Safe Learning Plan

Eastern Carver County Schools takes the health and safety of its students and staff seriously. Barring any changes in guidance from state and federal health agencies, the following outlines how ECCS is navigating the 2021-22 school year. The district is taking a tiered intervention approach to its COVID-19 protocols. Layered protection strategies, including regular cleaning, reinforced hand washing and other hygiene practices, will continue to be used in buildings to reduce the risk of transmission.  

ECCS will monitor classroom, building, district, county, and state levels closely throughout the year as part of its decision-making process in addition to regular communication with local and state health partners.  Should COVID-19 cases increase, additional measures, including distance learning in some situations, may need to be taken to protect the health and safety of our school and broader communities and preserve in-person learning.

 Data Dashboard (updated each Thursday)

2021-2022 Safe Learning Plan COVID Protocols

Changes in mitigation protocols

The district regularly monitors state, county, local, and building-level COVID data.  That includes new cases, quarantines, positivity rates, as well as pediatric cases within our community.  The district analyzes trends, and works closely with local public health agencies whenever there’s a shift in the data that might warrant a change in mitigation strategies.  The district will look at trends, and consider several consecutive days of data before making a shift towards more or less restrictive protocols.

Face Coverings 

  • Masking is required indoors for students ages 2 and up, which includes children in Early Childhood and Family Education through 12th grade+. More information from CDC on acceptable masks.

  • All staff are required to wear masks indoors according to the district’s established mitigation protocols. Staff who can maintain six feet of social distance may remove their face covering when it supports educational outcomes.
  • If you believe your child needs a mask accommodation, please reach out to your building principal

Buses

  • All people are required by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) order to wear face coverings on all public transportation, including school buses.

Physical Distancing

  • There will be no minimum distance requirement.

  • To the greatest extent possible, students will remain in smaller groups without inter-mixing with other groups of students.

Lunch

  • Lunch will return to cafeterias in all buildings.

  • Where possible, buildings will try to maintain 3 feet of distance while at lunch.

  • Elementary and middle school students will have assigned seats to support contact tracing.

Lockers/ Locker Rooms

  • Middle and high school students will be assigned and have access to lockers.

  • Students will be allowed to use the locker room. 

  • To the greatest extent possible, time in the locker room will be limited.

 Visitors in Buildings

  • At this time we will not be allowing visitors in buildings during the school day.  We will continue to evaluate this through the school year.  Volunteers who are performing specific duties in buildings will be required to mask at all times.

Stay home when sick

  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.

  • Students or staff who become ill with COVID-like symptoms while in school will be sent home.

  • If students are sent home with (or are experiencing) COVID-like symptoms will be asked to produce a negative COVID test before returning to school. Those using at-home rapid antigen testing must produce two negative results taken 24 hours apart before returning to school. Only one negative test (rapid or PCR) is required if the test is from a lab or other medical provider.  
  • The district will follow the ECCS COVID-19 decision tree for those who have COVID-like symptoms.

Contact Tracing

  • The district will contact trace to the greatest extent possible but when positive cases are high, notification may be delayed or not possible in a timely manner.

  • Close contacts include anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

Quarantine

Updated January 7, 2022 per new CDC guidelines.

  • Individuals who test positive may return after five days of quarantine under the following conditions: they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. It is also important that they are well enough to participate in school activities.
  • Proper mask wearing at all times (at school and at home) except when eating or drinking is especially important when returning to school and extracurriculars after this shortened quarantine. 
  • Individuals who continue to have symptoms should continue to quarantine until they have been fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved.
  • Students identified as close contacts not in the home will receive more detailed information about quarantine options available, but generally speaking unvaccinated students who are close contacts may continue to attend school as long as they are wearing a well fitting mask. Inability to do so, will require them to quarantine at home.  
  • Fully vaccinated students and staff and those who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days are NOT required to quarantine when exposed, as long as they do not have any symptoms. 
  • MSHSL Student athletes with a positive case must continue to quarantine for the full 10 days prior to returning to sports. However, they may return to school with a well-fitting mask. 
  • Unvaccinated students with a positive case in the home must quarantine for 5 days and can return with a negative test, otherwise home for 10 days if they do not test. 
  • An important exception for K-12 students: Per MDH and CDC guidelines, students in an indoor classroom setting who are BOTH wearing masks will not be considered close contacts and thus not required to quarantine.

Testing

  • The district encourages regular testing for COVID-19 to help prevent symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission.

  • If students or staff are sent home with (or are experiencing) COVID-like symptoms they must test before returning to school.  The following are our updated protocols (effective January 7, 2022):

    • Those using at-home rapid antigen testing must produce two negative results taken at least 24 hours apart before returning to school.  Write the student name and date on the test and send a picture of the results to the school nurse.

    • Only one negative test (rapid or PCR) is required if the test is from a lab or other medical provider.  

If you are having difficulty finding a test please contact your building nurse as we have a limited supply of BinaxNOW test kits available to send home.

Vaccines

  • Vaccines are strongly recommended for all eligible people but not required for district staff or students.

Other Mitigation Strategies

  • Classrooms will continue to encourage hand washing and respiratory etiquette to minimize the spread of any infectious illness.

  • The deep cleaning protocols, increased ventilation, and air filtration system used in buildings last year remain in place.

  • Plexiglass will remain in front offices and other public-facing spaces to reduce risk of transmission.

  • Plexiglass will be available in classrooms for one-on-one interactions as needed.

Homebound and Home Based Services

  • All district staff providing homebound or home based services to students will be fully vaccinated.

District-Sponsored Events and Community Education

Participants in out-of-school time Community Education programs/classes and district-sponsored events will follow current district protocols for face coverings.

Outside User Groups Renting District Facilities

Effective December, 1, 2021, outside user groups will be required to comply with district masking protocols: · Masking for all individuals - staff, students, and community members - age 2+ who are in our buildings. Students who are performing or playing in sports and activities will have the ability to remove masks when actively participating. Masks are required on benches, in locker rooms, traveling throughout the building, and for all spectators and coaches at all times. 

We’re in this together.  Please do what you can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.


 

Mitigation Protocols (November 23, 2021) 

Data source: Carver County Public Health 14-Day Case Rate

The levels in this chart correspond to the same data we used last year to make decisions on our learning models and COVID protocols. The district will review these mitigation protocols on a weekly basis, every Friday, and update parents monthly unless changes warrant communication sooner.  The district may also have to shift classrooms or buildings into higher levels of mitigation in the event of outbreaks.

mitigation content