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Back to School Update: January 21, 2021

Hmoob | Español | SoomaaliKaren

Dear Saint Paul Public Schools Family:

We are excited to welcome students back to school beginning Monday, February 1. A reminder that there is no instruction next week, January 25-29, for Pre-K-5, Early Childhood Special Education and Federal IV special education programs to allow staff time to prepare for the transition 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.

The latest information is posted on our website at spps.org/reopen on a regular basis; please check back often and look for additional updates from your students’ school.

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Transportation

Families will soon receive a postcard in the mail with their bus route information. Students will have assigned seats on buses to ensure spacing and assist with contact tracing. Face coverings are required for all K-12 students and bus drivers, and strongly recommended for Pre-K students who are able to wear them, both on the bus and at school.

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Virtual Learning School

Students enrolled in the Virtual Learning School will begin on February 1. Requests to move into the Virtual Learning School made after January 11 have been placed on a waiting list. These requests are being reviewed and families will be notified as soon as possible. Contact the Student Placement Center at 651-632-3760 or spc@spps.org for information regarding your request.

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iPads and Learning Format

Seesaw and Schoology will continue to be used for sharing and collecting schoolwork, in addition to direct instruction and learning support. Students will be expected to bring their iPads home each day, charge them overnight and bring them back to school the next day. Review the Student and Family checklist for iPads at spps.org/distancelearning.

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Teacher Assignments

Schools are working to reassign students and teachers to their new in-person or Virtual Learning School classes. Multigrade classes and changes to teachers and classmates are likely. Families will receive their new class assignments directly from their school. Please contact your school with any questions.

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Health Screening

Families should conduct a health screening every morning before sending their student to school or the bus stop. School staff will also monitor for symptoms throughout the school day. If your child is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, do not send them to school. Report the absence to your child’s school and submit a report to the COVID-19 Reporting System the same day for next steps.

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Social Distancing

In line with the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, SPPS will work to provide 3 feet or more of spacing between students. Schools will limit mixing of students as much as possible throughout the day to minimize risk and reduce exposure. It’s important to know that certain circumstances may require closer contact between students and staff (i.e. tying shoes, offering emotional support).

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Sick Students

Students who become sick during the school day will be isolated (under supervision) until they can be picked up. It is important that sick students are picked up as soon as possible to limit the risk to other students and staff. Please make sure your contact information is up to date in Campus.

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Contact Tracing

SPPS follows Minnesota Department of Health guidelines every time a student, staff member or visitor submits a report to the COVID-19 Reporting System. In general, only close contacts will be notified in accordance with the communications protocol. If multiple cases are reported within a classroom or building, the whole class or school may be quarantined. Quarantined students and staff will shift to distance learning until they are cleared to return.

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COVID-19 Dashboard

The SPPS COVID-19 dashboard displays all test results, symptoms and close contacts that have been reported by SPPS staff and students using the COVID-19 Reporting System. Data are updated daily on a one-day lag. 

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Quarantine Guidelines

Following updated public health guidance, SPPS has reduced quarantine time from 14 days to 10 days in certain circumstances. 14-day quarantines are still required when someone in your household has symptoms of or has tested positive for COVID-19.