12-21-2020 Message to Families

STMA Parents:

The purpose of this communication is to provide you with an update regarding the December 17 communication that was sent to you.

Last week Governor Walz issued the new Executive Order 20-103 and announced a plan to prioritize in-person instruction for elementary students via a phased approach beginning January 18, 2021. On December 17 we shared the Safe Learning Plan with you and asked for your help advocating for changes to mandates in the plan that were not in the best interest of STMA students. Today, MDE shared an updated Safe Learning Plan that has many of the changes that were part of our advocacy.

  • Students can eat in cafeterias as long as six feet of social distancing can be maintained.*
  • Students can travel to specialist classes such as art, music, and PE, as well as small student support group sessions outside of the classroom.*
  • Two planning days for teachers are not required since we were in-person at the start of the school year.* 
  • No more than three grade levels (i.e. grades 1, 2, 3) are permitted in a school when beginning to phase into a face-to-face model. A hybrid learning model can continue while implementing a phased approach to in-person learning.*
  • Grade four students can remain in the hybrid learning model when we transition PK-3 to in-person on January 19.* 
  • Staff must wear both a face mask and face shield but exception exists for staff working with students when seeing lips is necessary.*
  • Staff will be provided an opportunity to take a COVID-19 test every other week, which will be facilitated by a Minnesota Service Cooperative.
  • Strict social distancing requirements (i.e. 6 feet) no longer apply to students in grades PK-4 in an in-person learning model. To mitigate risk, we will continue to follow the safety protocol we currently have in place.
  • Students must wear face coverings while engaging in indoor physical activity such as indoor recess and PE.

*Denotes change from mandates issued last week. 

Please see below for an updated timeline for grades PK-4 based on the updates released today.

  • January 4, 2021: Hybrid learning model resumes after winter break for students at Albertville Primary, Fieldstone Elementary, and St. Michael Elementary. Students at Big Woods Elementary move to a hybrid learning model (see page four of FAQ).
  •  January 18, 2021: Previously scheduled professional development day. No school for all students PK-12.
  • January 19, 2021: Students in grades K-3 will be in-person and attend school five days per week.
  • January 19, 2021: Students in grade 4 will continue in a hybrid learning model through January 29. That means in-person school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and distance learning on Wednesdays, January 20 and 27.
  •  February 1, 2021: Students in grade 4 will be in-person and attend school five days per week.
  • Students who are in distance learning by choice are not impacted by this announcement.
  • Bright Beginnings preschool students are not impacted by this update. Preschool students will continue with their current schedule.

In closing, thank you for your continued support, grace, and advocacy. I am incredibly proud of our partnership as we continue to put students first and work towards creating a better tomorrow for our students. I hope the upcoming winter break is full of joy, rejuvenation, and many memorable moments.


Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault

STMA Superintendent