January 14: Updates to COVID-19 procedures
January 14, 2022
Lakeville Area Schools Families and Staff,
The surge of cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant continues to impact our school system. While no decision is easy, we are making the following changes to our COVID-19 procedures. These changes will allow us to most efficiently utilize our staff, provide more clear and concise information for families to make decisions that are best for their children, and continue to prioritize in-person learning for the success and well-being of each student.
Fewer Notification Emails
Starting Monday, January 17, schools will no longer be sending individual notification emails for each individual close contact your child had at school. Instead, schools will now send one weekly email by grade detailing positive cases for that week. This will provide consolidated information that will be more meaningful to families. This will increase staff capacity to track positive cases and work with families in isolation or quarantine.
Prioritizing In-Person Learning
We will no longer be closing PreK-Grade 5 classrooms when there are four or more cases of COVID-19 as has been previous practice. Lakeville Area Schools will also no longer use influenza-like illness as a marker for increasing mitigation strategies. These decisions are based in part due to limited staff capacity and the ability to have students back in classrooms sooner under the shorter isolation and quarantine timelines.
Lakeville Area Schools is prioritizing in-person learning for its students and will do everything it can to avoid going to Distance Learning. We know having students in our schools, where they have access to meals, safe and caring adults and can interact with their peers, is best for their learning and mental health.
We will close classrooms only in extreme cases if there is significant transmission within the class or staffing shortages make it impossible for a class to continue in-person. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis and communicated by each school.
We understand and recognize that concerns about COVID-19 exposure are valid and that some families may want to keep their children home from school out of precaution when there are many cases. Families have the right to make those decisions for their children. As a reminder, if a student is being kept at home and they are not sick, that will be marked as an unexcused absence. If a student is sick, isolating because they have COVID-19 or is quarantining because they are exposed to a positive case at home, that is an excused absence.
Families who prefer a distance learning option may consider our online school, Link12 Lakeville. However, please consider that some middle school grade levels are full and high school courses are full for the rest of the year. Contact Amy Bercich at Amy.Bercich@isd194.org for more information.
As always, here are some mitigation steps you can take at home and in your community to help prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19, making our schools and community healthier and safer. Keep your children home when sick. If they need testing, it is free for all Minnesotans and can be done at a community testing site, through at-home test kits, or at clinics and hospitals. For symptomatic students and staff, the District has a testing site for students and staff at our District Maintenance Building on Kenrick Avenue by appointment through their school or district nurse.
Visit our COVID-19 page for the latest case rates, vaccination rates, case numbers in our schools, and other information.