Does the District have metrics to make different decisions about masking and other mitigation strategies if necessary?
Yes, the District has draft metrics, but there is no exact formula as public health officials consider many variables. However, what we can tell you is that we use local ISD 728 data as the primary source, but consider community and county data as well. ISD 728 would prefer not to do an "all or nothing approach," when considering different mitigation strategies and/or instructional models, and instead, prefers to address specific classrooms, grade levels, and/or schools. In addition to the number of positive COVID-19 cases, the ability to staff buildings and classrooms is also a major consideration. Right now, public health guidance has been to make changes when there are 3 or more cases in a confined space and 5% of populations testing positive.
What mitigation strategies are being used by the District?
The District will implement mitigation strategies to the best of its ability, and maintain its Dashboard on its website to keep parents and our community updated. ISD 728 will also continue to monitor the number of cases, and to make adjustments to practices as more data and information becomes available.
Specific mitigation strategies and efforts are available on the District’s website at www.isd728.org/COVID-19.
Is community feedback helpful and how will decisions about COVID-19 be made?
Yes, District Officials are grateful for the continued feedback from families and our community members, and use it as a consideration when making decisions. We know there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue and will continue to make decisions based on local data and recommendations from our local health experts.
Will my student be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine?
No. While the CDC and MDH recommend a vaccine, it is not a required vaccine for attendance at school. Keep in mind there are several other vaccines that are required by the state to attend in-person learning. Check with your health care provider to make sure your student is up to date on all required vaccinations. All ISD 728 students will be welcomed regardless of COVID vaccination status.
Why did the School Board pass a resolution to give the Superintendent decision-making authority to make COVID 19-related decisions? Was that a needed change?
Superintendents across the State have had authority to make decisions before and since the Governor’s Executive Order. The reach this decision after consultations with state and local health officials, neighboring district leaders and the leadership team within ISD 728.
What the change DOES do is make that decision-making process more official and transparent, with an added oversight from the Board, who can collectively review changes at its next regular meeting if/when there is a change in practice enacted by the District.
Said differently – the recent action by the Board wasn’t a change in policy, but one that was recommended by the Department of Education, the Minnesota School Board Association, and legal counsel.
Will my student be tested on a regular basis? Will the District offer vaccines?
No and no. The CDC and MDH recommend testing for any student who has NOT been vaccinated, but ISD 728 will not be testing students. Nor will it be offering the vaccines.
However, if a student or family wants information about how they can get access to testing and/or vaccines, we will work with local public health officials to get them information.
Will there be increased cleaning protocols implemented throughout our schools?
Yes, increased cleaning protocols will be implemented in each of our schools.
Will students and staff be expected to complete any type of “wellness assessment” prior to entering our schools?
Yes, students and staff will be required to complete a “school self-screening checklist” prior to entering school district property.
Will disinfecting cleaning routines are being done?
Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 will be done by custodial staff with assistance from all other staff as needed throughout the day. General “high touch” areas will be cleaned and sanitized regularly by custodians and other employees. Staff will have access to supplies for more regular cleaning.
What do I do if I think I should have my student tested for COVID-19?
First, visit the MDH website and find a reliable testing location, or contact your child's healthcare provider. STUDENTS and families may also contact the District for ONE (1) test that can be found at the District Office in Elk River. DO NOT send the student to school while test results are pending. This has been one of the quickest ways the District has seen cases spread througout classrooms. Once a negative result is received, the student can return to school.