The transition to everyday in-person learning will be an adjustment for our students, families, and staff – many have long awaited this decision, while others are cautious about returning to in-person learning amidst a new COVID-19 strain that may further impact our school communities. Safety is top of mind for everyone.

Unpredictability will continue to be a hallmark of the 2020-2021 school year. As guided by the State, we will continue to review local community and school transmission data instead of county data and close only a program or a school when necessary instead of the whole District. As always, we will continue to look at all of our metrics multiple times each week to determine if changes need to be made to our learning model.

Why are we coming back?

Every day counts for our students: In-person learning gives us the best chance to address critical learning gaps, mental health needs, and trauma, including race-related trauma, of our students. We are also cognizant that students who receive Setting IV special education services have federally-mandated educational rights, and our member districts expect us, as their partner, to meet them. Many school districts across the state, including most of our member school districts, have already returned students who receive special education services to in-person five days per week.

State guidance: Our guidance from the State continues to be to offer in-person opportunities as much as possible. The Minnesota Department of Health approves of District 287’s decision to return secondary students and students in Transition programming because of the high needs students we serve.

Very low transmission rates: In the first half of the school year, District 287 had fewer than 30 total cases of COVID-19 reported in our buildings. We largely attribute this low number to strong, well-followed safety measures.

New safety measures: As we begin to return greater numbers of students to in-person learning, there are several new safety measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as surgical masks, new face shields, and consistent saliva testing for staff. The Minnesota Department of Health also provided updated safety guidance as it relates to social distancing.

  • Six feet for adults and a minimum of 3 feet for students. People should be six feet apart wherever possible, especially adults. When space is limited, it is permissible to have students’ workspaces no less than three feet apart. Many sites will update their room capacity to reflect this new guidance.

Plan Overview

View important details included in each phase.

Students who are currently accessing any in-person learning will be automatically assigned to full-time in-person learning. Students who are currently accessing only remote Connected Learning (distance learning) will automatically remain in that model. Please contact your school’s main office should you wish to make a change to this assignment.

No school days for students:

  • January 29 is a regularly scheduled no school day for all students and a licensed staff PD day
  • February 1 will be a no school day for grades 4-5
  • February 12 will be a no school day for grades 6-8 and students in Transition programming
  • February 15 (President’s Day Holiday) is a no school day for all students
  • February 26 will be a no school day for all students
  • March 1 will be a no school day for grades 9-12
  • March 12 is a regularly scheduled no school day for all students and a licensed staff PD day

Important Information For Families

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

The 287 COVID-19 Dashboard shows the positive cases that impact our school. community. 

Inform 287

Let us know if you test positive for COVID-19: First, staff members and families must follow the instructions for notifying District 287 if they have received a confirmed positive case of COIVD-19. 


Staff: Staff members should contact their supervisor to help them submit a positive case form, which is shared with Human Resources.

Families: Families should contact the school nurse at their student's school to report a positive case.

The positive case will be reported to 287's COVID-19 Program Coordinator/Health & Safety Manager, who will notify the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Superintendent of District 287.

In collaboration with District 287, the MHD will identify people who were in close contact with the confirmed case. Close contacts will receive an email from District 287, letting them know they should not enter a 287 building for the duration of the incubation period (14 days from the date of potential exposure).


Communicating with staff and families: District 287 chooses to communicate to staff and families if there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 on your site. You will be notified the same day that District 287 receives the information from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Close Contacts: Close Contacts: Anyone who was in close contact, within 6 feet for 15 mins or more, with the confirmed case 48 hours prior to testing positive will receive an email.

School-wide notice: Staff and families will receive a school-wide notification each time there is a positive COVID-19 case. Staff will receive an email. Families will receive an email, phone recording, and text message (if you've signed up for it).

Public website: This page will be updated each week with any confirmed cases

Next Steps: Additional cleaning and disinfecting will happen at the site. In collaboration with MDH and other district leaders, the Superintendent will determine if a zonal, site or district-wide closure needs to occur.

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Past Family Communications





287 Newsletter Updates

Issue 13: January 11, 2021 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 13: December 9, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 13: December 4, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 12: November 24, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 11: November 11, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 10: November 6, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 9: October 14, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 8: September 30, 2020 - English | Spanish | Somali
Issue 7: September 16, 2020 -  EnglishSpanishSomali
Issue 6: September 8, 2020 -  EnglishSpanishSomali
Issue 5: August 31, 2020 -  English SpanishSomali
Issue 4: August 24, 2020 - English SpanishSomali
Issue 3: August 17, 2020 - EnglishSpanishSomali
Issue 2: August 10, 2020 - EnglishSpanishSomali
Issue 1: August 3, 2020 - English | Español | Soomaali

 COVID-Related Family Communications

COVID-19 Planning Teams

Fall School Planning: A team of 287 staff meets weekly to plan and prepare for what school may look like in the fall. This team of diverse staff includes nurses, social workers, family engagement, food and nutrition, transportation, academics, staff professional development, district leaders, racial equity, and more. Members of the team are gathering input from staff, students, and families to understand concerns about planning for school this fall.

Incident Command: A team of district leaders and principals meet 3 to 5 times each week to plan and prepare for the day-to-day operations as a result of COVID-19. The team includes staff experts in health and safety, mental health, academics and learning, special education, human resources, communications, and more.

Get Tested for COVID-19

Saliva testing sites open in Brooklyn Park and St. Paul

The Minnesota Department of Health has opened semi-permanent saliva test sites in Brooklyn Park and St. Paul. Saliva testing is free and open to all Minnesotans.

Hours for both the Brooklyn Park and St Paul sites:

  • Monday - Friday: 12 - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Learn more:

Nothing in our COVID-19-related policies, plans, and procedures should be read to create a ministerial duty; the District relies upon the sound judgment and discretion of its administrators to carry out the recommendations of the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health.