not in your household.
  • Protect yourself and others by washing your hands often with soap and water, cover your cough, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Frequently clean all commonly touched surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, countertops).
  • Limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

Thanks for your continued support and partnership. Take care and be safe.

Respectfully,

Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault
STMA Superintendent