COVID-19 Learning Updates
The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District believes that in-person learning is best for students' learning and overall student well-being, while acknowledging that the threat of the Coronavirus has placed great difficulties and uncertainty on our ability to provide face-to-face instruction as our sole method for teaching. This plan is designed to be flexible and responsive as new information becomes available. Strategies were developed based upon guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District is committed to providing a safe and healthy place for all students to learn and grow. To ensure the spaces in Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools remain safe and healthy, the district has developed this Safe Return to In-person Learning Plan. Administrators, educators, staff and students are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 which requires the cooperation of all employees, students and the community. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons across the school district.
The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District believes that in-person learning is best for students' learning and overall student well-being while acknowledging that the threat of the Coronavirus has placed difficulties and uncertainty on our ability to provide face-to-face instruction as our sole method for teaching. This plan is designed to be flexible and responsive as new information becomes available. Strategies were developed based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District is committed to providing a safe and healthy place for all students to learn and grow. To ensure the spaces in Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools remain safe and healthy, the district has developed this Safe Return to In-person Learning Plan. Administrators, educators, staff, and students are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 which requires the cooperation of all employees, students, and the community. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons across the school district.
Sauk Rapids-Rice Guiding Principles and Core Values
As part of the planning process, the district leadership team established guiding principles and core values to shape the Safe Learning Plan.
- Ensure the health and safety of our students, families and staff by adhering to requirements provided by the Center for Disease Control, Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education
- Remain focused on student learning by developing student-centered instruction that meets the individual needs of students and families in an environment that has finite resources while still addressing the whole child
- Comply with local, state and federal laws and regulations, and collective bargaining agreements
- Maintain fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget
- Collect, review, and respond to up-to-date data and information from stakeholders
- Follow MDE Guiding Principles
- Care and well-being of staff, students, and families
- An inclusive, safe, caring and engaging learning environment that builds relationships and promotes shared responsibility for performance and innovation
- Equity and inclusion for students
- Quality instruction that includes
- Authentic and Timely Feedback
- Assessing students early on and routinely, to learn more about where they are in their learning and what data-driven decisions need to be made to support learners
- As a Professional Learning Community, teachers are engaged in collaborative teaming and self-directed professional development (personalized learning--teachers own their learning)
- A culture of continuous learning and growth in a caring, collaborative, and supportive environment
- Communicate accurate information in a timely manner
- Follow the requirements of the CDC, MDH, and MDE
- Transparent and good stewardship of resources
- Effective ongoing communication and outreach to students, staff, families and community members
- Effective partnerships between students, staff, families and community members
- Commitment to revisit this plan at minimum every six months and more frequently as needed.
Sauk Rapids-Rice Planning and Preparations
The Sauk Rapids-Rice District leadership team has revised the previous Safe Learning Plan to reflect a Safe Return to In-Person learning plan for the 2022-2023 school year.
If any individual is in need of an alternative format of the plan, please contact Dr. Holly Schoenherr, Director of Human Resources and Administrative Services at (320) 258-4703 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The district will utilize the 2022-2023 Return to In-Person Learning Webpage https://www.isd47.org/return-to-school for updating families, students, staff, and the community and to post the SRR Return to In-Person Learning Plan, In addition, the District and Building Notification Systems will be used for regular communication updates.
The COVID-19 program coordinator, district nurses, and building contacts are identified below. These individuals will be involved in identifying lessons learned, challenges, and further preventive activities to be shared with stakeholders.
District COVID-19 Coordinator:
Dr. Holly Schoenherr email@example.com 320-258-4703
Building COVID-19 Contacts:
Sauk Rapids-Rice High School - RuthAnn Alvord firstname.lastname@example.org
Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School - TBD
Mississippi Heights Elementary School - Deb Tischmak email@example.com
Pleasantview Elementary School - Shannon Lauderbaugh firstname.lastname@example.org
Rice Elementary School - Jody Silbernick email@example.com
Hillside/ECFE - Alison Ward firstname.lastname@example.org
Positive COVID-19 Test Result, Health Screening, and Hygiene Practices
Positive COVID-19 Test Result
Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools is required to report positive cases of staff and students to the Minnesota Department of Education. Families need to report positive COVID-19 cases by calling the school or completing the online form.
Students may return to school after completing at least five (5) days of isolation* if they are symptom-free AND can ensure the following through day 10:
- Wear a mask that completely covers your nose and mouth at all times, except when eating or drinking; and
- When eating or drinking, maintain at least six feet of social distance from other individuals.
- Avoid close contact with immunocompromised individuals or those who are at high risk of severe disease.
If you have symptoms, stay home and away from others until all of the following are true:
- It has been at least five full days since you first felt sick (day zero is the day your symptoms started).
- You have had no fever (100.4 degrees or lower) for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers; and your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms have improved. Return to school following the requirements below through day 10.
If you do not have symptoms, stay home and away from others until all of the following are true:
- It has been at least five full days since you tested positive (day zero is the day you got tested). If you develop symptoms during this time, refer to the guidance above for “If you have symptoms.”
- If you remain symptom-free, you can resume most activities on day six, following the requirements below through day 10:
To be at school days 6-10, all of the following are required:
- No fever, and symptoms have improved
- Wear a well-fitting mask when around others. Masks may be removed before day 11 if you have two negative (PCR or antigen) tests 48 hours apart. This means that the earliest you may stop wearing a mask is day 8. Take the first test on day 6, and the second on day 8. If either test is positive, you should continue taking tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two negative results in a row. For more information on antigen tests, you can do at home, including resources for getting free tests, visit COVID-19 Self-testing.
*For purposes of determining an isolation period, the date of symptom onset (or date of the test if asymptomatic) is considered Day 0 of isolation.
Students, parents, and visitors entering the building while school is in session will have their temperature screened upon entering. Students and families will be informed of the importance of self-monitoring symptoms.
Students who are sick should stay home from school. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, and loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Students displaying any of the symptoms listed above will be sent to the nurse or designated school personnel. The health office will notify families if a student registers a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, is vomiting, has diarrhea, or has a persistent cough, they will be provided a mask, separated from others to the best of the school's ability, and sent home. If a student is displaying symptoms while at school, families will be offered an individual COVID-19 test that can be done at school or home.
- Students should not attend school if they are not feeling well.
- Families are to call or email their student’s school to report symptoms if a student is ill.
- Sauk Rapids-Rice High School: 320-253-4700
- Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School: 320-654-9073
- Mississippi Heights Elementary School: 320-252-0122
- Pleasantview Elementary School: 320-253-0506
- Rice Elementary School: 320-393-2177
- Hillside: 320-255-8910
Student absences due to quarantine are considered excused. Your student’s teacher(s) will determine and communicate how school work will be assigned for days missed and may range from picking up materials at the school to the delivery of materials electronically.
If your student does not quarantine and returns to school following exposure, MDH recommends that they wear a face covering indoors for 10 days following exposure and gets tested five days after exposure.
Hand Hygiene Practices and Basic Prevention Measures
Infection and prevention measures will be implemented in all Sauk Rapids-Rice Public School buildings. Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools will provide instruction, signage, facilities, and supplies to encourage regular hand washing and sanitizing. This practice is consistent with MDH: Hand Hygiene
- Teachers will work with students to teach and model proper hand hygiene practices. In addition, there will be signs in all handwashing locations that provide clear guidance on how to properly wash hands. Throughout the day, students will have the opportunity to wash their hands; in the absence of a handwashing station, students will have access to hand sanitizer.
- Hand washing/hand sanitizing guidelines and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff will be reinforced.
- If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer will be available.
- Provide sanitizing stations throughout each of the buildings.
- To the extent, possible students will be supervised while using hand sanitizer
- In key areas throughout the school signs will be posted on how to slow the spread of COVID-19 and teach students how to stop the spread of germs.
- Students will be instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, particularly their mouth, nose, and eyes with their hands.
Students and staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. Testing leads to quick identification of cases, quick treatment, and isolation for those people infected as well as for those who were in close contact with the infected person.
Each building health office will maintain a supply of BinaxNow OTC At-Home rapid COVID-19 tests that may either be sent home with sick students or administered by district staff, with parent/guardian consent. BinaxNOW OTC tests are individual rapid antigen tests that use a nasal swab. It is a self-test recommended for children as young as two (2) years old when samples are collected by an adult, and for all people 15 and older if they are collecting the sample by themselves. Results are visually displayed on the test 15 minutes after the test is performed. Even with a negative test result, a student who is experiencing symptoms should retest and should not return to school until symptoms have improved and the student has been fever free for 24 hours.
Drop-off, Pick-up, and Delivery Practices, and Protocol
The district has implemented procedures related to the drop-off and pick-up of students before, during, and after the school day. Parent drop-off and pick-up will be at the school entrances/office. The district is asking that parents not bring their child(ren) to the classroom.
Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies have been provided. To learn more, parents/guardians should contact his/her child’s case manager.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools has implemented a regular schedule and checklist for cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces (desks, tables, handrails, doorknobs, etc.), shared items, shared equipment, and high-traffic areas. Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools will continue to perform other routine environmental cleanings according to established schedules and procedures. Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets, and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product. This policy is consistent with CDC: Cleaning Your Facility and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) List N for products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. See EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
- Desks will be cleaned daily and disinfected following a positive case of COVID-19
- Conduct deep cleaning prior to students/staff returning to school.
- Cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day.
- Ensure safe and correct application of all disinfectants.
- Disinfect classrooms and spaces following positive COVID-19 test results.
Training regarding the cleaning and disinfecting of all buildings will occur throughout the year and as new employees are hired.
Indoor Facilities, Utilities, and Ventilation
Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools has evaluated the operational capacity of indoor ventilation systems and developed a plan to increase and maintain ventilation provided throughout indoor spaces. Steps continue to be taken to increase the intake percentage of outside air to increase dilution of contaminants and maximize recirculation, whenever possible while maintaining indoor air conditions. In the absence of effective mechanical ventilation, steps will be taken to increase natural ventilation as much as possible, including opening windows when possible and safe. This plan is consistent with applicable Stay Safe Industry guidance, and Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools has consulted the resources in applicable industry guidance and others, as necessary, in developing this plan.
- The ventilation plan includes continuous monitoring of the HVAC systems and responding to any malfunctions. These systems will be operational when spaces in buildings are occupied.
- Training around operating and troubleshooting the HVAC system will be provided to all appropriate employees. This ongoing training will include intermittent and responsive professional development of the building automation system.
- Protocols for visitors in buildings during the school day
- Visitors/Volunteers will be permitted if there is an academic purpose.
- Visitors/Volunteers will not be permitted in lunchrooms during lunchtimes.
- Parents will not be walking kids into school, except for before/after school programs.
- Parents are encouraged to call/email in advance when feasible.
- Visitors/Volunteers should stay home if they are not feeling well
Administrators, managers, and supervisors are expected to monitor the implementation of the plan and report discrepancies to the Human Resources and Administrative Services Department. All administrators, managers, supervisors, and staff are to take an active role and collaborate in carrying out the various aspects of this plan and update the protections, protocols, work practices, and training as necessary. This plan has been reviewed by the Superintendent of Schools.
Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools provided this updated plan for public input on August 23, 2022. Feedback was considered in the revisions of the plan presented to the Sauk Rapids-Rice Board of Education on September 12, 2022..
*The information is true and accurate at this time. The district will follow requirements from the state and state health department with regards to COVID-19.
Keeping all participants (students, coaches, officials and others) healthy and having opportunities to participate in education-based activities and athletics is critical and important. Below are recommendations for Minnesota State High School League member schools to consider as they develop COVID plans to be implemented at the local level.