This page is regularly updated per health guidance from CDC and Minnesota Department of Health
Please see the following information for the school district's most recent guidance re: COVID-19 procedures and efforts. If you have any questions, please click the button to the left.
- Positive Cases
- face coverings
- Monitoring for Illness
- Public Input on the Safe Learning Plan
School District 197 does not require the use of face masks as a preventative measure.
If you test positive for COVID-19, the CDC has given the following recommendations for mask removal:
Removing your mask:
- After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving),
- Wear your mask through day 10.
- If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.
- Note: If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.
Testing is recommended for individuals if they suspect COVID-19. Free at-home test kits are available at school health offices.
Free COVID-19 testing is also available from providers including clinics and pharmacies. Minnesotans can receive free at-home rapid testing in the mail from the state here, the federal government at COVID.gov/tests, and through reimbursement from health insurers.
The state’s three busiest Twin Cities testing sites will remain open until further notice:
- Brooklyn Park
- MSP Airport
- Saint Paul-Midway
Visit COVID-19 Community Testing Sites for a list of operating hours and addresses and to make an appointment.
Public health officials recommend vaccinations for eligible individuals. If you require assistance in finding or scheduling a vaccination appointment, contact your school’s health office.
Additional vaccination clinics:
- For kids, visit the state's COVID-19 Vaccine for Children and Teens page.
- For adults, visit the state's Find COVID-19 Vaccine Locations page.
- COVID-19 vaccines and boosters may also be available at your local health care provider or pharmacy (Costco, Cub, CVS, Hy-Vee, Sam's Club, Walgreens, or Walmart).
- Community Care Clinics at 2139 N. 44th Ave., Minneapolis, MN, 55412. Walk-ins for all eligible age groups Mon-Sat 9-4.
For questions related to finding COVID-19 vaccination clinics, call the Minnesota Department of Health's COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-431-2053. The state's hotline is available weekdays (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and on Saturdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
We are following American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines regarding COVID ventilation standards.
We have installed MERV 13 filters (same as last year).
We will be turning our HVAC systems on before and after school to purge the building with 100% outside air.
We will be bringing in the maximum amount of outside air that the air handling unit can handle based on outside temperature outside air.
Families should monitor for COVID-like symptoms and are encouraged to stay home if not well. COVID symptoms may include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, or loss of taste and smell.
Health staff will continue to implement best practices for separating ill students from healthy individuals as much as possible. For more information, contact the school nurse at your student's school.
Each school’s health office will return to illness protocols pre-pandemic. Sick students will be sent home if they have a fever (100.4 or above), vomiting, or diarrhea. Students with these symptoms will be expected to stay home for 24 hours after symptoms have subsided. All illnesses seen in the health office will be observed and assessed by a nurse as needed.
All staff and students should stay home when showing signs of illness.
The Safe Learning Plan (as detailed in the sections above) was last updated on August 15, 2022, based on input received and guidance from Dakota County Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Health and Education, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will be reassessed and updated if needed in Februrary 2023. Public input on our safe learning plan has been gathered through a variety of methods and forums.
The school board conducts a monthly listening session prior to its first meeting of the month and a public comment session prior to the second meeting of the month. The board also closely monitors feedback received through the firstname.lastname@example.org email address along with each of the board members individual emails. During the development of the various iterations of our Safe Learning Plans, the administration would share the plans with our community in a draft stage prior to sharing with the board. This generated important community feedback for the board to consider as they approved plans.
In addition to reviewing and considering all input sent to the board, the district administration convened regular design team/feedback meetings with staff serving in a variety of roles. During these meetings, the feedback from the community was shared. Additionally, the design team members were charged with gathering and considering feedback from their sites and programs as we developed our safe learning plan.
Teaching and Support Staff
In that vein, the feedback (formal and informal) families provided to their classroom teachers and school/program staff was critical throughout our collective COVID journey. The staff took this feedback very seriously and made both small and large changes to how they supported students as a result.
Strategic Framework and Community Surveys
Right before the onset of the COVID pandemic, the district completed an extensive community input process to inform the development of a new strategic framework. This framework, along with regular community-wide surveys grounded all the plans that were subsequently developed.
Themes in the Public Comment
While specific suggestions varied significantly from person to person, here are the primary themes we heard.
- The critical importance of the health and safety of our students, staff, and community
- Health and safety are complex, requiring the need to balance physical health with social and emotional health.
- Regardless of the learning model, connections and learning needed to continue.
- Consistency with flexibility for families
- Appreciation for our staff and all the work they put into adapting to the ever-changing situation (for which we say thank you!)