Important Announcements Regarding Updates to SHPA’s COVID-19 Guidance and In-Person Learning PlanTou Thao
We continue to do our best to manage the impact of the Omicron variant’s surge on student and staff absences and our capacity to provide quality in-person learning and instruction. We monitor the situation daily and analyze weekly trends in cooperation with school partners and in consultation with the MDH and guidance from the CDC.
Since our return from winter break, we identified approximately 80 student positive cases and 20 staff positive cases across our two campuses. We also experienced 20% student 15% staff absenteeism, causing serious challenges to our ability to provide sufficient support, supervision, and coverage for our in-person learning programs. We expect the current pandemic circumstances to remain very challenging and likely worsen for a period of time before we hope they improve. As a result, following an administrative leadership team meeting and MDH conference this afternoon, we are making the difficult, but necessary, decision to close school this Friday, January 14, and pause our in-person learning program to provide at-home learning during the week of January 25 – 28. Please find a visual calendar here.
Friday, January 14th: No School – Planning day for teachers and staff and an opportunity for our community to test, rest, and recover as well as avoid what may be difficult winter road conditions
Friday, January 21st: At-home learning materials and shelf-stable meals will go home with eligible students; families with isolated or quarantined students may pick up these between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (The out-of-uniform day scheduled for Friday, January 14th, will be held on this day instead)
January 25th – 28th: In-Person Learning Pause – Students will continue at-home learning with and receive instructional materials and daily support from their teachers
Monday, January 31st: Return to Regular In-person Learning: Reduced isolation and quarantine periods will be implemented for students (see additional information below)
Next week, teachers and staff will manage as best they can in order to give families time to arrange childcare, prepare students and materials for at-home learning, and ready shelf-stable lunches for eligible families. Daily learning schedules and resources will be shared and vary depending on the students and grade levels served. Attendance will require at minimum one learning interaction each day. We know this may be especially challenging for some of our families, and we appreciate your understanding and continued partnership during a difficult period of the pandemic for all of us.
Please watch for additional reminders and planning details and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any general questions you may have after reviewing the information provided here, and we will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner. This continues to be an evolving situation, so please watch for additional communication relating to any earlier or extended in-person learning pause.
Effective Monday, January 31st: Updates to COVID-19 Guidance and Response
- Reduced Isolation Period: Students who test positive, experience mild and improved symptoms, including the absence of a fever, may return to school after 5 days: see full guidance
- Reduced Quarantine Period: Unvaccinated students who are asymptomatic and test negative may return to school after 5 days while continuing to wear a face covering: see full guidance
- 12+ Vaccine Booster Clinic: We are hosting a booster clinic for SHPA students age 12 or older from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 21, in our Richfield Campus Gym
- Expanded Testing Locations: You can find testing sites near you here, learn about community testing sites here, and order at-home tests here.
We hope the updated measures above will help us keep more students and staff safely in school. We continue to explore the possibility of a test-to-stay procedure if we can be assured we have the staffing and supply capacities to successfully implement and sustain it. We will continue to keep our community informed of any changes or updates to COVID-19 guidance and our response.