Safe Learning Spaces
Preventing the spread of COVID requires a collaborative approach that relies on everyone - students, staff and the community - to be diligent. Helping to keep schools open and safe for everyone is the collective responsibility of all who occupy the building. We must all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By following the guidance of MDH we are building a model with a strong preventive approach. Doing just one thing isn’t effective, our approach is multilayered.
**Indicates Feb. 17, 2021 updates to state's Safe Learning Plan.
Face Coverings Required
Edina Public Schools complies with State Executive Orders that require face coverings. Each student, employee or other person present inside a district building or using district transportation vehicles is required to wear a face covering. Policy 308, App. I
There are a number of reasons that may exempt a student from the face covering requirement. Decisions regarding exemptions are made within guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, and in collaboration with Student Support Services and school Administration. When a student is exempt from wearing a face covering, additional precautions are implemented to ensure the safety of students and staff in the classroom space.
**Weekly COVID Testing
- School leaders are directed to strongly recommend to their students and families that are learning in-person or in a hybrid learning model to receive a COVID-19 test every two weeks. Families can find locations for free COVID-19 testing on MDH’s website.
Personal Safety Protocols at School
- Face covering: All students, staff and other people present in school buildings and district offices or riding on school transportation vehicles are required to wear a face covering. Policy 308, App. I
- Face coverings should not be placed on anyone under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance, or anyone who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a developmental, medical or behavioral health condition.
- Face coverings worn at school are subject to Board Policy 504, Student Dress and Appearance.
- Cover a cough - When you sneeze or cough, sneeze into your face covering or mask. It is important to still sneeze into your elbow with the face covering on.
- Wash your hands regularly - preferably with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer. Wash especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food.
Social Distancing at School
- To maintain social distancing during arrival and dismissal, traffic patterns will be adjusted.
- Students will not be allowed to congregate in common areas.
- Social distance will be maintained in common spaces such as hallways, restrooms, media center, entry lobbies.
- We will monitor hallways, entryways and other areas and adjust protocols as needed to maximize distancing.
Parents/Guardians in Schools
Schools are closed to visitors and volunteers. Parents and guardians who arrive to pick up a student, or for a designated meeting, should buzz the monitor in the vestibule. In addition:
- Wear a face covering;
- Use hand sanitizer found in the vestibule;
- Review the screening form posted in the vestibule.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers in building vestibules for use by visitors;
- Plexiglass barriers at service desks and high traffic areas, such as front desks;
- Floor markings to indicate proper social distancing;
- Drinking fountains are off, water bottle fill stations continue to operate.
- All financial transitions will be contactless, meaning payments will be accepted on the Portal fee payment option only. (No cash or checks.)
**Change in physical distancing:
- Early learning and elementary schools:
- Three feet of physical distancing or more between students is strongly recommended.
- Develop and keep students and staff in small cohort groups that stay together as much as possible throughout the day and from day to day.
- Limit mixing between cohort groups as much as possible (e.g., during lunch, bathroom breaks, arrival and dismissal, free periods, recess).
- Middle and high schools:
- Students must maintain six feet of physical distance from one another throughout the school day whenever feasible
- When six feet of distancing cannot be met, a minimum of three feet of physical distance between students must be maintained.
- Students will not share items such as technology, books, toys, learning aids.
**Mealtime mitigation for middle and high schools only:
- Required: Daily documentation of lunchroom seating is required to support contact tracing in the event of an exposure.
- Strongly recommended: Six feet of distance should be maintained between students during mealtimes whenever possible. When six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained, schools must create as much space as possible between students.
- Strongly recommended: Cohorting smaller groups of students for mealtimes with six feet of distance.
If a student is unable to social distance, the student must wear a mask. If students temporarily remove their face covering they must maintain their social distance from others. Face coverings need to be worn in the hallways on the way to the playground and put back on before re-entering the building.
Students will wash hands before returning to classrooms as fixed playground equipment is not cleaned.
- EPS follows MDH recommended regimen using Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectant and green seal certified cleaning agents.
- Classroom surfaces will be cleaned using Suprox, a green-certified hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner, daily and as needed.
- Mechanical systems are set to maximize fresh air intake, with increased run times.
- Building air filters are set for maximum filtration.
- HEPA filters are in place in the following locations: all elementary full, in-person classrooms and other educational spaces; all Health Services Offices; selected secondary hybrid learning spaces.
- Edina Public Schools air and ventilation systems meet Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control standards.
EPS has the following protocols in place at all district sites to monitor for illness and manage suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. For more details about protocols, visit the EPS COVID-19 Monitoring page.
Students and staff should self screen for symptoms of COVID-19 EVERY DAY before coming to school. Click on the header to view the self-screening protocols. Visit our At-Home COVID Screening for Students and Staff page for printable PDFs for you to keep handy at home.
Bring to School Every Day
- Filled water bottle
- Wear a face covering, bring an extra
- Lunch (if not having school lunch)
- Be sure to label all of the above with your name!
*Secondary students: Wear your lanyard with ID
Elementary schools prohibit nuts, nut products
This year, all elementary students will be eating lunch and snacks in their classrooms. To ensure a safe dining experience for all students, foods with peanuts and tree nuts cannot be brought to school. We need your help to keep everyone safe. READ MORE
We all play an important role in keeping schools open throughout the coming year. What we do and where we go outside of the school day can have an impact not only on your own health, but on the health and safety of other students and staff, and on our ability to keep schools open. Please review the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidance on how to Protect Yourself and Others from COVD-19.
MDH: About COVID-19