Covid 19 Update - January 7

With the Covid-10 Omicron surge continuing to be challenging on many levels, we want to provide you with some brief updates about where we are with continuing to operate in-person school in Hopkins:

  • District-wide, we do have a rising number of positive cases. Our total staff number is a bit higher than 10%. Our student number is just under 5% of our total student population. Clearly, Covid is being brought to our schools. We are closely watching our cases to determine the degree to which Covid may be spreading within any of our classrooms or across any of our schools.

  • As you may know, the state of Minnesota is requiring all employers to require employee vaccination or participation in regular testing. We are currently collecting vaccination information from all Hopkins staff.

  • Also, as you may have heard, the CDC recently reduced its quarantining guidelines from 10 to 5 days, only for people who have no symptoms or whose mild symptoms disappear right away during isolation.

  • Because the Minnesota Department of Health is changing its guidelines to reflect the CDC’s, we are currently making this shift only for staff. Thus, beginning on Monday, January 10, quarantined staff have the option (this is not a mandate) to return to work after 5 days if their lack of symptoms allow it. 

  • We are still reviewing how to proceed with quarantine guidelines for students. We anticipate sharing an update with you early next week after our Covid mitigation team has had an opportunity to carefully review the new guidance and craft a plan. 

  • We have had a handful of requests from elementary families to shift to online learning. Because students need in-person school for their social, emotional, mental health and academic needs to be met, we will continue to work diligently and creatively to continue in-person schooling for our early learning and elementary students. 

  • We’ve also had a few such requests from junior high and high school families, however a high number of 7-12th grade students have opted to stay home this week to avoid Covid transmission. We are fortunate to have the vast majority of junior high and high school instructors utilizing Canvas to post daily announcements and assignments so that students can effectively learn remotely if they choose this as a temporary option.

  • We continue to watch our daily data very carefully. At this time, unless a school experiences school-wide spread or we are completely unable to staff a school, we have no plan to move our district away from in-person learning. School by school, we will monitor staff vacancies and positive cases should a shift be absolutely critical for a whole class or a whole school. Our classrooms and schools are ready for this shift, if needed.

Our teachers, school staff, nurses, bus drivers, nutrition services, Covid mitigation team members, school leaders and so many others are working hard to serve your child(ren). We are grateful for the incredible staff support throughout all of Hopkins!

Thank you for your attention to these important updates. Please stay in communication with us. We appreciate our Hopkins Families so much!

Sincerely,

Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed and Covid Mitigation Team