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March 3, 2021

SAMS families,

We are excited to begin a transition to in-person learning. Our Local Incident Team (LIT) continues to evaluate and monitor local COVID-19 data. The LIT has reviewed aspects of our school day and mitigation strategies, and supports the switch to in-person learning. And, of course, we want to start as soon as possible. Here is the timeline:

  1. The week of March 15, all students will have asynchronous learning on Monday, March 15 and Thursday, March 18. 
    • Cohort B students, all three grade levels, will be In Person on Tuesday, March 16 and Friday, March 19.
    • Cohort A students, all three grade levels, will engage in their electives through distance learning on Tuesday, March 16 and Friday, March 19. 
  2. The week of March 22, all students will have asynchronous learning on Tuesday, March 23. 
    • Cohort A students, all three grades, will be in person on Monday, March 22 and Thursday, March 25. 
    • Cohort B students, all three grades, will engage in their electives through distance learning on Monday, March 22 and Thursday, March 25.
  3. Monday, April 5: All SAMS students will begin in-person learning.

Please complete this form to sign up for a small-group session at 5:30 p.m., March 10, to ask questions about the plan. We will limit this session to 12-15 people, and will add sessions, as needed. A Google Meet link will be shared with those that sign up just before the meeting is scheduled to begin.

April 5: In-person learning schedule and important info:

  • Cohorts A&B will be invited back from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Distance learning schedule:

  • The distance learning schedule will follow the in-person schedule for students. Further communication regarding this schedule will be shared with distance-learning families next week.
  • Distance learning students will be a pod and scheduled into the day for students and teachers.

Mitigation strategies for in-person learning:

  • Classroom pods will include 25-30 students.  
  • We will move to three-feet of social distance (rather than six). 
  • Pods will remain together all day and for lunch and recess. 
  • Teachers will rotate classrooms, but students will remain in one pod throughout the school day.
  • In-person electives will have students move to various locations through a structured dismissal/movement pattern. Electives that remain in a virtual model will have students remain in their pods and access learning via Google Meet and/or Google Classroom.
  • Vaccines have been made available to all staff. With this in place, new guidelines indicate teachers will not need to quarantine if exposed, and will need to quarantine if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Bi-weekly onsite COVID-19 testing program.
  • Staff and students are still required to wear masks; teachers also have access to face shields.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommend testing of school-age children every two weeks:
MDH announced a recommendation for all school-age youth returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities, and their families, to get tested every two weeks through the end of the school year. While it is not a requirement, regular testing complements other safety measures already in place, such as masking and social distancing.  Getting tested every two weeks from now until the end of the school year can help keep schools open and sports operating, and ensure we are limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Testing resources are available at COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families.

LIT will continue to monitor data for any potential learning model shifts:
The LIT meets on a weekly basis and considers learning-model changes every six weeks. Local public health experts recommend the use of a six-week trend line data analysis due to the delay in COVID-19 case counts. The data continues to show lower COVID-19 cases and a vaccine effort for our community is well under way. The LIT knows the indicators and tools to watch, and a three-week upward trend would signal a spike is coming, so we continue to monitor the data.

Thank you,

Assistant Principal, EmaKate Brohman 
Interim Principal, Renee Corneille
Interim Principal, Justin Sawyer
St. Anthony Middle School