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Dear River Grove Families, Staff, and Community
We’d like to update you on the current COVID-19 situation as it pertains to River Grove and our response to it.
- SITUATION OVERVIEW
Governor Walz ordered a statewide closure of Minnesota schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. River Grove will be closed from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27, 2020. At this time, we expect the school to reopen on Monday, March 30. However, this is a fluid and quickly changing situation, and this date may change.
- CHILDCARE UPDATE AND EXPANSION
Childcare for qualified healthcare workers, first-responders, and those essential to the COVID-19 response has begun on the River Grove campus. Childcare is provided in partnership with the YMCA of the Twin Cities Forest Lake Branch from 8:30am to 3:30pm, March 18-20, and March 23-27 (dates subject to expansion). If you haven’t yet done so, please contact us so we better understand your family’s needs.
- The list of those essential to the COVID-19 has expanded. If you are an “Emergency Worker in Tier I under the Executive Order” who needs childcare, please let us know. We have set up a new form for childcare registration, and ask that you provide us with 48 hours of advance notice.
- If we are able to do so while adhering to the Minnesota Department of Health’s social distancing guidelines, we will try to accommodate the children of Tier 2 employees.
- IMPLEMENTATION DATE — WHY WAIT UNTIL MARCH 30?
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) directed schools to use this mandated closure time to develop a comprehensive, equitable distance learning plan that serves the needs of all students. The MDE specifically asked schools to wait until March 30 to implement the distance learning program that serves all students. The precise language of the MDE’s directive is here:
- “The eight days between March 18 and March 27 are for planning purposes only. The expectation is that school districts and charter schools plan for an unprecedented potential break in school: possibly 8 weeks of lessons delivered equitably for every student – those with IEPs and 504 Plans, those learning English as a new language, those who are experiencing homelessness, those who need mental health supports, all while determining and communicating with students and families how you are going to take attendance and distribute school meals daily. That is why eight days have been set aside for planning.”
- “Distance learning” does not necessarily mean “e-learning.” River Grove will take that into consideration when planning its program and may not rely solely on internet-based curriculum. Teachers and staff are anxious to have our wonderful kids learning again, and they have already been actively planning and are using this time period wisely. The teachers have been and will continue to meet in virtual conference calls and in small groups utilizing “social distancing.”
- PICKING UP BELONGINGS AT SCHOOL /
BORROWING CHROMEBOOKS /
Many of you have asked teachers directly about borrowing Chromebooks and coming to school to pick up belongings and medications.
- We are asking everyone to please be patient while we develop a consistent, school-wide plan for borrowing devices. Please complete this survey (www.marineareaschool.org/studentfamily-info/survey-school-closures/) so we better understand the school-wide need.
- The MDE asked that we practice social distancing during pick-ups, so scheduling is necessary. If you have belongings you’d like to pick up:
- For items in the classroom, please contact your teacher (www.marineareaschool.org/about/contact/).
- For medications, please contact the school nurse, Megan Lapos: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For band and orchestra instruments, please contact Erika Hammerschmidt: email@example.com
- For school-provided lunches to those who qualify for free and reduced lunches, please contact Sandi Bonarski: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and take care!
Drew Goodson, School Director