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MNCS COVID-19 RESPONSE PAGE

Email us at covid19@newcountryschool.com with any COVID-related questions or concerns

MNCS COVID RESPONSE LATEST UPDATES & REMINDERS --- POSTED ON SEPT 22, 2020

Greetings Parents and Guardians, from the MNCS Covid-Coordinators Team,

Despite the unusual circumstances, our school year is off to a good start. While our current hybrid model is not the ideal way we’d like to be learning and working as a community, it is going as well as can be expected given the nature of the current situation. We’ve been making some subtle tweaks and changes to our plans as we move along, and we appreciate the input, questions, and concerns you keep bringing to our attention as we figure this thing out.

As most of you know, our current learning model is dictated in a large way by positive COVID case counts in our counties. We’ve been carefully watching the numbers as MDH updates them weekly, and are aware that there have been some concerningly high numbers in a few of the counties we serve. After consulting with our Regional MDH Support Team, the consensus is that these high numbers are likely to be a short term situation, and that we are able to continue working in our current model unless the numbers remain high for a longer period of time.

Part of the reason we are able to continue in Hybrid / Scenario 3 of our MNCS Return to Learn (MRTL) plan for the foreseeable future is the work that students, staff, and families are doing to stick with the Safe Learning Plan (MDE) guidelines that drive it. Our Regional Support Team is happy with the plans we’ve implemented and feels we’re taking proper steps to create a safe learning model, which factors into the decision making process in determining whether we change models or stay the course.

We’d like to take a moment to remind everyone of a few important things we all need to do in order for us to keep in-person learning an option at our school: 

1. Please continue reinforcing masking and distancing habits with your students -- help them to remember to “mask up and mind your bubble”. 

2. Encourage regular hand-washing, hygiene, other healthy habits and choices -- such as healthy eating, plenty of sleep, and paying close attention to changes in mental health and wellness. 

3. Remember to pre-screen your students daily before they come to school -- please refer to the attached “COVID-19 Attendance Guide” and “Home Screening Guide” for details.

4. If your student develops symptoms, or tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know by contacting your student’s classroom advisor and emailing us at:  covid19@newcountryschool.com

5. If you have any questions about whether or not to keep a student home, questions about close contacts, symptom screenings etc, please reach out to us at  covid19@newcountryschool.com  and we will respond as quickly as we can.

6. Visit our MNCS “COVID-19 Response” webpage as another place to stay up-to-date, find links, resources, documents at:  https://www.newcountryschool.com/page/covid-19 

Sincerely, 

The MNCS Covid-Coordinators Team
covid19@newcountryschool.com

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"Scenario #3" (Hybrid) Learning Model for start of school year on August 31st **posted on 8.18.20**

Hello to all families, from your MNCS COVID Coordinators.

Based on the most recent county case data in the multiple counties in which MNCS students reside, we will be starting the school year on August 31st in "Scenario 3" aka Hybrid. Please refer to the MRTL Scenario Matrix for details about Scenario #3 / Hybrid at MNCS. 

Expect additional MNCS handbook information related to COVID-19 later this week, which will include more detailed plans and procedures. We are confident that this forthcoming document will answer many of your COVID questions. 

Send any related questions to:  covid19@newcountryschool.com

School website at:  www.newcountryschool.com/covid-19

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Dated: July 31st, 2020

Posted Friday, July 31st

MNCS: School Year Planning 2020-21

Dear MNCS families,

On July 30th, Governor Walz released the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan for this school year. With our community and the safety of all in mind, MNCS is reviewing the plan’s guidelines and its “localized, data-driven approach”. The decision to return to in-person learning is complicated, and the safety and health of our students and staff is our first priority.  

Minnesota schools will be able to move forward into the distance learning, hybrid learning, or full in-person learning model based on local factors. The largest factor is the level of COVID-19 activity in the counties served by the school district. MNCS draws students from 24 communities, across 9 counties (see graphic below) and we will need to consider all counties in our decision-making process. We will coordinate with county and state departments of health as we determine the safest and most appropriate learning model for our school community. Considerations will include:

  • The number of positive COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents in each county

  • The number of students attending MNCS from each county

  • Overall activity trends (growing or shrinking number of cases over the most recent 14-day period)

MNCS students, by county

It is likely that the MNCS learning model may change over the course of the school year, as current health and local COVID-19 data changes. A reminder that full-time distance learning will be an option for any MNCS family, regardless of the learning model in place at any given time. 

By Thursday of next week, we will share more detailed communication outlining our MNCS learning delivery models for different scenarios, grade levels, etc. If you have specific questions related to school reopening and our COVID-19 response, please email: covid19@newcountryschool.com 

Sincerely,

The Staff of Minnesota New Country School