Keeping Our Students Safe & In School
A Plan for the 2021-22 School Year
After testing positive for COVID-19, you must isolate for 5 full days and may return on day 6 ONLY if you are feeling well and are able to wear a well-fitting mask at all times, other than when eating, on days 6-10. A negative test is not required to return to school or work as long as you have met the isolation requirements.
A new COVID-19 Reporting System has been put in place that will inform the school health office of positive COVID-19 cases and household close contacts. Please fill out this form if your student has tested positive for COVID-19, or is in a household where someone has tested positive. The new reporting form can be found using the link below.
Household contacts who are not exempt must quarantine for 5 full days, the first day starting the last time you were in close contact with the person who tested positive before they went into isolation. You may return on day 6 with a negative molecular test that must be taken on day 5 if you are able to wear a well-fitting mask at all times, other than when eating, on days 6-10. If at any time you experience symptoms while in quarantine, get tested as soon as possible.
Quarantine is not required for the following household contacts:
- Ages 18 and older who have received the primary vaccination series and booster
- Ages 5-17 who have received the primary vaccination series
- Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days
The Wayzata Public Schools COVID-19 Dashboard has been created to track positive COVID-19 cases present in our students and staff. This dashboard will be updated each Wednesday with new information from the previous week.
Positive cases will be reported when there have been 5 or more cases of COVID-19 in students or staff. The numbers will indicate who has been identified as tested positive or as a close contact during the past 7-day period. Reporting when we have 5 or more cases is consistent with how the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is reporting school data and is being done to protect the health privacy of our staff and students. Schools with fewer than 5 new cases will be indicated with a "-" in the chart."
- 2021-22 COVID-19 Prevention Guidance Plan
- Face Coverings
- Quarantine, Health Screening, and Isolation
- Additional Health and Safety Protocols
- Learning in Quarantine/Isolation
- Blended Learning
- Vaccine Information
- COVID-19 Testing FAQs
- Technology Support
- Building Ventilation & Cleaning Protocols
- Mental Health Services
- Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
- School Meals
- Vendors, Volunteers and Visitors
In following CDC’s updated guidance based on community level spread, Wayzata Public Schools has updated our masking guidance to better align with this guidance.
|Masking optional||Masking optional||Masking recommended|
Wayzata Public Schools may move to masking required should a state or federal executive order require us to do so. Individual sites and/or classrooms may need to enter into short periods of masking depending upon significant levels of transmission within those settings.
People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.
If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease, learn more about how to protect yourself with additional CDC recommendations for each COVID-19 Community Level.
The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess staff, students, volunteers, and other visitor health status prior to entering the school facilities and for staff to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.
- Staff, students as well as parents/guardians are required to self-assess their health status prior to arriving at school facilities.
- If you are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19, you should stay home, and are strongly encouraged to get tested.
- Staff are expected to enter notification of illness and symptoms into Frontline.
- You are advised to contact your healthcare provider. If you are on the district health insurance, there are online care/telemedicine options.
- Families should monitor the health of their children and should keep them at home if they show any COVID-19 related symptoms.
Positive COVID-19 Test
The District has implemented measures according to applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
Schools are required to report positive COVID-19 cases to MDH. Families should notify the school if their child tested positive. Families of students and staff members will be notified if an individual has tested positive in their classroom.
New Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines in Place beginning January 10, 2022
In alignment with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, Wayzata Public Schools will be updating our isolation and quarantine procedures effective Monday, January 10, 2022.
Updated Isolation Information
Shorter isolation periods of 5 days (for asymptomatic and mildly-ill people) will be in place to focus on the period when a person is most infectious. Students and staff who test positive can end isolation after 5 full days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. The 5-day isolation period must start as day 0 being the first day symptoms started OR the day of the positive test if symptoms don’t exist.
Updated Quarantine Information
- If you have tested positive you must isolate from others for 5 full days
- You may return to school/work on day 6 if symptoms are resolving and you have been fever free without use of fever reducing medication for 24 hour
- You MUST wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
- If you are not able to wear a mask, then you must remain in isolation for 10 full days, returning on day 11.
Quarantine of Household Close Contacts
- If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and needs to quarantine following CDC and MDH guidelines, you must remain home for 5 full days, starting from the last day you had contact with the person who tested positive
- You may return to school/work on day 6 if you have a negative molecular COVID-19 test on day 5 or after
- You MUST wear a well-fitting mask on day 6-10 when around others
- If you are not able to wear a mask, then you must remain in quarantine for 10 full days, returning on day 11
Who must quarantine?
- You are ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
- You are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.
Who does not need to quarantine?
- You are ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people
- You are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines
- You had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (you tested positive using a molecular or viral test)
COVID-19 Scenarios to Determine Quarantine/Isolation
|Scenario||Staff & Student Quarantine/Isolation Guideline|
Positive COVID-19 Test
|Minimum of a 5 day isolation or longer if symptoms persist. This is regardless of vaccination status. Shorter isolation periods of 5 days (for asymptomatic and mildly-ill people) will be in place to focus on the period when a person is most infectious. Students and staff who test positive can end isolation after 5 full days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. The 5-day isolation period must start as day 0 being the first day symptoms started OR the day of the positive test if symptoms don’t exist.|
Positive COVID-19 Test of Household Member
|Unvaccinated or have not had COVID-19 in the past 90 days household members need to quarantine for a minimum of 5 full days. They may return on day 6 if they receive a negative molecular or PCR test that is taken on day 5 or after.|
|Have COVID-19 symptoms (for both vaccinated and unvaccinated)||Stay at home, until negative COVID-19 test results, or you receive an alternative diagnosis.|
Quarantine/Isolation of Staff & Students
We will not be quarantining close contacts who were potentially exposed while at school.
Students and staff who came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after their last close contact if they are in one of the following groups:
- People who are ages 18 and older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccines, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
- People who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.
The following are exemptions to quarantine.
- People who are ages 18 and older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
- People who are ages 5–17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
- People who had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
All Wayzata Public Schools will maintain routines for student hand washing with regular reminders regarding covering coughs/sneezes and other respiratory etiquette reminders. The District provides instruction, signage, facilities, and supplies to encourage regular hand washing and sanitizing. This policy is consistent with MDH: Hand Hygiene (www.health.state.mn.us/people/handhygiene/index.html).
- The District continues to encourage staff and students to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER:
- Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Touching your mask
- Entering and leaving a public place
- Using the restroom
- Whenever hands are visibly soiled
- Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens
The District encourages the use of strategies to increase the physical space between staff and students, when reasonable, throughout the school day.
- Maintaining Safe Classroom spaces
- Classrooms may be rearranged to allow for more space between students. We will maintain three feet of distancing as much as possible.
- Wayzata Cafes
- Physical spacing of six feet or greater within our Wayzata Cafes, based on grade level size, can be difficult to maintain. As such, elementary and middle school buildings will be using seating charts to assist in the monitoring of close contacts when necessary.
- We encourage holding staff meetings, training, etc. in a large enough space to accommodate social distancing. Virtual meetings may still be utilized, depending on the size and nature of the meeting.
Cohorting means keeping people together in a small group and having each group stay together throughout an entire day. Cohorting can be used to limit the number of students, teachers, and staff who come in contact with each other, especially when it is challenging to maintain physical distancing, such as among young children, and particularly in areas of moderate-to-high transmission levels.
School principals, teachers and other staff will establish, to the best of their ability and where practical, cohorts of students to minimize the possibility of spread and the burden of contact tracing. Such cohorting is somewhat more attainable at the elementary school level and increasingly difficult in middle school and quite challenging at the high school level due to the wide discrepancy of student academic schedules.
WPS recognizes there will be a need to quarantine students at some point during the 2021-2022 school year. When students need to learn from home during times of isolation (COVID-19 positive) or quarantine (COVID-19 close contact exposure) plans have been established to support students needing to learn from home at each academic level of elementary, middle and high school.
- Students in quarantine/isolation will be provided with activities and materials to continue learning from home with a parent or caregiver.
- If feasible, an optional online learning opportunity will be made available to students during the day.
- Students on individual education programs (IEPs) will have a staff person as a point of contact checking in with them on a case-by-case basis.
- If an entire class is quarantined, the classroom teacher will provide at least one hour per class day of online learning activities for part-day classes and at least two hours of online learning activities per class day for classes that meet over 4 hours.
- On Monday, January 10, 2020 Wayzata Public Schools updated their isolation and quarantine guidelines. In most cases, students are able to return to school after 5 days instead of 14. With these new guidelines, along with the accessibility of COVID-19 vaccinations for all students K-5, isolation and quarantine support will end on Friday, January 14.
- Beginning Tuesday, January 18, 2022 we will support students who are out due to COVID the same way we have traditionally supported students who are out ill for any other reason. Our traditional practices have been to provide students make-up work when they return to school.
- However, if a child is feeling well, but still unable to return due to an isolation or quarantine, we offer this Family Choice Board full of engaging activities.
- Students will be able to access their work through the online student portal of CANVAS. Teachers will be available to support students who are in quarantine/isolation during their daily PLC time. Teachers will be available to work with students either by phone, email, or video conferencing to provide academic support.
- Students will be able to access their work through the online student portal of CANVAS. Teachers will be available to support students who are in quarantine/isolation either before school, after school or during their daily OurTime. Teachers will be available to work with students either by phone, email, or video conferencing to provide academic support.
In their guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, “Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall of 2021 is a priority.”
There are two primary goals for WPS for the 2021-2022 school year as it relates to COVID-19 protocols.
- Ensuring the health and well-being of students and staff.
- Keeping students in school every day throughout the school year.
The focus in keeping students safe, and in school every day will be on mitigation strategies. To assist with mitigation strategies, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) allowed for blended learning to be accessible and implemented by school districts. Wayzata Public Schools applied, and has been approved, for a blended learning model where students learn primarily in the building but (can) receive instruction online for 21% - 50% of their weekly schedule. This blended learning model will only be used for emergency mitigation strategies based on localized data at each school site.
To move into this blended learning model, it is recognized that:
- Instruction during digital learning time will be provided by the student(s) regular teacher(s)
- Instruction is provided to students using evidence-based practices that include regular, teacher-initiated, meaningful interaction between teachers and students
- Instruction will be consistent with the required days and hours of instruction.
The following are answers to frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 testing.
Q: Does the school prefer one type of test over the other (antigen vs PCR) and does this preference change if the child is symptomatic or asymptomatic/exposure only?
A: WPS does not endorse any specific test, but a molecular or PCR test is considered more sensitive and preferred, but an antigen test does have high accuracy when a person is symptomatic. If a person is symptomatic and receives a negative antigen, it is recommended they follow up with a molecular test and remain home while waiting for results.
Q: Does the school require proof of the test result?
A: When an individual has been identified as a close contact, they may return on a shortened quarantine after 7 full days of quarantine only if they show proof of a test negative using a molecular or PCR test. (If a household member tests positive, all individuals must be quarantined for at least 14 days unless they are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days. They are not able to return early even if they receive a negative PCR or molecular test)
Q: Is there rapid testing available at school?
A: WPS does not test students on-site at any of our district locations. Testing sites can be located on the MDH website while we wait on rapid tests families can bring home to use.
Q: If a child tests negative for COVID-19 and is fever free for 24 hours without the assistance of fever-reducing medicines, can they return if other symptoms persist?
A: If a person is symptomatic and receives a negative Covid test, we follow the Hennepin County School and Childcare guidelines for when persons should be excluded from participating.
Q: If a child travels, do they need to quarantine or have a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the classroom? Does this change if the travel is domestic vs international?
A: We ask that all families follow the testing and quarantine guidance as outlined by the MDH and CDC. Wayzata Public Schools follows the MDH travel guidelines.
The district technology team will work closely with teachers and other staff members to ensure students have all of the technology equipment they need for a successful school year. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Students are supported if/when they are in quarantine;
- Students have appropriate access to iPads and software for students that are responsive to their developmental needs and that students know how to use the technology;
- Students have Internet Access at home or through wireless hotspots for home use as needed;
- Staff, students and parents/guardians understand and know how to use student operating systems (Canvas, Seesaw, Google, Zoom, etc.);
- The district is ready for flex solutions to ensure consistency in instructional delivery and maintenance of high expectations; and
- Shared technology spaces and equipment will undergo regular cleaning in labs, etc.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Wayzata Public Schools has established a regular schedule and checklist for cleaning and disinfecting commonly-touched surfaces, shared items, shared equipment, and high traffic areas. District procedures and protocols meet or exceed all CDC, OSHA, and MDH recommendations, including the use of EPA registered cleaning products on all frequently-used surfaces and materials.
Schools will follow the COVID-19 disinfecting protocols developed by the District’s Buildings & Grounds department. Focus will be on cleaning high touch surfaces/areas with our standard cleaning and disinfecting process.
Cleaning supplies available to teachers for cleaning of high touch surfaces in classrooms.
Air and Ventilation Systems
Ventilation is an important factor in preventing COVID-19 transmission indoors. The District has evaluated the operational capacity of indoor ventilation systems and developed a plan to increase and maintain ventilation provided throughout indoor spaces following the guidance of the State of Minnesota and additional recommendations by CDC and ASHRAE (https://www.ashrae.org/).
- Ventilation and filtration efficiency have been increased to the extent possible within the capability of the building systems.
- The intake percentage of outside air is increased to support the dilution of contaminants, and minimize recirculation, whenever possible, while maintaining indoor air conditions.
- All air recirculated in the building, including each individual classroom, is filtered using the highest possible MERV rating filters the system is capable of handling.
- Portable air purifiers with a HEPA filter have been provided to all Health offices for enhanced air filtration.
Since systems are reliant on pressurization to circulate air, windows should not be opened as they will negatively impact the system's ability to properly treat and filter the air.
At Wayzata Public Schools, we work to ensure all students feel a sense of belonging and connection to their school where social-emotional, physical and mental health is nurtured and valued. This continues to be a priority during the pandemic. The following resources and supports are available to students and staff:
- Mental Health Screener: The mental health and well-being of our students are our top priority. As part of the district’s ongoing commitment to providing all students with the support they need, Wayzata Public Schools staff will once again be implementing a screener this fall. This screener will help us gain a better understanding of our students’ mental health and well-being, including identifying students who may be having difficulty with attention, depression/anxiety, or conduct that may have gone unrecognized to this point. This screener will not be used to diagnose students, we are only using it to help us identify which students and families may need additional support.
- Mental Health Support Staff: Our district website lists each building's mental health support professional and all of our staff or the organizations listed may be contacted directly with questions that involve your child's well-being. They will be happy to work with you to meet your child's needs at school, at home, and in the community
- Virtual Calming Room: WPS virtual calming rooms were created to assist students and staff in locating different strategies and tools for managing their emotions.The webpage has easy access to stress-reducing activities, including sounds and music, visual and guided relaxation, brain breaks, journaling, puzzles and games, coloring, stretching and movement, live animal cameras, sensory activities, and iPad apps.
- Relate Counseling: Wayzata Public Schools also has a partnership with Relate Counseling Center to provide co-located mental health services, providing the space for Relate to provide confidential mental health therapy services on-site in each of our schools. School social workers can help families refer students who are in need of Relate services.
- Wellness Tiplines: Through a link on the middle school and high school websites, community members, including fellow students, can identify middle and high school students about whom there are social-emotional concerns. Reports are forwarded to counselors, social workers, and principals for follow-up.
If at any time you have concerns about your child's well-being, please, reach out to your building social worker or counselor. These professionals are there to support you and your child and understand that in order to learn, students need to feel safe. As we return to school many of our students are going through a variety of emotions and may feel an increase in stress and anxiety. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will help our students, the people they care about, and those around them become more resilient.
Effective February 25, 2022, the CDC no longer requires wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs.
In alignment with the CDC guidance, Wayzata Public Schools will no longer require K-12 and Transition students and staff to wear a mask when riding a school bus or other district transportation effective Tuesday, March 1. Although not required, masks are still recommended on school buses, particularly for unvaccinated students and staff and for those with underlying health conditions.
Special Education Students and Programs
Wayzata Public Schools recognizes and acknowledges the unique set of challenges that students with disabilities continue to experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we are responsible for the free and appropriate public education (FAPE) of our students, we remain committed to meeting the requirements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B and Part C.
We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) as we develop our plans.
- IEPs will continue to be implemented.
- Students will receive specialized instruction based upon an individual student’s individual needs to ensure each student receives a free and appropriate education.
- Special Services will communicate with school administrators and educators in order to prepare staff to plan for the needs of students eligible for special education, child find activities, evaluations/ re-evaluations and IEP implementation.
- Wayzata Public Schools may hold in person, virtual meetings, or phone conferences to hold IEP, evaluation, and re-evaluation meetings in accordance with regular due process dates. Please contact Jody Remsing at 763-745-5040 or Jody.Remsing@wayzataschools.org with questions.
Wayzata Public Schools recognizes and acknowledges the unique set of challenges that students with disabilities continue to experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we remain responsible for the free and appropriate public education (FAPE) of our students, we remain committed to meeting the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) as we develop our plans.
- Section 504 plans will continue to be implemented.
- Wayzata Public Schools will communicate (via phone or virtually) with parents and guardians regarding their child’s services, which may include discussion regarding amending 504 plans to address how best to meet the student’s needs.
- Special Services will communicate with school administrators and educators in order to prepare staff to plan for the needs of students eligible for 504 plans, child find activities, evaluations/ reevaluations, and 504 plan implementation.
Please contact Dawn Willson at 763-745-6073 or Dawn.Willson@wayzataschools.org with questions related to Section 504.
- Student meals (breakfast and lunch) will be provided at no charge this year.
- Elementary and middle school students will have assigned seats or tables to support the possible need for contact tracing. High school students will be encouraged to space as much as possible. When possible, students should maintain 3 feet of distance while seated for meals.
- Cafeterias will be cleaned between lunch periods.
Guidelines for Visitors and Volunteers Effective March 7, 2022
As a result of the declining number of local COVID cases, volunteers and visitors will begin to be allowed back into our schools on a limited basis beginning Monday, March 7. Volunteers and visitors are expected to check in at each school’s main office with a valid ID and will receive a personalized badge for their visit. No lunch visits with students will be permitted at this time as we continue to monitor and adjust our layered mitigation strategies. We will continue to review our mitigation strategies on an ongoing basis to determine any future changes.