By Barbie Porter
The Frazee-Vergas School District announced its COVID-19 safety protocols during its school board meeting on Monday, Aug. 9.
The district requires facemasks while on a bus, as is required by federal mandate.
When it comes to the classroom or in-school, the facemasks are recommended, but not required for the unvaccinated. The decision is in line with the Center for Disease Control, Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education.
Vaccines are not required by the district for students, staff, visitors or volunteers.
Superintendent Terry Karger said the district plan aligns closely with surrounding districts as far as the opening plan for the school year.
Last year the elementary was able to hold in-person learning throughout the year, whereas the high school shifted from distance learning to a hybrid format and back to in person towards the end of the 2021 school year.
The opening plan has elementary and high school students returning to pre-COVID operation. Those in 7-12 grade will resume a seven period schedule, eat lunch in the lunchroom and transition from class to class following a normal schedule.
Special area classes, such as music, art and physical education, will be held in “special area classrooms.”
There will be no physical distancing requirements.
There will be no restrictions regarding drinking fountains or water fill stations.
The district will continue to clean and maintain the facility and routinely clean areas when students and teachers are not occupying a space. It will also run the heating, venting and air conditioning system to maximize air flow and monitor air quality.
As for when the district is notified of a positive COVID-19 case, it is mandated to report the case to the Minnesota Department of Health. The current district practice also notifies staff, students and family members of those who were in close contact with a positive case.
The district asks those coming to the school to self screen for symptoms and if ill, stay home.