School Closing Update: March 15, 2020
Sunday, March 15, 2020, Governor Walz and Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Ricker informed Minnesotans about school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In accordance with those recommendations, ISD 728 will be closing schools starting Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. While we recognize this is an inconvenience, the Department of Health has provided special direction related to social distancing, which cannot be implemented during the traditional instructional day (i.e. lunch, recess, passing in hallways, etc.).
Between March 16 and March 27, 2020, ISD 728 school officials and staff will create and finalize plans for distance learning for students, which will begin Monday, March 30, 2020. Written differently, students will be out of school and not receive instruction until March 30, 2020. On March 30, 2020, distance learning will begin and continue until further notice, which will be provided by the Department of Education and Department of Health.
Distance learning guidelines, which will operate similar to E-Learning Days implemented in the instance of a weather cancellation, will be communicated to families and students in the following days. Those in middle school and high school grades will utilize their current 1:1 technology (i.e. Chromebooks). The District will be working to equip families of elementary students with technology and activity boards. This plan will allow for daily interaction and academic progress.
Access to School & Personal Belongings
- Parents and students will have access to get personal supplies (i.e. empty out desks and lockers, gather medications, etc.) on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. This will allow ISD 728 staff to clean the facilities in accordance with guidance from the Department of Health. Principals will send specific details and additional guidance regarding scheduled pick-up times.
- Families with elementary-aged children who need to request a device for distance learning can check one out on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at their child’s school. If you have a device at home your child can use, you may use it instead of checking out a school-issued device.
- School officials ask that families limit the time they spend in school when picking up supplies due to social distancing guidelines and to prevent the spread of the virus (i.e. 10 minutes or less). School officials also recommend limiting the number of people they bring with them when picking up supplies (i.e. one parent/guardian).
EdVenture Club Childcare
EdVenture Club programming will be canceled Monday, March 16, 2020 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020. All registrations starting Monday March 16, 2020 for before and after school care will be canceled and refunds will be processed.
Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020, childcare will be provided per the Governor's recommendation to Emergency personnel critical to the State's response to COVID-19:
- Childcare will be provided for healthcare, emergency medical services, long-term and post-acute care providers; law enforcement personnel; personnel providing correctional services; public health employees; firefighters and other first responders; essential court personnel.
- Emergency personnel requesting childcare during this time will be required to provide an employer ID or another form of employee identification.
- Specific site locations for childcare will be determined and communicated Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
- Registration will be for Monday through Friday enrollment from 7 a.m.- 5 p.m.
- A maximum of 30 children, ages 6 to 12, will be allowed to enroll at a site to be determined.
- A maximum of 10 children, ages 3 to 5, will be allowed to enroll at an Early Childhood site to be determined.
- Enrollment limits are put in place to ensure the implementation of social distancing and best practice health strategies.
- A registration lottery will be available Monday, March 16, 2020 on www.728communityed.com and an enrollment acceptance will be communicated to applicants Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by the end of the workday.
- For community childcare availability starting the week of March 30, 2020, ISD 728 will be communicating information to all families Monday, March 23, 2020.
In the coming days, parents will be provided additional information regarding school meal availability once details regarding the program have been finalized. School officials are working with the Department of Education and are waiting for guidance.
Other Important Information
- Elementary: Conference information will be forthcoming
- Secondary: Conference information will be forthcoming
- Community Education Early Childhood Family Education programs, Early Childhood Screening, Youth Enrichment, Arts and Recreation, Driver’s Education, Adult Enrichment & Fitness classes scheduled through May are canceled. Participants will be provided credit for future programs.
- School Readiness and ABE participants will receive communication about Distance Learning options that will start on March 30, 2020.
- Please take time to review your contact information on Infinite Campus Parent Portal to ensure it is accurate.
- Continued communication from the District will be done through the parent notification system and will be posted on the District’s website www.isd728.org/COVID-19. We will also post information and links via our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- The Minnesota State High School League provides guidance related to athletics/activities. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, there will be no practices, scrimmages, games, etc. through at least March 27, 2020 (MSHSL).
- The ACT exam scheduled for March 23, 2020 is canceled. We are working with ACT to move the date for those that are registered for the test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to other frequently asked questions and more communication from ISD 728 leadership will be posted on the District website regularly at www.isd728.org/COVID-19.
As additional information is made available through the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education, we will make it available through our stated communication channels.