Another large crowd gathered at the regular Alexandria School Board meeting to hear the district’s reopening plan for the 2021-22 school year.
Face coverings will not be required for students or staff inside Alexandria Public Schools. Buildings will maintain a limited supply of face coverings for students and staff who choose to wear them. Masks are currently required on buses by federal guidelines.
Social distancing will not be enforced, as well as vaccinations. Students and staff do not have to get a COVID-19 vaccine to be in school buildings. The school will not require COVID-19 vaccination records.
The school reopening plan has been reviewed by the district’s COVID-19 advisory team. All students will be in school five days a week and return to standard start and end times. Grades 6-8 will return to a six-period class schedule, while 9-12 will go back to the A/B block schedule.
Students will have lunch in lunchrooms again and will transition from class to class following a regular schedule. Special area classes such as physical education and musical courses will be held in their typical classrooms.
Self-screenings will still be encouraged for all students and staff. Those who feel an illness of any type are encouraged to stay home. The district is required to report any positive cases to the Minnesota Department of Health.
If there is somebody that comes in close contact with an individual who tests positive, the school will notify the families involved. They will ask the families to monitor symptoms but will not be required to quarantine if they are not sick.
Appropriate accommodations will be made for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies. Parents of these students should contact their case manager for questions surrounding accommodations.
Alexandria Public Schools will continue to collaborate with state and local health officials regarding COVID-19 policy. The learning plan will continue to be fluid with the current state of COVID-19, in accordance with the Center for Disease Control. The Minnesota Department of Education and the MDH.
The board opened up a session for questions and comments about the reopening plan, in which a handful of the audience members voiced opinions. The board unanimously approved the reopening plan.
Superintendent Rick Sansted still encouraged the audience, faculty, parents and community members to provide feedback in this process.
At the August meeting, the board plans to discuss ways to engage with community members outside of board meetings. Sansted said it’s essential to have transparency and feedback when it comes to making decisions for students and staff.
More from Monday's meeting will be in the Friday edition of the Echo Press and online at www.echopress.com.