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Back to School Update: January 13, 2021

Español | Hmoob | Soomaali | Karen

Dear Saint Paul Public Schools Family:

We are excited to welcome students back to school beginning Monday, February 1. Our staff is working hard to ensure a safe and smooth transition from distance learning to in-person learning and the Virtual Learning School. 

SPPS is following all of the requirements and recommendations laid out in the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan. We are committed to providing you with timely updates as details are finalized. The latest information is posted on our website at on a regular basis; please check back often and look for additional updates from your students’ school.

Back to School Timeline*

  • January 25-29: There will be no instruction for PreK-5, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) or Special Education Federal IV programs while teachers prepare to transition

  • February 1: All students in grades PreK-5, ECSE and Federal IV programs will begin learning with their new classes, whether they are returning in person or moving to the Virtual Learning School. This means:
    • Students in PreK-2, ECSE, Federal IV programs, Montessori Children’s House and E1, and some multigrade classrooms will begin in-person learning on February 1
    • All Virtual Learning School students in PreK-5, ECSE and Federal IV programs begin learning with their new classes on February 1
    • Students in grades 3-5 will meet with their new classes in distance learning from February 1-12

  •  February 16: Students in grades 3-5 who are returning to school begin full-time in-person learning

*This timeline applies to most of our elementary schools and Federal IV programs, but there may be some differences depending on the school. Families will receive more information directly from their schools.

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Building Access

Students must be dropped off outside school entrances. Students cannot be escorted by family members to their classrooms or anywhere else inside the building. In addition, families will not be allowed to have lunch, observe a class, volunteer, or engage in any other activities in school buildings.

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COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines

Families should familiarize themselves with these guidelines, which are updated regularly and cover prevention strategies, health screening and monitoring, exclusion guidance, and the SPPS COVID-19 Reporting System.

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Cleaning Procedures

SPPS follows a four-tiered cleaning response to suspected or confirmed reports of COVID-19 in SPPS buildings.

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Facilities Updates

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. All SPPS schools have updated filtration systems in place.

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Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

K-12 students, staff and visitors are required to wear a face covering unless medically exempt. It is strongly recommended that staff wear face masks and face shields together whenever possible.

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COVID-19 Communications Protocol

SPPS works closely with the Minnesota Department of Health to determine action steps for a reported case of COVID-19. Notifications will be sent when action needs to be taken.

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Meal Service

Students will eat breakfast in their classroom. School cafeterias will be used for serving and eating lunch where possible. In buildings where the cafeteria is not large enough to meet social distancing guidelines, classrooms may be used as dining space.

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Bus drivers and K-12 students are required to wear masks on the bus. School staff will supervise bus drop-off and implement a school dismissal routine that supports social distancing. You will receive bus route information in the mail before the first week of school.

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Virtual Learning School

The deadline to enroll in the Virtual Learning School was Monday, January 11. All Virtual Learning School students will start on February 1, including grades 3-5. Please look for more information from your school as class rosters are finalized.