Updates on Secondary Learning Model, Special Education, Activities, COVID-19 Testing and More

Ramsey County's 14-day positive COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 residents is 105.8.
Ramsey County's 14-day positive COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 residents, as of Nov. 15 – more than seven times higher than when our transition plan was announced. 

Transition to blended learning for secondary grades (7 – 12) on hold

In light of the increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in our community, we have made the decision to put on hold the planned transition of secondary grades (7 – 12) to blended learning. Our plan had been to transition our secondary grades at the start of the second trimester (December 7). 
As of yesterday, the 14-day positive COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 residents in Ramsey County was 105.8, and is projected to be 130 at the start of next week. This is more than seven times the case rate we were experiencing when our transition plan was announced in late September, and considerably higher than the threshold of 30 cases where state guidance suggests that secondary grades remain in distance learning. 
We know this is disappointing news for students, families and staff who were looking forward to the chance to return to part-time in-person learning. Unfortunately, the level of community spread does not allow for a safe and healthy learning environment. The school board of Roseville Area Schools will hear detailed recommendations from the superintendent at their November 24 meeting
Ramsey County's 14-day positive COVID-19 rate is projected to be more than 130 per 10,000 residents on November 22, 2020.
Ramsey County is projected to have a 14-day rate of more than 130 positive cases per 10,000 residents on November 22, 2020. The current rate is 105.8. (Source: Minnesota School Opening Statistics.)

Plan for resuming special education services

State guidance has shifted with regard to providing in-person instruction to students with disabilities whose individualized education program calls for intensive services that cannot be provided in a distance learning model, when a district returns to all distance learning.
While these in-person services are currently on hold, we understand how important they are to our students and families. We are determining what staff are available to perform these services, and we are working with the state's regional support team to determine what additional personal protective equipment and safety precautions will be necessary in order to safely resume these services in-person, and will communicate additional information broadly and directly with impacted families as soon as we have a timeline and procedures in place.

Status of winter athletics and co-curricular activities

There are several important meetings this week between our athletics and activities staff, the state’s regional support team of health experts, and member districts of the Suburban East Conference. Additionally, the Minnesota State High School League is meeting this week and is expected to discuss the important topic of winter athletics and activities.
We currently have some competing activities participating virtually, and recognize that there is significant interest in knowing what opportunities will exist this winter. We expect additional guidance soon and will continue to evaluate activities and athletics weekly and communicate with families as soon as information is available. 

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing for staff and students
Given the current surge in positive cases in our community, we are encouraging school staff and families to increase their testing for COVID-19. Regular testing of staff and students will increase safety for everyone. Testing is one way to identify and isolate the virus to prevent the spread within the school community. Minnesota offers multiple ways to get tested that are accessible for most families and free of charge.
At-home COVID-19 saliva testing
Minnesota offers free, at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for people who believe they need to be tested, with or without symptoms. Right now, families can order multiple test kits per household. Each test needs a unique email address and Vault account. If you use your email to order a test for yourself, you will need to create another account with a separate email to order a test for another family member. Families will be asked if they have insurance, but the state will cover the costs for any uninsured or underinsured families. You should not receive a bill using this testing option. At-home saliva testing will require a copy of both sides of your insurance card.
COVID-19 community testing sites
All COVID-19 testing is free of charge at Minnesota Department of Health community testing events. MDH continues to plan more community testing events across the state, working together with communities to make sure everyone can get tested.
Tests are free for everyone. No identification or insurance is required.
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