Health and Safety Summer Program Guidance for Students and Families
Last updated: 6/24/21
The continued health and safety of our students, their families, and staff are of utmost importance as MPS makes plans for summer programming. This guidance outlines key practices MPS has in place for students participating in its summer programs and is aligned with the Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID - 19 Prevention Guidance for Summer School.
MPS will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 case rate data and consult local and state health officials on its health and safety practices.
Face coverings continue to be required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on public transportation, including school buses.
Students and staff are strongly recommended to wear face coverings inside any MPS building. Staff working apart from others or not in direct contact with students under 12 years of age may choose to make another decision.
Students should bring their own face coverings to school, but face coverings will be provided if they do not have any.
Bus seating will be arranged to maintain 6 feet of distance between the driver and all riders. Seating will be assigned to help with contact tracing in the case of reported COVID infections. Everyone on a school bus or other MPS vehicle will be required to wear a face covering during the entire ride. Vehicles will be disinfected regularly with special attention to high-contact surfaces. Windows and roof vents will be left open when possible to allow for as much ventilation as possible.
Transportation for sick students
If a student becomes ill while at school, they will be provided a ride home if their family is unable to pick them up at school.
While not required, it is still recommended that staff maintain 3 - 6 feet of social distance from younger students. Students younger than 15 will be discouraged from clustering in hallways, common areas and bathrooms.
Students and staff will be kept in small groups that stay together as much as possible throughout the day and from day to day, particularly among student groups who are not currently eligible for vaccination such as elementary students.
Staff will maintain 6 feet of distance between student groups and limit unnecessary mixing between student groups as much as possible such as during lunch, bathroom breaks, arrival and dismissal, free periods, recess, etc.
Symptom checker: When to keep your student home
Every day before school, families should check to see if their student has any symptoms of COVID-19 through MPS’ COVID-19: Daily Home Health Screening tool or the quick Symptom Checker: English, Hmong, Spanish, Somali.
- Students should STAY HOME even if they have ONLY ONE of the symptoms of COVID-19.
- Students should also STAY HOME IF THEY WERE EXPOSED TO A CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE.
MPS will continue with a 14-day quarantine period for unvaccinated students. The Minnesota Department of Health states that a 14-day quarantine remains the CDC’s recommendation for the greatest protection against spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Students will not have to quarantine if Health Office staff can confirm the student meets current MDH guidelines regarding quarantine after COVID vaccination. If a student has completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one dose series) and is exposed, they do not need to quarantine if following are true:
- The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed.
- They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Families should call their school’s health office to share if their student has been told to quarantine AND they are fully vaccinated.
Student COVID-19 Saliva Testing
Students can request a take-home test from the school social worker.
Emotional and mental health support for students
Emotional and mental health support is available throughout the summer for both students in summer programs and even those students not in any program over the summer. If your student is in a summer program at your school, reach out directly to the school and ask to speak to the Mental Health Therapist, School Social Worker or the Licensed School Nurse. If your student is not in a summer program and your school is not a summer program site, please contact the Special Education and Mental Health Supports Department at 612.668.5444.
Hand hygiene practices
Students, staff and visitors will be encouraged to wash and/or sanitize their hands when entering schools and to regularly wash and/or sanitize their hands during the day.
All MPS staff, visitors and volunteers will need to sign in and out every day when entering the school building and grounds in order to follow-up with students, families, staff and visitors if a positive COVID-19 case is discovered.
Student contact tracing will be done through daily attendance and seating charts used in classroom, lunchtime and buses. Students and staff who are identified as needing to quarantine and are in school, will finish out the school day and quarantine will start the next day. Families can pick up their students early, if they are available.
MPS will continue to partner with the Minneapolis Health Department and other community organizations to provide space for vaccination clinics as the vaccines become available for younger children. We will also share vaccination information with families in their home language through school and District communication outlets.
Cleaning and disinfecting sites regularly
Staff from MPS’ Plant Operations will maintain a heightened cleaning and disinfecting schedule for rooms being used for summer programs and will follow a strict schedule for cleaning classroom, offices, restrooms, halls and main stairwells, emptying trash bins, gym floors, and locker rooms.
Water fountains will not be in service
For health reasons, water fountains will continue to be out of service during summer programs. Each building has at least one water bottle filler, but students are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles each day.
Schools will continue to follow the air quality practices that were in place during the school year. Ventilation systems will be one two hours before and two hours after when students and staff arrive and leave school. Ventilation systems will continue to operate with the highest-rated filters (MERV 11- 14). For classrooms not served by a ventilation system that has MERV 14 capacity, HEPA filters will be used.
Visitors and volunteers
MPS staff, visitors, volunteers and outside organizations are expected to check in/check out every day from any MPS building so that follow-up communications can be provided if a positive COVID-19 case is discovered.