New Safety Guidances for Omicron


Dear 287 Families,

The COVID-19 omicron variant will peak in Minnesota over the next several weeks. We have already seen a significant number of positive cases over winter break. As a result, we’ve decided to make several important changes to our safety plan that will take effect this week.

First, we are expanding our testing efforts and now have at-home testing kits available to provide to families if a student becomes symptomatic. Families can reach out to their school nurse or school administration to have an at-home rapid test sent home with your student. Alternatively, we’re also working to have school nurses potentially test students onsite should families choose and agree to this option. 

With the expansion of testing for all staff and symptomatic students, we will end district-wide close contact tracing. However, families will still be notified if a staff member who works directly with your student tests positive for COVID-19, and all families will still receive a notification if there is a positive case at their site, and a reminder to get tested. Families are welcome to visit the COVID-19 Dashboard to view case rates at their school. As always, it is your choice to keep your student home from school should you believe that quarantine is necessary.

COVID Vaccination Information

  • Vaccines are the strongest tool we have to prevent serious disease and death from COVID-19. Vaccines are now available for Minnesotans ages 5 and older at no cost. Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you. Check for vaccine appointments at vaccines.gov, where you can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer). Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy. Walk in to or make an appointment at one of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination sites. Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline: 1-833-431-2053, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. & Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Boosters for Children 12-15: We expect the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine boosters to children 12 to 15 this week. Find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you.

Masks Wearing is Compulsory
We want to remind families that proper mask-wearing is essential and students must follow the District policy on face coverings unless they have an exception. 

Submit Student Absences the Night Before: If you already know your student is sick or tested positive, please submit your student’s absence the night before or as soon as possible.

Please know that we are doing everything possible to keep schools open and operating as safely as possible. As always, we continue to monitor case rates daily and determine if further mitigation measures are needed or, when needed, consider a temporary closure of a program or site. Staff may send chrome books home more regularly to be prepared if a school or program cannot offer in-person learning. While we will try hard to keep our schools open, it is likely that staffing will continue to be an issue and we encourage families to make plans for alternative childcare should a decision be made to temporarily close school. Unfortunately, it is hard to know if a virtual option will be available as it will depend on which staff are absent. 

Please contact your school’s main office if you have any questions about our COVID-19 safety plan.

Sincerely,

Sandy Lewandowski
Superintendent