Updates for Thursday, September 17
St. Croix Prep Community...
The St. Croix Prep Board met on September 15 to review the school opening, Washington County Covid-19 infection rates and potential future school learning model decisions. We are continuing with the hybrid learning model with a further board discussion on October 6.
One of the first considerations is a review of the state’s previously announced formula that uses COVID-19 infection rates over 14 days to help determine a school district’s learning model. At the time of the board meeting, based on Washington County’s latest COVID-19 rates, the formula recommended that St. Croix Prep remain in a hybrid model for all schools. But infection rates are only one factor that dictate whether schools remain open.
As a team, we review school-wide staff and student absence rates, staff and student illness rates, staffing availability and the success of the current learning model. The data for the first days of hybrid learning is preliminary, however, the team indicated that staffing shortages may be one of the biggest factors in determining whether classes or the school, must consider shifting to distance learning.
We are monitoring the above trends on a daily basis. Families and staff should be prepared for the potential of a change to a class/grade learning model due to staffing shortages or illness within the school. In each case, families and staff will be provided with as much notice as possible while balancing health and safety requirements.
We will be sending out a family survey by the end of the month to get your feedback on how we can continue to improve upon the learning experience for your family.
Washington County Case Rate Data – As of September 17
The Covid-19 Case Rate data was released this morning; and the Washington County case rate declined to 17.21 from 22.11. A summary of Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan and recent case rates are noted below:
Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan uses the number of Covid-19 cases by county over 14 days per 10,000 people. Given the county’s case rate, schools have the flexibility of opening in the following models:
Implications of the Case Rate Change
Briefly, and in the spirit of the board conversation on Tuesday:
- Each Learning Model has specific requirements from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We noted this when our case rate went over 20, prior to students entering the building. We had to change from “6 feet is not always feasible in the primary instructional environment” to “6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained in the physical learning environment”, along with 50% room occupancy, etc.
- Two/Three Week Trend Data. Before we make significant changes to operations (e.g. classrooms, programming, etc.) and learning models we would like to see two to three week trend data. This will give us some consistency, timeframes to communicate potential changes to families, and planning time to gradually plan out our own internal changes.
Thanks for your flexibility patience, and continued support of the St. Croix Prep community!