COVID-19 FAQs

Farmington Area Public Schools 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Last update: May 13, 2021


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Are face coverings still required in ISD 192 buildings and busses?

Face coverings will be required in ISD 192 buildings and on school transportation through June 4, 2021. On May 13, 2021, Governor Walz announced an end to the statewide mask requirement, in light of recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask. Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors and schools are still required to follow the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan for the remainder of the school year. One requirement of the MN Safe Learning Plan is that “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.”

What health and safety measures will ISD 192 implement at the secondary level to comply with the February 17 update to the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan in order ?

  • Maintaining 6 feet of distance whenever possible.
  • Maintaining 3 feet of distance if 6 feet is not possible.
  • Seating documentation of meal times; Create as much space as possible during meal times.

What health and safety measures will ISD 192 implement to comply with the December 17th update to the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan?

  • Implement a rolling start with learners gradually re-introduced back into buildings. — Only 3 grades can be introduced into a building at a time. — 2 weeks are required between adding additional grade levels to buildings.
  • Execute bi-weekly COVID-19 testing program for staff (staff participation is optional)
  • Staff present in school buildings are required to wear a face shield in addition to their face coverings when interacting with others (learners and staff). The face shield should cover the forehead, extend below the chin anteriorly and to the ears laterally. In addition, MDH recommends for optimal protection, there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.
  • Face coverings must be worn by learners when engaging in indoor physical activities.
  •  When possible add a clear barrier between learners and adults for small group and individual instruction when staff cannot be 6 feet from learners.
  • For all early learning and elementary all meals may be eaten in the cafeteria if 6 feet of physical distancing can be maintained, otherwise meals must be eaten in classrooms.
  •  Physical education class may continue to be held indoors, outside of individual classrooms, so long as students and staff are wearing face coverings.
  •  Elementary specialists may be held outside of individual classrooms if they are able to follow the specific guidance around music activities and art classes.
  • For in-person models three feet of physical distancing is strongly recommended between learners during primary instruction.
  • Elementary learners remain in classroom pods throughout the school day — Student support programs such as special education, EL, and counseling may continue to pull students from their primary classroom in order to provide these essential support services.
  • Staff maintain six feet of physical distancing from learners whenever possible.
  • Staff maintain six feet of physical distancing from other staff.

How many ISD 192 students/staff have confirmed cases of COVID-19? How many are in quarantine? 

Please see our COVID-19 Dashboard for information about COVID-19 cases in ISD 192.


Where can learners and families find support and assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Please see our Community Resources page for assistance with food, health, housing, technology, employment, childcare and more. Dakota County also has many resources available on their website. 


Does ISD 192 offer in-person, hybrid, or distance learning?

Based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education, Farmington Area Public Schools began the 2020-2021 school year in a hybrid learning model


Based on the guidance given by the MDH and MDE, the learning model may change over the course of the school year. You can learn more about learning model changes here.

Families may choose to opt into Farmington Academy, our full-time distance learning program, by contacting their school office. Click here to learn more about Farmington Academy.

What about school attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic (and related questions such as "When must my child stay home?" and "What if my child has close contact with someone with COVID-19?" and "Should I get my child tested?")?

 

The Minnesota Department of Health has a clear and comprehensive COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families that addresses these questions and more.

As a reminder all families must complete a Daily Health Screening prior to sending learners to school.

If your learner has had a COVID-19 test and is awaiting results, they (and any learners in the household) cannot attend school or any activities until the building nurse or building administrator has verified they are medically cleared to return. Please see the linked resource for additional information from MDH regarding What to do While You Wait for a COVID-19 Test Result. If it is determined that a learner must quarantine or isolate the building nurse or building administrator will help determine the date of return.

 

What about middle school and high school athletics? 

Decisions about Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) events are being made by MSHSL. Winter athletics are happening with health and safety measures in place. Please see the MSHSL website for details.


What Community Education and Childcare options will be available in the fall of 2020? 

Kid Connection will offer our families a program that fits the health and safety guidelines, the staff to student ratios, and the classroom space mandates provided by MDH and MDE. We are asking families to sign up for all three options, In-Person, Hybrid,and the Distance Learning, starting August 5th, so that we have the ability to seamlessly switch between models when needed with minimal disruption. In a Hybrid model participants may register for the before, after, and midday for their assigned cohort distance learning days, flex learning days, and non-school days that fit their family’s schedule. In a Distance Learning model, participants may register for before, midday, or after school options, as well as the non-school days, that best fits their family’s schedule. Different fees for each section will apply. Registration will be available at: www.farmingtonkidconnection.com starting August 5th.

Stepping Stones preschool care program will offer childcare Mon-Fri, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Meadowview, North Trail, Riverview, and TLLC (Tiger Legacy & Learning Center). Registration is currently open at www.farmingtonsteppingstones.com

Youth Enrichment opportunities will be available to support youth. Staff are working on creative and innovative classes and experiences to support youth this fall. Classes will be continuously added and shared via digital newsletters, social media and our website at www.farmingtonCE.com. Watch for flex day opportunities as well as other days when needs may arise. If you have any questions please reach out to youthenrichment@farmington.k12.mn.us and our youth enrichment team would be happy to help.

Wee Tigers Preschool will be in the same model as elementary schools. During Hybrid Model classrooms will be limited to 50%. Cohorts will be assigned to families with 50% of the time spent in the classroom and 50% distance learning. If directed these students will participate in Distance Learning. For families looking for consistency a remote learning option is also available for families that want their Pre-K learner to have a preschool experience without leaving their home. Learners that participate in the Wee Tigers Online Academy will have 100% distance learning. Registration is available at  www.WeeTigers.com.

Dakota Prairie Adult Basic Education offers free classes taught by talented, licensed teachers for adults looking to earn their GED or improve their English language skills. Evening classes are held in the TLLC. Distance learning opportunities are also available. Go to dakotaprairieabe.com for more information. 


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. COVID-19 presents a range of illnesses. While many cases may be mild to moderate with symptoms similar to colds and flu, some cases may be more severe. The risk of severe illness seems to be higher for older people and those with underlying health conditions. There are still things we do not know. 


What should I do if I or someone in my family has COVID-19 symptoms?
The Minnesota Department of Health has provided a Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms in Youth, Student, and Child Care Programs (linked here)

  • What if we need to quarantine? If your family needs to quarantine, your student will continue to be supported in their learning by their assigned teachers.  

What if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school or program? In the event of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school or program, Farmington Area Public Schools will follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines detailed here. 

What is Farmington Area Public Schools doing about COVID-19?

As recommended by the Minnesota Department of Healthy (MDH), the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Farmington Area Public Schools has increased focus on cleaning and disinfecting, implemented social distancing practices, and, as of July 25, 2020, per the Governor's Executive Order 20-81, require face coverings in all indoor spaces, unless alone. For additional details, please see the Farmington Area Public Schools COVID-19 Pandemic Plan.


What about traveling outside the area? 

We request that families be aware of, and comply with, the recommendations of the CDC with regard to travel abroad. If families choose to travel outside the country, the CDC recommends a 14-day self-imposed quarantine. School districts do not have authority to impose or monitor quarantines for individual students or families but request that families comply with these recommendations.


What actions should we take to protect our family?

The Minnesota Department of Health indicates that following these basic good health practices is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family:

— Make sure to cover coughs and sneezes.

— Encourage frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Model frequent hand washing in your home and workplace.

— Keep children home from school until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

— Stay home from work if you are sick.

— If you plan to go to the doctor with flu-like symptoms, please call ahead so the clinic can be prepared for your arrival.

Additionally, you may take this opportunity to review your family’s own emergency plans. Think about backup plans for childcare if school is temporarily closed or if parents, children, or a childcare provider is sick. Think about necessary items to have at home, including prescription medication (check your refill dates), and non-prescription medications, such as fever-reducing medications.


How do we talk with our children about COVID-19?

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has prepared guidance for parents to talk with their children about COVID-19.

Read the NASP guidance in English

Read the NASP guidance in Spanish


How does Farmington Area Public Schools stay up-to-date about COVID-19?

Student and staff health and safety is a top priority. We are monitoring developments closely and receive strong support from our partners at the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education. Farmington Area Public Schools is following the guidance of these and other state agencies.


Further Questions

If you have questions about infectious diseases, please call the Minnesota Department of Health at (651)201-5414.


If you have questions about Farmington Area Public Schools’ preparation for COVID-19, please contact the Office of the Superintendent at (651)463-5013. 


Additional Resources:

Minnesota Department of Health resources:

— In English: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basics.pdf

— In Spanish: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basicsspanish.pdf

— In Somali: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basicssomali.pdf



Previous Messages Sent to Families:

From the 2020-2021 School Year: 
January 5, Elementary Learning Model Update

November 13, Upcoming Transition to Distance Learning November 6, Learning Model Update October 27, Hybrid Schedule Update & COVID-19 Outlook October 14, Fall Update from Superintendent Berg September 11, Food Service Update, Fall 2020 September 4, Important Health Reminders August 5, School Begins in Hybrid Model

July 31, Fall Learning Update 

July 24, Hybrid Learning Options - Your Feedback Requested

July 21, Optional Distance Learning

July 15, Back to School Planning - Your Feedback Requested


From the 2019-2020 School Year:

April 23, 2020 - Schools Closed for Remainder of Year

2019-2020 Superintendent Video Updates (Every Friday, Beginning April 3)

March 25, 2020 - Distance Learning to Begin March 30

March 17, 2020 - Resources for Families 

March 16, 2020 - Meals and Childcare (March 17-20) 

March 16, 2020 - Update on School Closing March 17-20

March 15, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 10, 2020 

February 28, 2020