Dear ISD #549 Families, Students and Staff:
This afternoon, Governor Tim Walz, along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. In this plan, individual school districts will have flexibility as to how they start the school year. Communities with low positive COVID-19 testing rates (less than 9 per 10,000 people) over the past 14 days will be able to start school in person, provided they incorporate the necessary health and safety precautions and their plan is approved by the local School Board. The current rate for the past 14 days for Otter Tail County is below the threshold of 9 new cases per 10,000. Keep in mind if our area sees a surge in COVID-19 cases, we will have to switch to a hybrid-learning or distance-learning model.
Here are the Learning Model Parameters:
|Number of cases per 10,000 over 14 days, by county of residence||Learning model|
|0-9||In-person learning for all students|
|10-19||In-person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary students|
|20-29||Hybrid learning for all students|
|30-49||Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary students|
|50+||Distance learning for all students|
I want to also mention that families can choose the distance learning model through Perham-Dent Public Schools for their child/children for all,or part, of the 2020-2021 school year. If you would like to select the distance learning program for your child/children, please contact the office of the appropriate school.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to work on our plans to reopen our schools that includes all of the required safety measures for each option including daily health screenings for all students and staff, social distancing markings on floors for students and staff, no large group gatherings, keeping students in small groups as much as possible, hand sanitizer available throughout the school and in all classrooms, increased cleaning protocols, face coverings for all students and staff and limited outside visitors to school. Thanks to all of you that completed the district survey sent out a couple weeks ago. Data from that survey has proven very beneficial as we continue to “fine tune” the different learning models in preparation for the school year. It is important to understand that we could experience a very “fluid” calendar as we monitor and adopt our models based on our local and county COVID-19 situation. We also understand the frustration that we all may encounter in the event we have to switch models with short notice. Please take time to prepare and explore measures you’ll need to take for disruptions with transportation, daycare, work schedules, etc.
The Perham-Dent School Board is meeting on Tuesday, August 4th to discuss the available options, and review the feedback from parents, staff and community members. The school board will also provide our Building Leadership Teams direction on what plan to fully develop for the start of school (August 31). The School Board will approve the final plan at the August 12th regular meeting.
Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we move forward. We greatly appreciate the support of our families and will continue to focus on delivering a quality education to our students in a safe manner. Please contact me if you have any questions.