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Letter to Cook County Schools Families

Jul 31, 2020 04:35PM ● By Editor
July 31, 2020

Governor Walz along with the Minnesota Department of Education released the MN Safe
Learning Plan yesterday. In the Plan, they have provided recommendations on how schools can start the 2020-2021 school year. The Plan lays out flexibility for each district to base the decision on the number of COVID-19 testing rates and the ability to meet the Health and Safety guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Health. The matrix uses the local data from the previous 14 days to determine the learning model that would be safest for the school district. The decision making matrix will be on the bottom of the letter for you to review.

Currently in Cook County, the data states that we have less than 9 cases per 10,000 residents.
If we were to follow the recommendations by the MN Safe Learning Plan, our school would be able to start the school year in-person, as long as we demonstrate that we can meet the requisite health and safety precautions and the School Board approves the plan.

As a school community we also need to remember that our data could change.We will be
working with the health care professionals and keeping track of the cases in our county to respond if changes occur. If we are utilizing an in-person model, for example, and our county has an increase of cases, and the data states that we need to change the learning model, we would need to adjust from one category to another. Also, the MN Safe Learning Plan states that if a family is not comfortable with the learning model that the school will be using, for example in-person, the family will have the opportunity to have their student engage in a distance learning model. The Plan also requires that Schools provide in-person childcare, during school hours, for Tier 1 essential workers if the District has implemented a distance learning model.

Cook County Schools is working with a team that includes school stakeholders and health
professionals that are working on plans for each of the learning models to best meet the guidelines requirements for the health and safety of our students, families, and staff.  On Thursday, August 6th, 2020 the School Board will be meeting to discuss and consider the proposed plans for how the school will be using the MN Safe Learning Plan to make decisions on the learning model that the school will be implementing. 

 Thank you for your support and patience during this time.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Megan Myers
Cook County School District 166
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