COVID-19: March 22 update
The week ahead is important planning time for our schools, students and families.
Work continues on our distance learning plan, schools are supporting child care needs for emergency workers, and providing nutritional support for students. Time and effort, and a spirit of pulling together for the common good, have been in large supply in our school communities. Over the past week Anoka-Hennepin’s efforts have:
- Prepared 13,000 Chromebook computers for student distance learning needs and surveyed students kindergarten through grade 12 on technology needs at home.
- Registered over 500 students for emergency child care at 26 school sites.
- Created five initial student nutrition drop-off sites that will be expanding significantly in the near future.
- Established a framework for distance learning using Google Classroom and a digital platform for students grades four through 12, as well as a blended paper/digital model for grades preschool through grade three.
The safety and personal health of students, employees and the community our district serves must be protected as the obligations of the state order are met. To do so, district sites will be reducing the number of people in our buildings and following the social distancing guidelines to assemble in groups of 10 or fewer people as recommended. Please take this time to prepare for an extended school closure with a distance learning model of education.
It’s understood that there is strong interest in learning the plan for school starting March 30. That information will be shared by Wednesday this week.
Make sure to view the COVID-19 website for information.
Thank you for your attention to this message and your ongoing support of your student and our schools.
David Law, superintendent
March 22 updates
Schools closed by order through March 27: All students attending Anoka-Hennepin schools are excused from school by state order through Friday, March 27. This week, work will continue to finalize plans for students’ distance learning and district operations.
Plan now for an extended school closure: Additional information regarding the plans for distance or in-person learning March 30 and after will be shared when they are confirmed. The goal is to provide additional information by Wednesday this week.
Technology and internet access: Distance learning could begin for your student next week. Anoka-Hennepin will provide Chromebooks to students who need them, grades four through 12. Look for information on technology distribution in a message from your student’s school later this week. A listing of approved personal devices such as a desktop, laptop or iPad, with internet speeds of three Mbps or higher is recommended. Kindles, Nooks or iPhones are not considered personal learning devices. Options for low-cost high speed internet access and computers are provided at ahschools.us/DistanceLearningFAQ.
Distance learning: 13,000 Chromebooks at all five high schools were removed from mobile carts and prepared for distribution. Preparation at additional schools is happening this week. Distance learning for students in grades four through 12 will primarily be provided via computer with an internet connection. Students in kindergarten through grade three will use a blended digital/paper-based system. Please note that the teachers and curriculum will continue, only the method of delivery is changing.
District emergency care: Anoka-Hennepin is offering child care for Tier 1 emergency workers, at no cost, at elementary schools in compliance with the state order. More information: ahschools.us/DistrictEmergencyCare.
Community education programs, including Adventures Plus school-age care: All community education programs serving adults and youth, including facility rentals, will be closed through Friday, March 27, following the executive order from the state of Minnesota. Review community education program updates at ahschools.us/COVID-19_CommEd.
Activities, events and facility rentals: All school district activities, events and community rentals are canceled until at least Friday, March 27.
Medications: Parent/guardians that need to pick up medication from school within the next few days can come to school to pick them up from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, March 23, and from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. Parents/guardians that can wait to pick up medication may choose to make a single trip to school to gather any necessary personal belongings at the full school pick up time. Note that students are not able to pick up their own medications.
Personal items: A previous message noted that personal items in school could also be picked up on Monday and Tuesday at school. That notice was premature. The only items to be picked up on Monday and Tuesday are medications. A separate announcement about picking up school supplies and personal items will come later directly from your school.
Emergency student meals: Anoka-Hennepin is providing “grab and go” meals for students age 18 and under at no cost starting on Tuesday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Food will be distributed from school buses located in various district parking lots. Locations include Andover Elementary School, Anoka High School, Coon Rapids High School, Blaine High School and Jackson Middle School - A Speciality School for Math and Science. Only students present will receive a meal, but no identification or registration will be required in alignment with program guidelines. Students will receive lunch and also breakfast for the following day. This program will significantly expand to additional sites starting next week. More is on the COVID-19 website.
Plans under development that will be communicated in the future:
- Pick-up of personal and other items at school, look for notice from your student’s school next week.
- Distance learning plan and the distribution of Chromebooks and other technology devices.
- Student support services, mental health and counseling support.
- Plans for school on March 30 - either distance or in-person learning.
- Continued emergency care for emergency workers after March 27.
- Additional locations for emergency food distribution.
How can you help?
Please continue to practice healthy habits to limit the spread of disease:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol content.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough into the inside of the elbow. Dispose of tissues immediately. Wash hands afterwards.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces.
- Practice social distancing guidelines, and stay home when you are sick.
Learn more about COVID-19 and its status in Minnesota on the Minnesota Department of Health website or by calling the MDH information line at 651-201-3920 or submit questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.