- St. Michael-Albertville Schools
- COVID-19 Response
08-03-2021 Message to Families
Dear Parents and Staff,
The new school year is on the horizon and we are eager to welcome our students and staff back. As we prepare for the new school year and review new guidance from local, regional, state, and federal agencies, we want to update you on our plans.
STMA Safe Learning Plan for FY2022
The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority. We are committed to providing a safe educational environment where students and staff thrive in a healthy environment. To ensure we have a safe environment we have reviewed guidance from the MN Department of Education (MDE), MN Department of Health (MDH), and the CDC. We have also analyzed local data to inform our decision making. Our decisions continue to be based on what is best for STMA students.
In addition, we are committed to parental choice and respect the rights of parents. We are pleased to offer options for families to choose from that best meet their needs. We encourage families to review health guidance and choose the mitigation strategies that are best for their child(ren).
After listening to community input and reviewing recommendations from district leaders, the school board provided guidance on the Safe Learning Plan for FY2022 at their August 2 meeting.
STMA will use an in-person learning model for the 2021-2022 school year. Classes will be in-person, five days a week for all levels (preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and secondary).
All families will have an online learning option via STMA Online. STMA Online offers interactive online courses to students that want or need a virtual option. Courses are aligned to MN state standards and are taught by licensed STMA teachers. The program is different than distance learning with varying levels of interaction with teachers and peers based on grade level. To learn more, visit the STMA Online webpage, watch this video, or contact Principal Mark Jansen.
Face coverings are optional for students and staff. They will not be required in 2021-2022 unless families and staff choose otherwise or have a medical condition.
Face coverings will be required on buses per President Biden’s Executive Order, which regulates all forms of public transportation. It is not an option for any school district to disregard the requirement. Failure to follow the mandate could result in loss of licensure and/or funding.
Social distancing will be maintained when and where it is possible.
STMA will not require COVID-19 vaccinations for the 2021-2022 school year. Per data privacy laws, students and staff who have not been vaccinated will not be identified or segregated from others. They will be welcomed by all.
Facility Cleaning, Personal Hygiene, and Ventilation
Personal Hygiene: Students will be encouraged to hand wash using soap and hot water for 20 seconds on a regular basis per CDC guidelines. Students will be instructed on proper handwashing technique. Hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) will be available in each classroom for student and staff use. Proper respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) will be modeled and reinforced.
Facility Cleaning: Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols will continue to be implemented in all district buildings and buses. This includes regular cleaning as well as frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch and high-traffic areas.
Ventilation: Ventilation is an important factor in minimizing COVID-19 transmission indoors. We will increase airflow via our HVAC and air filtration systems to bring in more fresh air and put other measures in place to improve air quality.
Health Screening and Quarantining
Health Screening: STMA will use passive screening to determine fever or illness of students and staff. Families and staff are expected to monitor their health conditions and not enter the buildings or buses if they are demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19. Students and staff should stay home if ill.
Quarantining: Students and staff who test positive and have symptoms, must remain at home for 10 days from the time symptoms start and until symptoms have improved and they have had no fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. If they have no symptoms but test positive, they should stay home for 10 days counting from the day they were tested. Parents must contact their child’s building if their child tests positive for COVID-19. Staff must contact their supervisor if they test positive.
Visitors are welcome in STMA buildings. Visitors who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted to enter STMA buildings and should contact their medical professional for further direction.
Collaboration with Public Health Agencies
The superintendent and district leaders will continue to collaborate with local, regional, and state public health officials.
The pandemic is not over and we will remain vigilant. We will closely monitor positive cases of COVID-19 and take necessary steps to protect our students and staff. We expect families, staff, and the community to partner with us so we can keep our students in an in-person learning model. Thanks for choosing STMA Schools and for your continued support. We look forward to serving you and your child(ren) throughout the 2021-2022 school year.
Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault