Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools families,
We're so happy to be back to school following a winter break, which we hope you found relaxing and joyful. As has been the case for nearly two years, the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to have a significant role in our lives.
While we had hoped that we could continue with school as usual, that won't be the case for two of our buildings. Due to the current number of positive and symptomatic COVID cases among students and staff at Armstrong High School and Sandburg Middle School, we made the decision today to shift to distance learning beginning Thursday, Jan. 6, through Monday, Jan. 17. Students will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Shifting to distance learning
We understand there is anxiety as COVID cases in the community continue to rise. However, at this time we have no plans to move the entire district to distance learning. Robbinsdale Area Schools continues to review and monitor the situation with our state and local health partners, and will adjust learning models if needed. This could mean shifting individual classrooms, grade levels at a school, or entire buildings to distance learning if necessary. We promise to notify families and staff as soon as we can if and when that happens.
Prevention, self-assessment, testing
Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms, schools and communities continues to be a multi-faceted approach. The prevention measures rely on students and staff to wear masks at all times, to wash their hands frequently, stay home when not feeling well, and get vaccinated and/or boosted when eligible.
But the first step everyone should take before coming to school is completing a self-screening individually or with your student(s) every day. In the event a staff member or student isn't feeling well, they should stay home from school. Staff or students who were, or suspect they have been, exposed to COVID-19 can pick up at-home saliva testing kits at your school's health office, or find testing options near you through the state's Find Testing Locations map: Find Testing Locations.
Recently, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their quarantine recommendations for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
However, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has not yet adopted this CDC recommendation. Until we receive MDH notification, we'll continue to require ten-day isolation for all positive cases - whether that is 10 days from symptom onset, or 10 days from positive test date if asymptomatic.
We will be sure to update families and staff as soon as new information is available.
For more information about the district's COVID protocols, to report a COVID-positive case or household contact with someone who is COVID positive/symptomatic, or if your student is experiencing symptoms, please visit rdale.org/covid/updates.
We understand there's real fatigue in talking about COVID, but we're also committed to protecting, as best we can, the health of our students and staff while they are at school. Every day, we're doing our best to make sure we can provide quality, in-person learning opportunities for students while also maintaining a safe learning environment for everyone.
David Engstrom, Superintendent
Robbinsdale Area Schools