Members of the Sartell-St. Stephen School Community:
On July 30, Governor Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) shared their Safe Learning Plan for 2020-2021 which school districts will use to guide decisions for the school year. As we have shared previously, all Minnesota school districts are preparing to flex between in-school, hybrid and distance learning models this school year. Additionally, families will have the option to attend in a Distance Learning model only for the school year.
The MN Safe Learning Plan relies primarily on local county COVID-19 infection rates to determine which instructional model will be used: in-person, hybrid (modified protocols and occupancy requirements), or distance learning. Because the local data is evaluated every two weeks, a final determination as to what school will look like on our first day (September 8) cannot be made until closer to the start of the school year. We will communicate on an ongoing basis in as timely a manner as possible. We ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation.
We need your help and partnership
Critical information in our planning will be understanding which students will be attending school in-person and which students will be opting for distance learning during the 2020-21 school year. This family decision will have a significant impact on how we staff our classrooms and schools. Please watch for important communication next week. All families will be asked to register each child into either a Distance Learning Only or the Flexible School Year format by August 12, 2020.
Flexible School Year Plans
Sartell-St. Stephen staff is working to create plans that will outline what instruction will look like in each scenario.The plans are dependent upon our school board’s approval and will be reevaluated as we draw closer to our start date. The Board of Education is meeting on August 5 to approve initial District plans for the 2020-21 school year.
It is important for everyone to understand that as infection rates increase or decrease, schools will need to switch between different learning models throughout the year.
We understand how frustrating it may be to not have clarity on what school will look like next year. As plans evolve, I will continue my commitment to open and timely communication with families. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your building principal.
Sartell-St. Stephen ISD 748
For more information:
- Safe Learning Plan 2020-2021 website
- Minnesota Department of Education Guidance - 7/30/20
- To view county COVID-19 infection rates, go to page 5 of the Safe Learning Plan for 2020-2021 for a link to bi-weekly case rate (over 14 days) by county of residence.
- Example: on page 3 of that document, for the period of 7/5-7/18, the Stearns County average was 13.97. Based on that number, our District would have in-person learning for elementary students and hybrid learning for secondary students. PLEASE NOTE: those numbers will change, so a final determination as to how we start school on September 8 cannot be made until 14 days prior.
Back to School - July 20 update
ISD 748 Families,
The school district is preparing for our back-to-school return and we need your help. The MN Department of Education (MDE) requires that all school districts plan for three potential scenarios/learning models:
- In-person learning for all students following MN Department of Health (MDH) guidelines
- Hybrid learning (combination of online and in-person) following strict MDH guidelines
- Distance Learning for all students
Survey for each child
As I am sure you are aware, this is challenging work. We need your assistance so we can better understand our families’ thoughts on returning to school this fall. To that end, we have generated a Skyward Family Access survey that we need you to complete for each child. You will need to login to Skyward Family Access between July 20 and July 28 to complete the survey. When the head of household logs in, there will be a banner at the top that links to each child. Alternatively, the survey can be accessed via ‘Online Forms’ on the left menu bar. These forms are best completed using a computer, rather than a phone. Thank you for your time and valuable feedback in this process.
MDE provides direction the week of July 27
It is important for you to know that the MN Department of Education (MDE) has told school districts that the state will give more specific details about school opening the week of July 27. We are looking forward to learning more as it will greatly help in our planning process. In the meantime, district leaders and staff are preparing for all three scenarios outlined above.
In addition to school preparation, MDE has created two documents for families to help prepare themselves for the fall:
- Make a Plan MN is intended to assist families in preparing for their personal family situations.
- The guide for families outlines the planning that school districts are carrying out right now.
Finally, I wanted to provide a personal narrative to this communication giving more detail to the information above, to access my short video message, please click here.
We will keep you updated as our plans solidify. Our priority is to keep your child(ren) safe while providing a quality education. We would love nothing more than to return to “normal”. We miss our families! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this time.
ISD 748 Superintendent
A planning update for the 2020-2021 school year from the Minnesota Department of Education:
"In partnership with MDH [Minnesota Department of Health] and the Governor’s Office we plan to announce a decision for which model of educational delivery will be in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, school staff and school communities for the 2020-21 school year by the week of July 27, 2020.
As we are monitoring the public health situation and working on our decision for the fall, MDE will continue to gather feedback from students, families, educators, and school staff. See the Public Engagement page for a list of groups we are engaging with to help inform our work. In addition to these feedback groups, MDE has collaborated with the WMCC to do a systems review of distance learning plans focused on structure, content and equity. This information will also help to identify any themes for our continued work in developing guidance for the fall."
... "MDE has also created a guide to give families a quick overview of the education and health guidance that schools are using to plan for the 2020-21 school year. This document is intended to help families know what information they should expect from their child’s school. The guide is available in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish on the Supporting Students and Families COVID-19 Resources page.
Decisions around the fall may change as we learn more about which scenario will be in the best interest of public health, and specifically the health and safety of our school communities."
2020 Back to School
Please contact each building for grade-specific questions:
- Early Childhood and Kindergarten: Oak Ridge Early Learning - sartell.k12.mn.us/ORELC
- Grades 1-2: Pine Meadow Primary School - sartell.k12.mn.us/PMPS
- Grades 3-5: Riverview Intermediate School - sartell.k12.mn.us/RIS
- Grades 6-8: Sartell Middle School - sartell.k12.mn.us/SMS
- Grades 9-12: Sartell High School - sartell.k12.mn.us/SHS
Back to School
You will find resources on this page for preparing your children for their next grade level academically as well as making sure they have the supplies they need.
Ready for School: Summer Learning Activities (Concepts to work on over the summer) are important for students entering the grades listed. They include skills ranging from self-care for Kindergarten to spelling lists and mathematics.
Please check this page often for timely updates and additions.