TCIS Safe Return to Leaning Plan Effective August 2, 2022
On Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 the Minnesota Department of Health released guidance titled Best Practices for COVID-19 Prevention in Schools. The MN Dept. of Health (MDH) encourages schools to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These best practice recommendations reflect the current state of the pandemic as well as the importance of in-person learning. As always, the experts at MDH are continuing to monitor the virus around the state. The MN Dept. of Education (MDE) and Twin Cities International Schools (TCIS) will keep you informed as the situation evolves and the CDC’s guidance is updated throughout the school year.
Twin Cities International Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers, students and visitors. To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, TCIS has developed the following Health & Safety Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All stakeholders are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 and its variants in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our stakeholders. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our school.
- Students will attend school five days a week, in
- TCIS can provide a temporary window of online learning for students in COVID-19 protocol (quarantine or isolation) as necessary, but can not meet the considerable expectations of a full-time online provider. Families who are interested in a full-time online learning option for the 2021-22 school year can find a list of providers on the MDE website
Federal government and MN Rule requirements:
- Face Coverings: All people are required by the CDC to wear face coverings on all indoor public transportation conveyances (airports, public buses, etc…), including school CDC: Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs
- Handling a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19: Minnesota Rule 7070 requires any person in charge of any institution, school, child care facility, or camp to report cases of COVID-19 to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Reportable Disease Rule https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/reportable/rule/index.html
Consistent and correct mask use:
Universal indoor masking* is recommended for all people in the school setting (ages 2 years and older), including teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. *(A face shield may be used in place of a facial mask.)
TCIS School Staff: Masks required while in the school building or on school transportation, regardless of vaccination status
TCIS Students: Masks required while indoors & on school transportation
Visitors/parents to TCIS: Masks required while indoors
In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. However, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission, CDC recommends that people aged 2 years and older who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated. TCIS will allow students and staff to remove their masks during outdoor PE activities and recess.
Staff and Families should conduct a health screening every morning before sending their student to school or the bus stop. School staff will also monitor for symptoms throughout the school day. If your child is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, do not send them to school, even if they are fully vaccinated. Report the absence to your child’s school and the health office or COVID Coordinator will be in touch about next steps.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever greater than or equal to 100.4° F, new onset and/or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell OR at least 2 of the following: sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, new onset of headache, new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose.
Answer the following questions each morning before sending your child to school:
- Did my child recently test positive for COVID-19?
- Does my child have any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed above?
- Did my child have close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19?
If you answered YES to any of the above:
- Do not send your child to school, report your child’s absence, and contact your child’s healthcare provider.
TCIS will continue to create space for social distancing of 3 feet or more to the greatest extent possible.
TCIS will keep students and staff in small groups that stay together as much as possible throughout the day, and limit mixing between groups as much as possible in common spaces (during lunch, bathroom breaks, arrival and dismissal, free periods, recess). Middle School students will be assigned classes in cohorts
Vaccinations, contract tracing and confirmed cases:
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available for individuals 12 years and older. Proof of vaccination will not be required of students or staff to attend school/work. However, vaccination status of school employees and subcontractors will be collected by TCIS. Employees and subcontractors will be asked their vaccination status during the back to school orientation day and are expected to show proof of vaccination to confirm that status. (i.e. vaccination card or photo of card) This documentation will not be kept on file at the school but status information will be maintained in the human resource office.
Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 People who test positive for COVID-19 should stay at home (isolation) until all three of these things are true:
- Their cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better; and,
- It has been at least 10 days since they first felt sick or tested positive: and,
- They have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers
The COVID-19 Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth, and Child Care Programs (PDF) is being used as the guideline to determine the necessary procedures for students.
Close contacts of COVID-19 cases:
To identify close contacts, schools should gather and review the participant’s or staff member’s activity during the time they were infectious at the facility. This review should look back two days prior to the date symptoms started, or two days prior to the date of the positive test if there are no symptoms.
Close contacts include anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
Exception for K-12 indoor classroom settings only:
In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) where:
- both students were correctly wearing well-fitting masks; and
- other K–12 school prevention strategies (e.g., ventilation, cleaning and disinfection, respiratory etiquette and hygiene) were in place in the K–12 school
- This exception does not apply to unvaccinated teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom
Unvaccinated participants and staff who recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home (quarantine) from the program and all other activities until they
meet criteria to return. Fully vaccinated people and those who have had COVID-19 within the past 90-days are not recommended to quarantine, in most situations.
Quarantine and Isolation:
A 14-day quarantine period is recommended Quarantine Guidance for COVID-19:
- The person lives in the same household and is a contact of someone with COVID-19.
- The 14-day quarantine period starts the day after the person with COVID-19 completes their isolation period (usually 10 days from the day their symptoms started, or if they didn’t have symptoms, 10 days from the day they got
- If multiple people in the home have COVID-19, the 14 days start after the last person has completed their This may mean that other household members will need to quarantine for 24 days or more.
A shortened quarantine period may be considered if ALL of the following are true:
- The person has NOT had symptoms of COVID-19 during the quarantine
- The person does NOT live with someone who has COVID-19.
- The person does NOT live or work in a high-risk setting, including a long-term care or assisted living facility, correctional facility, shelter, or other congregate living
- The person does NOT work in a healthcare
The person had a defined exposure, meaning a known exposure with a beginning and an end. Examples could be someone who was exposed:
- At school or a sporting
- During a shift at work or while on
- At a social gathering or event, like a party or
If and only if all of the above conditions are true, quarantine may be shortened to:
TCIS Students: Fourteen (14) days total with a documented negative COVID Test if the test occurred on day ten (10) or later
TCIS School Staff: Seven (7) days with a documented negative COVID Test if the test occurred on day five (5) or later
Other health and safety mitigation strategies:
TCIS has several additional health and safety mitigation strategies in place throughout the school building:
- UVC-Bulbs were installed and are operational throughout the school’s ventilation system
- Portable classroom air filters are available in most larger classrooms and high traffic/ meeting areas (Medify MA-40 Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA Filter)
- Portable hand-washing stations have been placed around the school building
- Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms and offices
- Disinfection and cleaning will continue to occur multiple times a day in bathrooms and high traffic
- Building-wide Disinfecting will take place in the Fall and Winter of the school year and possibly the spring pending need.
- Physical distancing is utilized when available
- Classrooms will be stocked with sanitizing wipes, gloves, and additional face masks
- Students will not be allowed to share devices or materials within the classroom
- Students will be instructed and encouraged to practice personal health hygiene, including covering their cough, washing their hands and staying home when sick
- Health screenings for ill students will take place through the health offices
Supports for K-12 learning:
Twin Cities International Schools will provide a variety of learning opportunities and supports
for students through the 2021-22 school year. These will include regular school year instructional programming and student support services and engagement. In addition, after school and summer school camps and academies are currently in development.
School year instructional programming:
- TCIS will continue to use technology to enhance instruction including software, licensing and hardware.
- Additional technology will continue building on stronger family partnerships including expanded tools for communicating with families.
- Curricular materials will support learning through enhancements, curricular tools and other resources to enhance learning experiences for students. These tools assist in the process of creating engaging lessons, personalized learning and monitoring student academic understanding.
- Masterminds/Intervention time is structured into each school day
Student support and engagement:
- TCIS will provide social emotional learning; increasing equitable services for all students, and competency based learning that foster inclusion.
- TCIS will expand language supports for families.
- TCIS will expand multi-tiered systems of support including academic, behavioral and social-emotional support.
- TCIS will enhance community resources and partnerships as needs change and