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Important Message from Superintendent Joe Gothard - November 13, 2020

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In Summary:

  • Stage 1 schools will shift to Distance Learning on Monday, November 16 through at least Tuesday, January 19.
  • The Academic Support Center at Washington Technology Magnet School will continue with adjustments
  • The last day of service at Discovery Club will be Thursday, November 19 through at least Tuesday, January 19.
  • Decisions regarding athletics and activities are pending.

Dear Saint Paul Public Schools Families:

I am writing to share an update with you about hybrid learning at our Stage 1 sites and all in-person programming underway in Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS).

Yesterday’s COVID-19 positivity rate for Ramsey County reached 50 per 10,000 residents. The numbers are only going one direction: up. 

Additional reports of COVID-19 cases and potential external exposure make it imperative that we take action now to dial back in-person programming across SPPS. In addition, concerns related to confirmed and potential cases may make it difficult to fully staff our programs.

This means all Stage 1 schools and programs will transition to full distance learning beginning Monday, November 16. Due to the rise in COVID-19 case numbers across the region, SPPS has also decided to suspend optional programming at this time. 

Specifically, this includes:

  • Services and programming at RiverEast, Journeys, Bridge View, Focus Beyond and other Stage 1 sites; 
  • SPPS staff at non-public school sites; 
  • Extended Day for Learning (EDL) at Washington Technology Magnet School; 
  • Special Education and English Language Learner in-person assessments;
  • Student Placement Center enrollment and Early Childhood screening.

This also includes Discovery Club. The last day for Discovery Club programming will be Thursday, November 19. This means non-school daycare on Friday, November 20, is also canceled.

The above sites and programs will remain in distance learning until at least Tuesday, January 19.

The following services will continue with adjustments: 

  • Nutrition Services;
  • Technology Services Curbside Support
  • Essential Kids Care
  • Immunizations at Placement Center/Health Start Clinics (i.e. required vaccines and flu shots)
  • Academic Support Center at Washington Technology Magnet School

As a reminder, Essential Kids Care is a mandated program and will continue to operate for currently enrolled families and families with parents/guardians who are verified as Tier 1 essential workers.

At this time, we have not made any additional decisions regarding our fall and winter sports schedules.

Our safety protocols are being followed and we have no current concerns about internal spread within our schools. The challenge is in our operational capacity. To safely operate our schools, we need teachers and custodians, administrators, health staff and support staff in place.

As more staff are staying home due to symptoms of COVID-19, illness of a household member or other exposure to an infected person, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide the basic services our students need.

We will continue to monitor local data and provide staff and families with updates regarding a return date. 

We understand this is difficult news for many of our staff and students who are currently working at and attending our in-person programs. Due to circumstances out of our control, we have made this decision in the best interest of our students, their families and our valued staff members. 

It is essential that all of us continue to take this pandemic seriously so we can welcome our community back to our buildings this school year. Please continue to take care of yourselves and those around you.


In partnership,

Joe Gothard signature

Joe Gothard,