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,