Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Michael Barrett
RLNN 

Red Lake School District #38 will start with Distance Learning for the 1st trimester of the 2020-21 School Year

 

August 6, 2020

RED LAKE, MN – At a Special School Board Meeting held on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, the Red Lake School Board voted (5-0-1) to utilize Distance Learning at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year for the first trimester-generally 12-13 weeks.

The Minnesota Department of Education MDE) provided three main scenarios to help guide schools this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These scenarios are below:

Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students

Previously issued planning requirements and recommendations for Scenario 1 assume that minimal to moderate community spread is occurring, but the impact on the school community in terms of confirmed cases among students and staff is relatively small. Sporadic cases may be occurring, but in general each confirmed case can be traced to a likely source of exposure and where all or most close contacts can be identified and excluded in the school setting. Staffing is assumed to be sufficient to continue in-person instruction. This planning scenario also assumes that contact tracing can be completed quickly and that all or most close contacts can be notified and excluded within 24 hours of being notified of the confirmed case. Most extracurricular activities may be held, provided they follow current public health guidance.

What situations under Scenario 1 may not necessitate a transition to a hybrid or distance learning model?

•Single, standalone cases are confirmed but close contacts in the school setting can be quickly identified and are limited to individual classrooms or areas in the school. In this case, temporary distance learning could be implemented for the affected classroom(s) and space(s) rather than shifting the learning model for the entire school or school community.

•Multiple cases are identified, but can be linked to a specific classroom or individual activity with minimal impactor exposures to other classrooms/activities in the school setting. All close contacts can be quickly identified and are limited to individual classrooms and/or activities. In this case, temporary distance learning could be implemented for the affected classrooms rather than shifting the learning model for the entire school or school community.

•Multiple cases are identified, but are linked to a clear alternative exposure that is unrelated to the school setting and unlikely to be a source of exposure for the larger school community.

oFor example, social or household clusters where multiple people who attend the same school have become ill as a result of the social or household exposure.

Scenario 2: Hybrid model with strict social distancing and capacity limits

Previously issued planning requirements and recommendations outlined for Scenario 2 assume that moderate to substantial community spread is occurring, and there may be a higher degree of impact on the school community with multiple confirmed cases among students and staff. There may be higher numbers of confirmed cases over shorter periods of time, and/or clusters of cases identified within classrooms or the school community generally, however all or most close contacts can still be identified and excluded in the school setting. Staffing is assumed to be sufficient to continue in-person instruction, but measures including overall capacity limits are needed to allow for strict social distancing that further mitigates the risk of transmission. Testing capacity is generally assumed to be high enough that symptomatic individuals can access testing as needed from local clinics and asymptomatic school staff and educators who are close contacts are prioritized in state testing guidance. Coursework and extracurricular activities with higher risk for transmission are modified to reduce risk or discontinued.

What situations may necessitate a transition to a hybrid learning model?

•The number of students and school staff who are absent or who are sent home with influenza or COVID-19-like illness reaches approximately 5% of the total number of students and staff in a school within a single week.

•A significant community outbreak is occurring or has recently occurred (e.g., large community event or large local employer) that has the potential to impact staff, students, and families served by the school community but has not yet resulted in increased cases within the school setting.

oOutbreaks in the community occurring in a setting that does not have a strong connection to the school (e.g., long-term care facility, local religious institution or correctional facility) are unlikely to result in a recommendation to shift to a hybrid learning model.

Scenario 3: Distance learning only

Previously issued planning requirements and recommendations outlined for Scenario 3 assume that substantial, uncontrolled community spread is occurring and/or there is a significant degree of impact on the school community with multiple confirmed cases or large scale outbreaks occurring among students and staff. This planning scenario also accounts for situations where staffing may be impacted to the degree that a school is not able to offer in-person instruction. Extracurricular activities are discontinued. In general, implementation of a distance learning model should occur for a minimum of one incubation period (two weeks) when there is evidence of substantial, uncontrolled community transmission or significant levels of illness in the school setting.

What situations may necessitate a transition to a distance learning only model?

•A distance learning only model could be considered for short periods of time if confirmed cases are identified but contact tracing and notification of close contacts in the school setting cannot be completed within 24 to 36 hours. This short-term use of distance learning may allow schools to coordinate with local and state health officials to complete contact tracing and develop a clearer picture of the COVID-19 situation impacting the school while supporting continuity in learning.

•Multiple cases are identified within a short time period (e.g., several cases in one week or within a 14-day time period) that occur across multiple classrooms or activities and a clear connection between cases or to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 cannot be easily identified.

•A significant community outbreak is occurring or has recently occurred (e.g., large event or large local employer) and is impacting multiple staff, students, and families served by the school community.

•Substantial, uncontrolled community transmission is occurring at the county-, regional-, or state level, and there are multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and/or staff.

Considerations for moving back to hybrid or in-person learning after a distance learning period

•After implementing a distance learning model due to high levels of viral transmission in the school or local geographic community, districts or schools should wait a minimum of two to three weeks before bringing any students back for in-person or hybrid learning. This timeframe is sufficient that most people in the school community who will develop symptoms of illness could be identified and self-quarantine, as appropriate.

•During the period of distance learning, a school district or charter school should consult with local public health officials, MDH and MDE if it is considering dialing forward to hybrid or in-person learning. This process will ensure that districts and schools are working with health officials to assess the level of viral activity occurring within the local community, as well as the impact on the school community in order to determine whether the situation has improved to the point that hybrid or in-person learning may be appropriate.

•A school may consider using a hybrid learning model after a distance learning period was required due to high levels of viral transmission in the school or local geographic community. The hybrid model could be used as a bridge to safely move back toward the model of in-person learning for all students. For example, a school could operate using a hybrid learning model for 2 incubation periods (28 days) and carefully monitor for any additional clusters of confirmed cases of COVID-19 before transitioning back to a full in-person learning model.

To view the full MDE Safe Learning Plan for 2020-21 visit: file:///C:/Users/Michael/AppData/Local/Temp/07.30.20%20-%20Safe%20Learning%20Plan%20for%20the%202020-21%20School%20Year%20final.pdf

Red Lake Schools will reevaluate the pandemic's path in the weeks to follow by watching state and county numbers to possibly move up to a Hybrid Model with strict social distancing and capacity limits. But only if it is safe to do so and lives are not put at risk.

The Board stressed that safety was the number one priority.

In other School Board actions, the Board approved the purchase of two used school buses from Red Lake Headstart; approved a resignation from Scott Jarva, a teacher, at the end of the 2019-20 school year; hired Donovan May as an Ojibwe Language and Culture Teacher; hired Serena Graves in a Culturist position; hired Emma Grund as a Science Teacher; hired Trisha Hoeger as an Elementary Specialist Teacher; and approved opening two 1.0 FTE Restorative Practices Specialist positions.

The Board also approved entering into a property lease with the Red Lake Nation for the Red Lake Elementary School, and approved moving forward with the Green Energy Project for the District, which includes solar energy.

A few other items were discussed and the Board adjourned at 5:31 PM.

The next Regular School Board Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 19, 2020. A Special Meeting will be held on Friday, August 14, 2020 to certify the results of the School Board Primary Election next Tuesday.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020

Rendered 11/24/2020 03:55