March 3, 2021 | Volume 1 • Issue 25
A Message From Health Services Regarding COVID-19
In an effort to keep our community’s COVID-19 spread down, the District will continue to follow guidelines set in place by the Minnesota Department of Health. Although COVID-19 rates have decreased, Hennepin County continues to have high levels of community transmission (defined by the Minnesota Department of Health as greater than 10 cases per 10,000).

Students should not come to school if they are ill or if anyone in their household is ill. The District continues to follow a 10 day isolation period for individuals with COVID illness symptoms and a 14 day quarantine for those exposed to COVID-19 or exposed to a household member with symptoms of COVID-19.

We ask that student illness symptoms are reported to the school health office. Health office staff will review exclusion guidance and determine isolation and/or quarantine dates. The illness exclusion document that is used in our schools can be viewed here

Free COVID testing locations can be found here.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students, staff, and community safe. 
Updated COVID-19 Dashboard
The dashboard will be updated every Wednesday and can be found on the District's COVID-19 News & Updates page at
MDH Recommends Testing for Kids & Families Every Two Weeks
Now that students have returned to in person learning at our elementary schools and hybrid learning at our secondary schools, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) encourages every family to get tested for COVID-19. Current recommendations from MDH say that any student who spends time near people outside their immediate household should get tested every two weeks, through the end of the school year.

Testing has never been easier – you can visit a community testing site, order an at-home test kit, or get tested through your health care provider. All options are quick and free to you.

You can sign your entire family up to get tested at the same time at a community testing site. If someone in your family prefers to speak in another language besides English, in-person or language line assistance is available. Test sites are doing everything they can to make sure sites are clean, safe, and comfortable for everyone.

Teachers, school staff, and coaches are already getting tested regularly. We owe it to them to do the same. By wearing a mask and getting tested regularly, we can help limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our schools and sports open.

Visit Getting Tested for COVID-19 or contact your health care provider to schedule an appointment.
High School Junior Semona Robel Takes Second Place in Criminal Justice Reform Youth Essay Contest
St. Louis Park High School junior Semona Robel recently earned second place in a criminal justice reform youth essay, video and audio contest organized by the Minnesota Urban Debate League and the Star Tribune Opinion Department. 

The contest asked students ages 10-18 to create an original written essay, video or audio file that described one or two specific changes our community, state or nation should make to reduce racial inequities and injustices in the criminal justice system.

Click here to read her entire essay. 

At the High School, Robel is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme candidate and captain of the debate team. She joined with other students this past fall to encourage fellow students and their family members to register to vote and participate in the November 2020 election. She is also involved in the nonprofit organization Girls United MN, which strives to discuss pressing social issues, and host community events that support and inspire young women.

Robel says that she was encouraged by her debate coaches to enter the criminal justice reform essay contest. “After the murder of George Floyd, I was just angry with the world and what was going on around me. I took an opportunity that I had to have my voice heard and ran with it,” she said. “I’m excited to see the changes that come about after Derek Chauvin’s trial and to see the community come together.”
St. Louis Park High School Named First Amendment Press Freedom Award Winner
St. Louis Park High School has been named one of 14 recipients of the Journalism Education Association’s (JEA) First Amendment Press Freedom Award for 2021. This is the sixth time in the last seven years that the High School has received the award.

The award recognizes private and public high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content. Winners are chosen by a committee that includes representatives from the JEA, National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society.

Schools compete for the award by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor. Schools that advance to the next round are asked to provide responses from the principal, and all media advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the First Amendment. 

The 14 winning schools will be honored as part of the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention awards presentation on Saturday, April 10.
Upcoming Listening Sessions with Superintendent Osei
As a part of the process to hear stakeholder perspectives, Superintendent Osei will be hosting Listening Sessions over the course of this school year for students, parents/guardians, and staff to better understand the impact of the implementation of the District's educational delivery models. 

March 16 | Parents/Guardians - English | 5:00-6:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
March 16 | Parents/Guardians - Spanish | 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
April 5 | Students | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Zoom Link
April 5 | Staff | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Zoom Link