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Reopen SPPS Family Update - October 9

Español | Hmoob | SoomaaliKaren

Dear Saint Paul Public Schools Community,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue the school year in distance learning for all students. We appreciate your support. 

Below are a few updates about what SPPS is doing to support students in distance learning while preparing to transition some students to a hybrid learning schedule. For more information, please visit spps.org/reopen2020 or contact your child’s school.

Transition to Hybrid Learning and Virtual Learning School

Hybrid Stage 1 graphic

Our ultimate goal is to welcome students and school staff back to our buildings when it is safe and possible to do so. As communicated last week, Stage 1 students will begin transitioning to hybrid learning on Monday, October 19. SPPS will determine on Wednesday, October 14, whether any of the other stages can return on November 16.

Families in stages 2 and 3 received surveys this week about their readiness to return to hybrid learning. Please check your email and complete the survey if you received one. Stage 4 families will receive a survey in the coming weeks.

If it is decided to transition to hybrid learning for one or more of the above stages, those students will be in Distance Learning three days a week and on-site two days a week on the below schedule:

Hybrid schedule

  • Group 1 will be on-site Monday and Tuesday / distance learning Wednesday and Thursday
  • Group 2 will be on-site Wednesday and Thursday / distance learning Monday and Tuesday 
  • Both groups will be in distance learning on Friday

Students who transition to hybrid learning will have direct, in-person access to educators. All lessons and academic content will still be delivered in Seesaw and Schoology. Students will be grouped with siblings wherever possible.

Families that are not comfortable with their student(s) returning to school have the option to register for the SPPS Virtual Learning School to continue with distance learning for the entire school year. More information, including FAQs, is available at spps.org/virtuallearning.

Many families have questions about what this transition will look like, specifically who their teachers will be and how specialized programs like immersion and Montessori will work. When moving to hybrid or the Virtual Learning School, students may change teachers and classmates in some cases. More information can be found at spps.org/reopen2020 under Frequently Asked Questions.

Facilities Updates

SPPS Facilities Department has been busily preparing schools and buildings for staff and student safety. Improved ventilation, daily building sanitation, and safety reminders posted throughout schools are some of the many steps being taken to ensure a safe return to school.A summary and video of some of the ways SPPS has been preparing our buildings for in-person learning is posted on our website.

COVID-19 Health Protocols

SPPS is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff and their families. The COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines incorporate COVID-19 related health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Minnesota Departments of Health and Education. 

Schools and programs must be able to follow all of the health protocols laid out by MDE, MDH and SPPS to begin hybrid learning. These guidelines include signage and floor markings, handwashing and sanitizing routines, face covering policies, social distancing requirements, passive health screening and many other protocols. Building leaders have collaborated on these guidelines and are prepared to implement them at our schools.

COVID 19 reporting system A red button has been placed on several prominent pages of spps.org for people to report COVID-19 concerns. If you have a COVID concern and have been on SPPS property, you are encouraged to report it the same day using this online system. A phone number is listed for families who need to report in Spanish, Hmong, Somali or Karen.

Academic Support Center

Academic Support Center logo The purpose of the SPPS Academic Support Center (ASC) is to provide in-person academic and/or social-emotional learning support for Pre-K-12 grade students and their families during distance learning. The centers will provide academic support, not classroom instruction. 

A team of Educational Assistants, Teaching Assistants, SPPS temporary staff, retired teachers, contractors, community partners, and volunteers with a background in education and teaching, will provide the support to all students visiting these centers. 

The first center will open on Oct. 12 at Washington Technology Magnet School. To start, referrals will come from schools based on students’ academic needs. Families will be able to request a referral starting Oct. 16. For more information, visit spps.org/asc.

In addition, K-8 students who meet Area Learning Center (ALC) qualifications can register for Extended Day for Learning (EDL)/Extended School Support (ESS) at these centers. These programs include a snack, transportation, and instruction by certified teachers and specialists. Visit the EDL website for more information.

No School October 15-16

A reminder that there is no school for students or staff on Thursday and Friday, October 15-16. Families who receive meal deliveries on Thursday or Friday will get two deliveries this week. There will be no meal pickup or deliveries on October 15-16. Additional resources for free meals are listed on spps.org/fallmeals.