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Eastern Carver County Schools announced Aug. 11 a plan to start the 2020-21 school year with four days of in-person instruction for students in grades kindergarten through fifth.

The District acknowledges the in-person school will look much different than in the past due to new health and safety measures that will be in place.

YOU ASKED, THEY ANSWERED

Q: Will there be temperatures taken every morning?

A: Students and staff are asked to self-screen every day before coming to school or work. (LINK to District website)

  • Does anyone in your household have a sore throat?
  • Does anyone in your household have a new or worsening cough?
  • Does anyone in your household have a fever (>100.4), chills or body aches?
  • Does anyone in your household have shortness of breath?
  • Does anyone in your household have diarrhea, nausea or vomiting?
  • Does anyone in your household have a new loss of taste or smell?
  • Has anyone had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, please stay at home and do not come to school.

Q: If elementary schools are four days a week as opposed to the hybrid AA/BB model proposed earlier, what is their plan for having all those kids in the building at once?

A: There will be no large gatherings where students cannot social distance. We will create as much space as possible between individuals in classrooms. Classroom seating will be separated by six feet when feasible in the In-Person model. (LINK to district website)

  • Students will not share supplies, no communal materials will be used.
  • Limited transitions between classes throughout the school day.
  • Frequent handwashing
  • Mask breaks will be provided in a space where students can be socially distance

Q: Kids will be in the classroom for the majority of the day. Will there be opportunities to have class outdoors? Recess? Gym?

A: Recess will be provided daily by classrooms teachers in specified areas of the playground and/or school grounds. Face coverings will be required during this time.

Q: What’s the learning model for elementary if we have to keep our child home to quarantine? Will they get online learning for the days they cannot come to school?

A: "Just like any time a student becomes ill, for whatever reason, we provide work for kids when they're home. We talked about this (Thursday) with our building leaders. If two kids become ill and are quarantined at home, we're going to provide work for them. If they're really sick, we're going to support them like we normally would if they were sick with something other than COVID. If multiple kids in the class become ill with COVID, the whole class will probably go to distance learning. We'll provide distance learning in that case. They won't have to enroll in Online Academy. That's what we do as teachers. We'll find a way to teach them best." - Assistant Superintendent Erin Rathke

Q: What will lunch look like for my child?

A: Each school will offer a hot or cold lunch each day. Lunches from home continue to be an option. Areas for students with food allergies will be determined in each school. Lunch times will take place in the classrooms for 30 minutes each day.

Q: What are the protocols on transportation?

A: Buses will run at 50 percent. No student may sit in the seat behind the driver. Windows and the roof hatch will be open for ventilation when the weather permits. All students and staff must wear masks. Students will be loaded from back to front, and dismissed from front to back. Cleaning of the bus will happen after each run with a deep cleaning each evening. (LINK)

Q: It sounds like full classrooms going four days a week. The class sizes are already overcrowded in the elementary schools, so that approach has a lot of us in my neighborhood confused/concerned.

A: "When you're getting into the fourth- or fifth-grade level, you might get up into the 27 student range per class. We will have kids in the Online Academy, so that will reduce numbers. We are working alongside operations. Every principal has a map of their building, each room, its square footage, what each room's capacity is. We are going to utilize our larger space areas if a certain group is larger so we can social distance." - Rathke

District 112 wants families to know in-person is 100 percent of students, potentially, in the building.

"We want people to be aware. We want to be factual because people deserve the facts to make the best decision possible for their family." - Rathke

MDH/MDE are recommending outside teaching and District 112 supports that on days that the weather is favorable.

"It's going to be creative teaching. We're going to utilize our buildings and all of our spaces." - Rathke

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