Sleepy Eye Public School update
We are six weeks into our 2020-21 school year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic we are trying to operate as normal as possible. Currently we are still in-person for our elementary school and using the hybrid model for our high school. Some people may wonder how come our high school is not in-person like other Brown County area schools. At our August board meeting we chose the more conservative approach to start our high school and the numbers have not been consistently under the 10 magic number that would allow us to bring the high school back. It has been recommended by both Brown County Public Health, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health, that we need to see three weeks of consistent low numbers before we would make the switch. Unfortunately, recent spikes in Brown County will make our transition difficult in the near future. We anticipate that the next two weeks’ school-related data will be in the high teens range, therefore keeping our school model the same as it has been. If everyone pitches in and follows the MDH COVID-19 guidelines we are hoping that the county numbers take a turn to better that will allow our high school to transition to the in-person learning model.
We continue to work with our parents as children get ill and follow the MDH COVID-19 decision making tree. The decision making tree identifies fever of 100.4 degrees, new onset of cough, difficulty breathing, and the loss of taste or smell as more common symptoms and sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, headache and nasal congestion as less common symptoms. In case a student has one of the less common symptoms students are able to return to school after symptoms improve. In this case the student’s siblings do not need to stay home. In a situation that a student has two less common or one more common symptom, the student needs medical evaluation and/or a Covid test. If the student receives a negative test or alternative diagnosis the student can return to school. The student’s siblings also need to stay home while waiting for test results are back and/or the alternative diagnosis is provided by the doctor. If the family does not see the doctor everyone needs to stay home for 10 days.
We counsel our families as some of these situations arise time to time and also make sure we provide a virtual option of learning for those that may need to stay home for a longer period of time. We appreciate our parent cooperation and we are thankful for the medical community for helping our families out and providing superior care.
We are excited about the return of traditional fall activities. Football and volleyball are back. I know both the coaches and the student athletes are ecstatic about this decision. Practices have started and we will have our first games in the near future. Unfortunately fan participation will be limited due to the pandemic. We are not allowed to have any fans at our volleyballs games and are limited to a total of 250 spectators for our football games. Only preapproved individuals will be able to attend these games. We will issue vouchers first to the parents of our football players, and if we have enough vouchers left we will accommodate our upper classman. We have installed cameras in our gym and at our football field that will allow individuals who won’t be able to attend to livestream our home events. People can subscribe to the NFHS Network to see our events live in their living room. If you need more information about it please visit our web site or call Mr. Haala our Activities Director for more information.
Finally, I want to remind parents about our upcoming parent-teacher conferences. Both the elementary and high school have conferences Oct. 13. The high school time is 3:30 to 8 p.m. and the elementary time is from 3:30 to 10 p.m. These conferences will be virtual of course. More information is forthcoming on this topic.