Dear St. Paul School Community,
I would like to extend my appreciation to our students and families for their commitment to keeping our schools safe during this challenging time. I am also very proud of the dedication of our teaching staff and support staff for their hard work and outstanding efforts that have allowed us to remain open and provide services to our community this school year. As we continue to work together to address issues related to the Covid infection that continues to threaten our operations I am committed to do all that I can to continue to offer academic and extracurricular opportunities for our students. That being said, I am also tasked with maintaining the health and safety of our school community and would like to take this opportunity to share some scenarios that may be necessary to implement in the coming weeks if the current wave of infections continues. Like many other districts, the number of Covid positive cases in our schools has spiked since the end of our winter break.
Effective immediately: Our district will implement the new CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine. Students and staff in the St. Paul School District that have tested positive for Covid-19 will be isolated for 5 days following the positive test. If they have no fever for 24 hours and no symptoms, or symptoms have vastly improved, they may return to school and or work on the sixth day.
Students and staff that are fully vaccinated and have been wearing masks and following other health and safety guidelines that have been exposed to a positive case will not need to be quarantined. Unvaccinated students or not fully vaccinated staff and/or students will be quarantined for 5 days or may participate in our test to stay program. The details of that program are posted on the district website. There are many other factors that must be considered to determine the procedures to follow with each case so please be patient as we evaluate each situation based on the information that we receive. Most importantly if you or your child is ill please stay home and notify your school office. If you are able to be tested please share the results of that test with our confidential office staff. The more information we have the better we will be able to ascertain when we can return your child to school. Students and families that are currently under the previous quarantine guidelines may be contacted and given new directions by your school.
Additional district considerations: If we begin experiencing staffing shortages that affect our ability to maintain normal school operations it may be necessary to implement a short pause in school operations. We will make every effort to notify families in advance if this becomes necessary. If implemented this pause would likely extend for 5 days and there would be no instruction or activities during this time frame.
School activities: Currently we are continuing to offer athletics and other activities in our district. This is being evaluated on a daily basis as well as our ability to safely allow spectators at home events. Please help us keep everyone safe by wearing a mask over your mouth and nose at all times during events at school. We will no longer allow food or drinks at our events; effective immediately and until further notice. There will also be no concession services until further notice.
I understand clearly the implications of what these drastic measures may cause in regards to the disruption to our families and school community. It is with the utmost respect and consideration to our students, staff, and families and the very nature of our school life that I weigh these decisions, carefully and judiciously. Thank you for your patience and support.
Joseph M. Wehrli
St. Paul School District