Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Schools Closed: March 16 – April 3

Distance Learning: April 6 – May 4

Due to the Governor’s executive order and the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, Intermediate District 287 schools will close for students Monday, March 16 – Friday, April 3. Distance Learning will begin April 6 and continue through at least May 4.

5-minute Family Survey: Educational Needs of Your Student

This important survey will help us understand how we can best support your family during school closure. While we will ask questions about child care needs, we may be working with our partners to determine how best to meet those needs. This survey will help us understand your family’s needs for future planning

Important Information for Families

5-Minute Family Survey

5-minute Family Survey: Educational Needs of Your Student

This important survey will help us understand how we can best support your family during school closure. While we will ask questions about child care needs, we may be working with our partners to determine how best to meet those needs. This survey will help us understand your family’s needs for future planning. Please complete the survey as soon as possible.

Child care for health care and emergency workers

As part of the Governor's executive order, schools are being asked to provide free school-age care (K-Grade 5) for health care and emergency workers.

These workers include providers of healthcare, emergency medical services, long-term and post-acute care; law enforcement personnel; personnel providing correctional services; public health employees; firefighters and other first responders; and court personnel.

Per the executive order, health care and emergency workers will be required to show their work ID/badge or provide a letter from their employer.

Please take the below 5-minute family survey if you are eligible and are interested in receiving free child care.

Free Food & Internet Access

Free Meals at School: Most school districts are providing free meals at pick up sites, along bus routes, and even delivered to homes where needed. Your child does not need to attend the resident school district to receive these meals.  Information about free meals can most easily be found on your resident district's website or social media pages. 

If you are in need of meals and for some reason are unable to obtain them from your resident district, please contact your child’s Social Worker.  We will make every effort to help families who need them, find free meals for their children.

Due to low participation, Monday, March 30, 2020 will be our last bag meal distribution at Intermediate District 287 school sites during the school closure.

  • Food Banks: If you or someone you know is struggling to put food on the table, you can call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Food shelves are a lifeline for people suffering from hunger. To find one near you, visit this map: hungersolutions.org/ find-help/
  • Second Harvest Heartland: Second Harvest Heartland, the state’s largest food bank, has donation and volunteer opportunities at 2harvest.org/. You can also call: 1-888-339-3663
  • Minnesota FoodShare: helps stock nearly 300 food shelves across the state. You can donate here: mnfoodshare.org/donate
  • Loaves and Fishes 
  • Free Produce    

Comcast
New Internet Essentials customers will receive two months of internet service for free, then it will cost $9.95/month plus tax. Apply by April 30, 2020 by calling 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Charter/Spectrum
The Spectrum Internet Assist program is available to anyone who doesn’t have internet access free for 60 days. Call 1-844-488-8395.

Frontier
Their Lifeline program is a government assistance program for low-income families without internet access. Call 1-800-921-8101.

Xfinity
Xfinity has opened their hotspots to the public for free during the COVID-19 outbreak. Enter your zip code in their website to find all the hot spot locations in your area. Once at the location, enable wifi on your device and select "xfinitywifi" on the list of available networks.

From your smart phone
Depending on your carrier and plan, you may be able to set up wifi using your mobile device. AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have eliminated data caps for mobile devices. Please contact your carrier for more information.

Distance Learning: April 6-May 4 I Spring Break: March 30-April 3

Due to the Governor's executive order, Distance Learning will begin on April 6 and continue through at least May 4. We are working as hard as we can to prepare a distance learning plan for students 

District 287 Distance Learning Plan

287 staff are working together to develop plans on how we will meet the educational needs of our students during the extended closure. We all have a lot of questions about how our unique population of students would be impacted by an extended closure. We will work together, educators and families, to find the best possible solutions for your student. School staff will be in contact with families to talk about your student’s learning plan.

We understand the school closure and distance learning education has a significant impact on our families and their lives.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 webpage with additional information and send critical, time-sensitive information through our mass notification system.

Please remember that the best guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health is for adults and students to stay home from work/school if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are concerned about exposure.

How will you communicate with families about exposure or school closings?

We know how important it is to communicate with families about serious public health issues, like the spread of infectious illness. We are committed to keeping families updated using our regular communication tools: District website and social media and direct communications via phone recordings, emails, and texts.

This website will have the most up-to-date information about the impact of the COVID-19 on District 287 schools.

If there is an outbreak at school or in our region, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control, will advise District 287 on notifications to staff, students, and families. There may be some information that is required to be communicated by the  MDH, while other information can be shared with families directly through our normal communications channels, including recorded phone calls, emails, and text messages.


Yes. If we are informed that a student or staff member who has been present at a school district building tests positive for COVID-19,  our practice will be to communicate with that school's staff and families.  

Some families are asking where there may have been possible links of exposure to COVID-19 in 287 schools. As there is more attention and awareness of COVID-19, we'd expect to see the case count go up and further extend into communities and family circles. We anticipate that there will likely be links of exposure at not just 287 schools, but many schools across the state.    

We especially want to reiterate that our decision to close school on March 13 and March 16 was not based on confirmed links of exposure, rather that many of our students are medically vulnerable. Our decision to close school was out of an abundance of caution for our students and the opportunity it provided to deep clean all of our buildings. 

We recognize that District 287, as an intermediate school district, serves a unique population of students. We often operate differently than a traditional K-12 school district.

  • District 287 serves a disproportionate number of medically vulnerable students
  • There is frequent movement and transition of students within buildings and within the community or across sites
  • Staff frequently travel between buildings and to and from our 11 member school districts
  • Staff are often in close physical proximity to students to provide support or manage safety incidents
  • Staff have high exposure to bodily fluids, including saliva

Remember, the best advice from the Minnesota Department of Health is that if you are concerned that you have been exposed or are experiencing concerning symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or the Minnesota Department of Health.

Student Well-being

We understand that concern over this new virus can make students and families anxious.  Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.

  • Steps to Reduce Students’ Anxiety Related to COVID-19: It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents or educators seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Our school staff work to reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. It's important to give students concrete things they can do to keep themselves and others healthy will reduce stress. Teaching children positive preventive measures such as talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.
  • References for Families: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (coronavirus): A Parent Resource

Know that not all children respond to stress in the same way.  Some common changes to watch for include:

  • Excessive crying and irritation
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (e.g., toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

How to talk to your children about COVID-19

  • Take time to talk with your child about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand.
  • Reassure your child that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage of the event. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Help your child to have a sense of structure and consider creating a visual structure. Make a visual plan for the day, introduce it in the morning, and work your way through it during the day. This will help them with any anxiety and these unexpected changes. Once it is safe to return to school or child care, help them return to their regular activity.
  • Be a role model; take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members and rely on your social support system.
  • Learn more about helping children cope.
Past Family Communications

287 Pandemic Response Plan

District 287 Precautionary Measures

Our administrative team continues to monitor the Center for Disease Control, Minnesota State Departments of Health and Education precautions, protocols, and response activities for a pandemic outbreak. These agencies help determine how and when all Minnesota schools should respond to infectious illness.

When school is in session, District 287 take the following precautions: 

Gatherings and District-sponsored Travel: District 287 will follow the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health, including canceling gatherings of more than 250 people; canceling or postponing events of fewer than 250 held in venues where close contact (within 6 feet) is unavoidable; and canceling events or meetings where most are at high risk of COVID-19 illness should be limited to 10 people.

Additionally:

  • Until further notice, District 287 will cancel large, nonessential gatherings, such as school assemblies, field trips, school/community events, and other gatherings that are not central to core responsibilities and operations to serve member districts, students, and families.
  • Effective Monday, March 16, all district-sponsored out-of-state travel will be suspended. District-sponsored in-state travel will follow the above guidelines per the Minnesota Department of Health. Personal travel is a personal decision and while District 287 doesn’t have guidance for employees, we encourage you to follow the travel guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control.

We encourage staff to practice social distancing for staff and students when possible.


Work Experience Programs: We recognize that some students spend time in our communities, for example in hospitals and nursing homes, where there is greater risk of exposure to COVID-19. Until further notice, community work experience programs will be suspended. Students with work experience assignments within our buildings will continue.


Monitoring Attendance: Please help us ensure that students who exhibit signs of the flu or COVID-19 stay home from school. Schools will review attendance daily and look for any anomalies, such as several students/staff who work in the same program out ill. We’ve also decided that during this period, we will not send letters to families about attendance.


Daily Building Cleaning Procedures: Keeping buildings and surfaces clean and disinfected are key to prevention efforts. COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for hours to days, making cleaning and disinfecting surfaces an important first line of defense.

  • Extensive Cleaning: District 287 will clean and disinfect all public areas (entryways, hallways, gym, cafeteria, bathrooms) of the school and classroom light switches and door handles.
  • Classroom Cleaning Kits: We’ve invested in clean-up supplies for in-classroom sanitizing in an effort to proactively protect students and staff from illness-causing germs and viruses. 

Food Service Procedures

Adjustments to Meal Preparation: All site salad bars will be closed for the time being. Individual servings of pre-dished salad (salad boat) and veggies will be offered to students during lunch. Canned fruit will be pre-portioned in disposable cups with lids, eliminating self serve bowls.

Handwashing before Meals: Students will be instructed to wash their hands before coming to breakfast and lunch, making sure to wash with soap for 20 seconds.

PIN Pads: At some sites, the use of the PIN Pad by students will be eliminated and food service staff will enter student PIN #'s. At sites that only have 1 food service staff member, PIN pads will continue to be utilized by students but will be sanitized frequently, minimally between lunch groups.

Cafeteria Surfaces: Cafeteria line surfaces will be sanitized between lunch groups.

Closing School Information

Many staff and families are wondering about how District 287 would handle a closure. We don’t have all of the answers at this time, especially if there were to be an extended closure, but we do have a general idea of how District 287 would approach a closure due to COVID-19.

First, we recognize that District 287, as an intermediate school district, serves a unique population of students. We often operate differently than a traditional K-12 school district.

  • District 287 serves a disproportionate number of medically vulnerable students
  • There is frequent movement and transition of students within buildings and within the community or across sites
  • Staff frequently travel between buildings and to and from our 11 member school districts
  • Staff are often in close physical proximity to students to provide support or manage safety incidents
  • Staff have high exposure to bodily fluids, including saliva

When would District 287 close? The District would close if there were to be an executive order from the state. Currently, District 287 schools are closed for students March 16-April 3.

Additionally, a  district-wide closure may be implemented if confirmed exposure to COVID-19 by a staff, student, or family member occurred in one or more 287 buildings.  District 287 may also decide to close schools based on exposures in a member district. The closure would include all schools, programs at Hennepin Technical College, Care & Treatment, and Itinerant Services, unless otherwise specified.

This information is the extent of the clarity we can provide at this time.

Safe and Healthy Schools

At Intermediate District 287, our top priorities are the health, safety, and education of the children entrusted to us each day. From H1N1 to the measles, District 287 has preparedness plans to manage illness outbreaks in a coordinated, strategic way that prioritizes the health of its students, families, and staff.

District 287 Pandemic Response Plan

We continue to be proactive with the daily monitoring of any developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please be assured that as a part of our procedures, we have a Pandemic Response Plan to guide us in the event of an outbreak of infectious illness.

Our administrative team continues to monitor the Center for Disease Control, Minnesota State Departments of Health and Education precautions, protocols, and response activities for a pandemic outbreak. These agencies help determine how and when all Minnesota schools should respond to infectious illness.

COVID-19 Information

Situation Update for Coronavirus (Minnesota Department of Health)

Visit the Minnesota Department of Health's  Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage for daily updates about cases in Minnesota.

How can I protect my family?

The coronavirus is a virus that affects the respiratory system. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 

It’s natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families. The best guidance at this point is to take the same precautions recommended for avoiding colds and flu: 

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough, and 
  • Practice good hand washing 

More information on the novel coronavirus is available from the Minnesota Department of Health.