March 17, 2021 | Volume 1 • Issue 27
A Message from Superintendent Osei
As we enter into spring, I have a great deal of optimism for the remainder of the school year and our ability to offer sustained in-person learning experiences for our students. Over the past month there have been a number of things that have transpired that fuel my optimism. On February 17, Governor Walz updated the Safe Learning Plan guidance to allow public school districts and charter schools to provide increased in-person learning opportunities for students in grades 6-12. On March 5, we partnered with Hennepin County to offer a vaccination point of distribution site for staff that wanted to be vaccinated. Last week, Governor Walz updated the entertainment and meeting venue guidance which gives us access to facilitate end of the year events. I have received many questions about events like High School prom and commencement and we are in the process of developing plans to host these events safely.

While I am thankful for our access to the vaccine for staff and updated guidance from our state leaders, I recognize that we are not out of the woods as it relates to the pandemic and our ability to offer consistent in-person learning opportunities for students. We all have to continue to do our part. As we approach spring break, I ask that you continue to be mindful of the health and safety mitigation practices you have been implementing as a family.  We have seen an increase in community spread of COVID-19 in the city of St. Louis Park and we have had a number of students and staff needing to quarantine over the past couple of weeks. I recognize that when students have to quarantine that it causes hardship for families and adds an additional transition to the learning experience for our students.  

Ways that you can support our efforts to minimize the impact of quarantine is to keep your students home if they are not feeling well, get tested regularly, and self quarantine if you travel out of state or internationally. Next week we will be sharing information about student COVID testing being offered by the state and in this communication we will be sharing guidance from MDE regarding out of state and international travel over spring break. I ask that you review the information and take the action that best supports the needs of your family and helps us to sustain in-person learning opportunities for our students. 

My optimism about the spring and our ability to sustain in-person learning opportunities is directly connected to my confidence in our school community and our collective commitment to doing what is right not only for ourselves, but for the entire school community. 

Thank you for your continued support of St. Louis Park Public Schools and your support in helping us sustain in-person learning opportunities for our students.

With much appreciation,

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
CDC Recommendations Regarding Spring Break Travel
The District continues to prioritize the health and safety of staff, students and families and the ability to provide as much in-person learning as possible. The District asks that staff and families consider CDC recommendations around travel as we approach Spring Break (March 29-April 2).

The CDC is currently recommending no travel at this time, given that travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If staff and families do decide to travel, they are reminded to continue observing all prevention measures including maintaining six feet of distance from others whenever possible, masking consistently, using proper hand hygiene, and testing and quarantining when appropriate.

The CDC also has the following recommendations after you return from traveling:

  • Get tested 3-5 days after returning home from traveling
  • Stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after traveling, even if you receive a negative test result
  • If you choose to not get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after traveling
  • Avoid being around people who are at an increased risk of severe illness for 14 days after traveling

Following this guidance gives us the best chance to keep our schools open and our staff, students and families safe.
COVID-19 Testing for Students and Families
There are many options to get tested, depending on your needs, and each option is available to you at NO COST. You can even schedule appointments for the whole family at the same time.

There are COVID-19 community testing sites across Minnesota, in addition to local hospitals and clinics. You can make an appointment ahead of time or walk in. You can also use the COVID-19 test at home program.

For more information about scheduling group appointments for your family at a community testing site, visit COVID-19 Community Testing.
Student COVID-19 Testing for Students...Made Easier
At Governor Walz’s direction, MDE is removing yet another barrier to testing: the UPS drop box. While some kids live down the street from a drop box, it’s quite a haul for others. Students will now be able to send their Vault-at-Home tests back to the lab through their schools.

How this works:
  • Students or families order tests through the Vault-at-Home program (remember tests are no cost to Minnesota residents).
  • Students complete their test at home.
  • Students seal their sample tube and place it in the biohazard bag. The biohazard bag then gets sealed in the shipping bag that came with the test. The shipping label sticker is attached to the bag.
  • Students bring their sealed shipping bag with the shipping label to school on your designated onsite testing day. Please communicate clearly with all students and families as to the day of your onsite testing programs. NOTE: THE NEXT TESTING DATE IS MARCH 25.

To help students comply with MDH’s bi-weekly testing guidance and use at-home tests as a screening tool:
  • Students should test on the same schedule as staff.
  • Students will need to have a Vault-at-Home kit on hand at home to complete and bring to school on staff testing day.
  • Once students receive notice that their sample is being processed at the lab, they can order another Vault-at-Home kit for the next screening day.
  • If you bring your test to school on a non-staff testing day, the school will have directions to the nearest UPS drop box.
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. 

April 5 | Students | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Zoom Link
April 5 | Staff | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Zoom Link

April 20 | Parents/Guardians - English | 5:00-6:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
April 20 | Parents/Guardians - Spanish | 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Zoom Link