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COVID-19 Rates in Wright County Increase, Possibly Impacting Instructional Model at Hassan, Otsego, and Prairie View Elementary

ISD 728 officials continue to work closely with public health officials to monitor COVID-19 trends and rates.


Wright County Data
As of September 10, 2020, Wright County was at 20.11 COVID-19 cases per 10,000 people over the last two weeks, up from 16.35 last week. Although this number crosses a threshold from Level 2 to Level 3 in the structure of case ranges and associated learning models established by the state (see the table on Page 1 of the Stay Safe MN Plan), no determination to change our learning model has been made at this time based on consultation with public health officials.

County case numbers – released each Thursday – are just the starting point for determining which learning models are in use (i.e. face-to-face, hybrid, distance learning). Now that school is in session, there are many more factors that come into play when determining a learning model, and a single week’s data point will not necessarily drive an immediate shift in learning models.

Wright County Public Health officials are currently consulting with the Minnesota Department of Health on other factors such as local school and community transmission. According to Wright County data, the case numbers have not shifted significantly since last week, and we have not yet had any positive cases confirmed among our student or staff populations in any Wright County school within ISD 728.

While the increased COVID-19 rates in Wright County could require HassanPrairie View, and Otsego Elementary to move from a face-to-face model to a hybrid model, it would not impact other ISD 728 schools. Other ISD 728 schools are located in and/or have students from different counties, or there is a different case rate threshold, such as those for secondary students.  


Resources
For a list of cities within Wright County, please visit: www.co.wright.mn.us/250/Cities-Townships.

For overall case trends by county, please visit here


Process and Timeline Involving Hassan, Otsego, and Prairie View Elementary Schools
If ISD 728 was to make a change to the learning model and move elementary schools serving students in or from Wright County (Hassan, Otsego and Prairie View) from a face-to-face model to hybrid, here is what the process and timeline would look like:

  1. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends all school districts utilize three weekly data points before transitioning from one instructional model to another, as this could constitute a trend. ISD 728 officials would use data posted on September 10, 17, and 24, 2020.

    • If all three data points were above the Department of Health guidelines (20), parents would be notified September 25, 2020 that the District would be transitioning from face-to-face to hybrid in those three schools (effective October 7, 2020).

    • After each data point is posted (September 10, 17, and 24), the District will send a communication to students, families, and staff about current COVID rates, trends, and possible next steps.

    • Each county and the Minnesota Department of Health publish COVID-19 rates on their websites, which often include the number of cases by city, zip code, and/or county.  ISD 728 uses these websites to gather information and ultimately to make decisions in consultation with each public health official. If community members are interested in reviewing data, they are encouraged to also use data published on each county and/or the Minnesota Department of Health website.

  2. If elementary students in these schools transitioned to a hybrid model, students would come to school (face-to-face) the week of September 28, 2020 (through Oct. 2).

  3. In this case, there would be no school for students at Hassan, Otsego, and Prairie View Elementary School on Monday or Tuesday, October 5 and 6, 2020 to allow for planning.

  4. The hybrid model would begin for Hassan, Otsego and Prairie View students on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 (A Group). B Group would come to school on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

  5. All elementary students in the hybrid model at Hassan, Otsego, and Prairie View Elementary School would receive distance learning every Friday, including Friday, October 9, 2020 and not be on site. This is the same model currently happening in all ISD 728 middle and high schools.

  6. Hassan, Otsego, and Prairie View elementary students would be able to return to school in a face-to-face model when three weekly data points indicated it was safe to do so in accordance with the Stay Safe MN Plan.

Note:  If there was a unique circumstance (i.e. outbreak at a specific school, not sufficient staffing, etc.), the District would also consider a transition, which could be done by classroom, school, county or district.

Please make sure your family has a plan in case a change in learning models must occur.

Thank you for being part of ISD 728, we will continue to work with public health officials and to implement plans that provide a safe environment in accordance with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health.