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Urgent News

Update Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Kevin Cardille

Superintendent

  • www.isd300.k12.mn.us/superintendent (opens in new window)

March 26, 2020

At this point we have made it through the planning stages for the distance learning. Tomorrow and Monday are still spring refresher days as posted on our calendar, students are not expected to report to class using distance learning processes. La Crescent - Hokah students are expected to report on Tuesday, March 31. I will bullet point some important information that parents and students should know. 

Distance learning

. Distance learning March 31 - April 30

As of Wednesday afternoon we were updated on Gov. Walz’s latest decision on controlling the spread of the Coronavirus, Covid - 19. I can say that I get new communications every couple of hours and they are all a little different, different dates and expectations. The commonalities are that we will be starting distance learning next week and it will go at least through April 30 which is a Thursday. 

. There is a chance that the distance learning could also include Friday, May 1 and Monday May 4. It is also possible that those days could be teacher work days to prepare for a possible return to school on May 5. Of course, this will entirely be dependent on the rate at which this virus spreads and the control of the spread.

. On our school website there is information about the distance learning process. Please look it over, it will help you understand what teachers will be doing and how they will be doing it.  www.isd300.k12.mn.us  

. You and your children will be getting calls, emails, and other communications during the distance learning period. Those calls may come from administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses, paraprofessionals, coaches, etc. They may call during the day and sometimes at night. We realize that some of our younger students may not do well communicating on the phone so making a call during the evening when parents might be at home would be more beneficial. Your child will get calls from staff they might not know. It might be a paraprofessional that is checking in on them and asking them questions on how things are going or if students would like them to contact another staff member to give them a call. Our goal is to keep students connected and give them opportunities to provide feedback on how things are going. You may see phone numbers you do not recognize coming to you and it may be from a staff members personal phone or classroom phone. Not everything will be a sales call! If you don’t answer they will leave a message.

Meals available - breakfast and lunch

. We have been delivering meals for two weeks now. Our delivery is Monday through Friday from 4:30 - 6:00PM at six different sites around the district. These meals are free for all children 18 & under and there are no qualifying factors. We only need a few pieces of information from you to sign up for meals which include the location you would like to pick up meals, the number of children needing meals, and if those children have any dietary restrictions. Each meal delivered contains a breakfast and a lunch for the next day. Please look at our website www.isd300.k12.mn.us for more information about the pick up and contact the district office to get on the list for the meal.  Brittney at 507-895-5051

Daycare available for Tier 1 and Tier 2 families

. We have been offering childcare for essential employees. Gov. Walz has declared tier 1 and tier 2 essential employees are eligible for childcare. You will find the tiered lists on our website www.isd300.k12.mn.us or by clicking here. If you meet the descriptions of either of these two tiers please contact our Community Ed Dept to get your child on the list ( 507-895-1153). Transportation is also available for those families that need it for their children to attend the childcare program. Please leave a message and contact information to get signed up for childcare. 

Construction update- On Tuesday, March 31 we will be collecting and opening the bids for the construction projects. We are excited to get these projects going as it has been a long time working on plans. As soon a contractor is selected we will collaborate with them to start work. Some of that work will be starting in the next few weeks, as soon as frost is clear to excavate. We will try to get a camera to view progress on our website for residents to check in on how things are going. Just as a reminder, being that we will have work going on at both sites, there will be no access at the elementary and limited access at the secondary building during the summer months. This is due to providing safety to everyone involved. 

Please stay Lancer Strong and Healthy,

Kevin Cardille - Superintendent

March 17, 2020

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I think we have to find things to be excited and happy about at this time. Today it was sad to see the busses pull out not knowing when they will bring those students back to us again. I just hope everyone stays healthy and strong through this challenging time. 

I have a couple of updates to share:

First, many of you have already completed a survey that we sent out this afternoon. If you have not, please fill out one survey for each of your children by following this link: http://bit.ly/schoolclosurestudentneedsurvey.  The information that we are asking for is important for us to provide the services you need, we want to provide and we need to provide during our closure and distance learning time. I want to make sure it is understood that the breakfast and lunch that is available is available to all students, there are no qualifying factors. We will be reimbursed with Federal funding through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. This grant will cover all student meals. If you decide that you will want these meals in the future after understanding this more clearly please contact your child’s school building office or the food service department. Meals will be prepped at the high school/middle school kitchen. We can quickly add you to the list as we need to know a count for preparation and if there are any special dietary needs. This offering is for all students in the community including the Montessori school, as well as private and home school children. Tomorrow we will have busses at these locations to deliver food. The 10:30 to 11:30 delivery will only happen tomorrow and will be to deliver lunch meals. The 4:30 - 6:00 PM delivery will happen Monday - Friday evenings and the meals bag will contain breakfast foods and a lunch meal for the following day.

  • La Crescent Mayo Clinic lot            10:30 - 11:30 AM 4:30 - 6:00 PM
  • Dresbach-By Bobcat                      10:30 - 11:30 AM   4:30 - 6:00 PM
  • La Crescent Pool Parking lot          10:30 - 11:30 AM 4:30 - 6:00PM
  • High School Parking lot                   10:30 - 11:30 AM 4:30 - 6:00PM
  • Hokah Fire Hall                                10:30 - 11:30 AM 4:30 - 6:00PM
  • Brownsville Community Center       10:30 - 11:30 AM 4:30 - 6:00PM

Second, tomorrow at 7:30AM our daycare program will be available for those parents who are in the medical field or emergency services work. Once we have more information we will also look to provide transportation for those students to get to school. Until we get the transportation set up, you will be able to drop your child off at the school for care if you are a qualifying employee. We hope to have lists tomorrow through the survey and we will set up bus routes with that information. 

I want to thank all of you for your patience through this process. I will update you with more as I know new things. We also are posting information on our website, www.isd300.k12.mn.us. There will be staff in the building over the next 8 days, if you need to pick something up you may, but we please ask that if you are under concern of being ill do not visit our school. Let us know and we will find a way to get you what you need.

Students will start their distance learning on Tuesday, March 31. We will be in touch before that time comes.

Kevin Cardille - Superintendent


 

March 15, 2020

As you most likely have heard by now Governor Tim Walz has asked that all schools be closed in Minnesota by Wednesday, March 18 due to the potential spread of the Corona Virus. The Minnesota Department of Health is to contact the Superintendent when a confirmed case happens within our district boundaries. I have not been contacted by MDH up to this point. 

Governor Walz has asked that all schools are closed starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. During this time there will be no instruction taking place. Staff will be working on lessons and planning for “Distance Learning”. This is similar to what we have done in the past during our “WILD” or Weather Impacted Learning Days. One difference is we will be allowing students in grades K-4 to take a school computer home to be able to complete online work. The distance learning days will start on Tuesday, March 31 as Monday is off as part of our spring refresher break. We will have students attend school on Monday and Tuesday this week for staff to get them prepared to be distance learners, discussing how they will communicate with staff, times for them to look for homework, the process of submitting homework, how to get help with technology problems, as well as the availability of food or lunches. We will have care options for students of medical and emergency service providers to have their children at school as required. Students will come to school as normal Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th to educate them on what is coming this spring. Distance learning will start on Tuesday, March 31 until we are given the OK to have students come back to school. This could be for weeks, months or whatever time it takes. All activities are now cancelled until further notice.

I will provide another update this week by Tuesday evening and then again before we start our distance learning. Please also watch the school website for updates on the virus and spreading. If you are concerned about symptoms in your home that may be viral or you have been asked to quarantine until test results come back, please contact our school nurse, Lauren Dodson, for guidance. Do not send students to school in that case. If parents decide to keep their student home these next two days we will understand and not count that as an unexcused absence.

Again I want to say thank you for your patience as we work through this challenging time.

  • March 16-17 normal school days.
  • March 18 through 27 - no school - no instruction
  • March 30 - spring break 
  • March 31 - First day of distance learning to continue until Minnesota Department of Health clears us to go face to face again.Respectfully, 

Kevin Cardille  - Superintendent

March 13, 2020

Although there have been many changes to the status of many public events, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends that schools do not close. Governor Tim Walz also made it clear that things are changing very quickly but we need to move forward using the knowledge and information that we have about the spread of this virus. We have been monitoring and following the recommendations from the Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control on a daily basis.

As mentioned in yesterday’s notice sent to parents and posted on our website, we are looking at options to teaching other than students being face to face with staff. It is recommended that before we do this, we would make sure that there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the bounds of our school district, county or a zone around our community. The Department of Health will notify me, the Superintendent, if that occurs. Should that time come, we will implement different options for student learning and consider closing school if it is recommended or required. 

We have made no decisions locally to cancel events or activities at this time. There are a few large group events that involve our students mixing with other students, school to school events, that have been postponed so that the possibility of holding the event can be verified. Those decisions have been made by other organizations such as activities conferences and the Minnesota State High School League.

I appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through this process and learn more about the virus and its presence in our area. Should our school be closed and you or your child is in need of personal belongings in the school, we will find a way to allow you to retrieve those items in whatever way is safe and acceptable. 

La Crescent - Hokah Health Department: 

Kids who have traveled recently and who are presenting to the health office with a cough and fever will be referred to a health care facility for testing and if under quarantine, will be asked to stay home until results are negative. 

For students with underlying medical conditions that may have increased risk of a more severe COVID-19 illness, the district encourages those parents to contact the health office or building level office for any other educational options we may have for your student. It is possible to set up remote participation for daily class options. 

From Houston County Public Health: “If you have staff or school families that have recently traveled to countries outside of the United States or have exchange students that are planning to return home, I would encourage you to have them reach out to us at Houston County Public Health. My direct number is 507-725-5943”   -Audrey Staggemeyer, health educator, HCPH

Kevin Cardille  - Superintendent

Lauren Dodson - School Nurse

March 12, 2020

Parents and students,

The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to develop as a health concern around the country and in our area.  La Crescent - Hokah Public Schools will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Education, the Governor’s Office, Centers for Disease Control, and Houston County Public Health.  These organizations continue to stress common-sense illness prevention strategies such as staying home when sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, and frequent hand washing.

At this time, school operations will continue as normal with the exception of increased daily disinfecting of high use areas, contact areas and surfaces in both buildings using hospital grade solutions. Additional hygiene practices for students and staff are also being put into place. Our custodial staff is doing more to sanitize high contact areas during the day and each night.

Ready Bus company has increased its cleaning procedures in alignment with CDC and Department of Health recommendations. They are cleaning high touch areas to disinfect and sanitize student contact areas to minimize transfer and spread of disease.  Their daily cleaning schedule includes at a minimum using Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes after each AM route to wipe the entry handrails in each bus and Lysol disinfectant spray is sprayed on all seats after each AM route.

Our food service staff have stepped up their routines to maximize cleanliness in the kitchen area. All equipment is washed, cleaned and sanitized as well as serving cabinets, flat surfaces and door knobs being wiped down with Clorox wipes and kept clean.

We are beginning to have internal discussions to prepare for the possibility of a long term closure (2 weeks or more).  These discussions include the feasibility of digital or remote learning solutions such as our WILD protocol if that is allowed by the Department of Education and State Legislative action.

In the event that school is closed, it is very likely that the closure will impact all associated district activities including Community/associated use of the buildings which will also likely be suspended for the duration of a closure.  If we are directed to close, I am anticipating that we may not have ample notice.  I am hoping that we get at least a day, but with the speed that this situation changes I do believe notice will come quick and expected actions will be immediate.

I suggest that parents using Kids Company or before and after school child care start to make plans for options which may not include current school related programs. I am asking that you are proactive in your planning. We will, of course, consider the hardships that will happen as we make decisions or are told what we must do, but some of the outcomes may be out of our control.

The district will continue to share information as it becomes available. Please know, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent illness. You will also find more information about the Covid-19 virus on our school website and updates are placed there when we get them.     www.isd300.k12.mn.us   There is a link scrolling on the top of the webpage, click it.

Respectfully, 

Kevin Cardille     - Superintendent

To learn more about COVID-19, visit:

·      Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html)

·      CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html)

February 28, 2020

In an effort to be proactive in the fight against student and staff illness from viral and bacterial illness we will be posting information that we may obtain from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). In all cases, basic disease prevention methods are encouraged to be practiced at home, school and the workplace. They are; hand washing, cover your cough and stay home when ill. 

Our custodial staff are taking extra measures to sanitize our buildings daily and reduce the possibility of viral and bacterial survival on our door knobs, railings and work surfaces. Please watch this area for updates as we receive them from the CDC and MDH.

For general public information, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health's website or call 651-201-5414

Additional resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Concern or question?

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

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