01-14-2021 Message to Families

STMA Parents:

The purpose of this communication is to announce a shift in learning models for students in grades 5-12. 

LEARNING MODEL SHIFT FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 5-12 

Our STMA team has been diligently monitoring district, community, county, and state data related to COVID-19. Likewise, we have been in close collaboration with representatives from MN Department of Health (MDH), MN Department of Education (MDE), Wright County Public Health, and our Regional Support Team (RST). 

In addition, we have been carefully reviewing the Safe Learning Plan. The Safe Learning Plan notes that schools using a distance or hybrid learning model that experience a declining level of viral activity in the school and/or surrounding community, may shift their learning models to a less restrictive model. The Safe Learning Plan lists a number of mitigation strategies that must be implemented in order to shift to a less restrictive learning model. We have implemented all of the mitigation strategies.

We recently met with representatives from MDH, MDE, and our Regional Support Team. After carefully reviewing data and much discussion, we were approved to shift to an in-person learning model for students in grades 5-12. 

Please see below for a timeline for all students in grades 5-12.

January 18 No school for all students PK-12. 

Previously scheduled professional development day. 

January 28-29 No school for students grades 5-12.

Planning days for grades 5-12 staff.

February 1* Students in grades 5 and 9 will be in-person and attend school five days per week. 

A “rolling start” process must be implemented per the Safe Learning Plan.

February 12 No school for all students PK-12

Presidents’ Day long weekend

February 15 No school for all students PK-12

Presidents’ Day long weekend

February 16* Students in grades 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12 begin an in-person learning model.

Knights Academy transitions to in-person.

*Students who choose to continue in distance learning are not impacted by this learning model change. Students who wish to change their learning model will have the opportunity in the near future. Watch for communication from your child’s building principal regarding this. 

*To maximize student safety and decrease possible quarantine numbers on our buses, school start and end times will change starting February 1. See below for new school start times for February 1-June 3.

  • STMA Middle School East: 8:55 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
  • STMA Middle School West: 9:10 a.m.-3:05 p.m.
  • STMA High School: 9:30 a.m.-3:20 p.m.
  • Knights Academy: 9:40 a.m.-2:55 p.m.

Please watch for additional information regarding the shift in learning model from your child’s building principal.

 

DATA USED TO INFORM OUR DECISION 

We analyzed multiple pieces of data (see below) to determine a safe and sustainable learning model. The data is in alignment with the Safe Learning Plan. To review the data visit the COVID-19 webpage or click here

  • Student and Staff COVID-19 Case Rate Numbers
  • Wright County 14-Day COVID-19 Case Rate Number 
  • STMA Community COVID-19 Case Rate Number
  • Student and Staff COVID-19/Influenza-Like Symptom Percentages
  • Student Case Numbers for St. Michael and Albertville 
  • Substitute Staffing Levels

In addition, a survey was recently sent to parents of secondary students. 3,057 out of 4,014, or 76%, of parents completed the survey. 91.6% of parents indicated they would send their child to school in an in-person learning model. To view survey results visit the COVID-19 webpage or click here

LEARNING MODEL UNCHANGED FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES PK-4

There are no changes to learning models for students in grades PK-4. The previously communicated timeline is below for your perusal.

January 18 No school for all students PK-12. 

Previously scheduled professional development day. 

January 19 Students in grades K-3 will be in-person and attend school five days per week.

January 19 Students in grade 4 will continue in a hybrid learning model through January 29. 

That means in-person school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and distance learning on Wednesdays, January 20 and 27.

February 1 Students in grade 4 will be in-person and attend school five days per week.

Students who are in distance learning by choice are not impacted by this announcement.

Bright Beginnings preschool students continue with their current schedule.

REMAIN VIGILANT 

We have worked hard to return to an in-person learning model and want our students to remain in school. However, the health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority. Please help us keep our students in school by following state guidelines and implement the recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health:

  • Wear a face covering when outside your home.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from persons not in your household if possible.
  • 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).
  • If you are sick, stay home.

We will continue to closely monitor case rate numbers as well as other data. If data suggests it is not safe to remain in an in-person learning model, we will shift to a more restrictive learning model. It will take ALL of us, working together, to keep our students in school.

We are very proud that we are able to offer in-person instruction to ALL STMA students starting on February 16. Thank you for your continued support of STMA Schools. Take care and be safe.

Respectfully, 

Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault

STMA Superintendent