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Returning to school for the 2021-22 school year!
Posted by Abbey Lang on 8/18/2021
In July the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health provided guidance for schools this fall. While we are excited about regaining some normalcy and local control, it will not be without its challenges. These times are still unprecedented and we need the support and cooperation of all families if we’re going to be successful in maintaining progress.
After reviewing the guidance, Dassel-Cokato Schools have updated our processes and created the Safe Learning Plan 2021-2022. We are taking this opportunity to inform the school community of our approach based on the current information. The District will continue to monitor the situation and make required adjustments as details evolve.
Dassel-Cokato Schools is required to follow all State and Federal laws and statutory requirements. Currently, there are currently two mandates:
- A Federal mandate requiring face coverings on public transportation “All people are required by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to wear face coverings on all indoor public transportation, such as airplanes and public busses, including school buses.” For more information, please click here.
- The second requirement is the obligation for schools to report confirmed cases of COVID-19, as we were required to this past school year and is also required of healthcare offices and testing facilities.
COVID-19 Vaccines - are recommended for age-eligible people but are not required for students, staff or visitors.
Face Coverings - are recommended but not required in school buildings. Face coverings are currently required on school district transportation.
Monitoring Your Health - all students, staff and families should continue to monitor their health on a daily basis and stay home when ill or displaying symptoms
- If a student or staff displays COVID symptoms while at school they will be sent home, regardless of vaccine status.
- Those with COVID symptoms are recommended to stay home for 10 days, seek testing or an alternative diagnosis
Positive COVID -19 cases - should be reported to the district school nurse.
- Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must stay home for a minimum of 10 days.
Quarantine - Contact tracing will be conducted by the COVID Coordinator, families will be notified of exposures and isolation/quarantine recommendations will be applied.
- Persons who are vaccinated and not displaying symptoms are not recommended to quarantine.
- Persons who are not vaccinated are recommended to quarantine.
- All persons, regardless of vaccination status, are recommended to isolate if displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
Transportation - Federal regulations require face coverings continue for students and staff while riding on school-provided transportation (buses).
- Bus routes are determined by families who ride the bus in the mornings only, the afternoons only, those who only ride occasionally and those who do not ride at all. We are asking all families to complete this short survey in the Parent Portal to best plan our fall transportation needs. Transportation requests must be completed by August 26th in order to ensure bussing for the first week of school.
Virtual learning - Dassel-Cokato Schools will be in-person learning for grades PreK-12 this fall.
Additional safety precautions being implemented -
- Our HVAC systems will continue to operate at full capacity for more frequent air exchange in each building.
- Each building will work to maximize spaces in classrooms and common areas to allow for more spacing between students.
- Each school site will continue with daily cleaning routines.
- Increased hand hygiene will be encouraged and hand sanitizer will continue to be available.
We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through the current guidance. Know that we will continue to monitor the situation and work with local officials to create a safe space for all students. We believe information provided to families will help them make the best decisions for themselves and their children.
Dassel and Cokato Elementary Update-
Calling all elementary students and families! Open House is around the corner and we are excited to have you join us on Wednesday, September 1st from 5 PM - 7 PM.
For years a time-honored elementary tradition has been to check the class lists posted on each school’s front doors to discover teacher names and classmates. We know families are anxiously awaiting these lists and we are doing our best to finalize them. Unfortunately, due to the continued enrollment fluctuations, we are experiencing on a daily basis, we will not be posting class lists until Open House on September 1st.
Families will still receive a letter of information from their school prior to Open House but class lists will not be posted until just prior to the evening’s start. During Open House, students will meet their teacher and receive a letter of introduction, discover their classroom, meet classmates and explore the school. It’s going to be an exciting event!
We apologize for any disappointment at the delay and ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to receive and process student enrollments daily.
I’m looking forward to a great school year and am excited to be a Charger!