Our staff worked hard to help us mitigate the pandemic while remaining focused on the important learning work for our students. Owatonna Public Schools remains in our current learning model for all elementary and secondary schools. This decision is based on several pieces of data, including the 14-day county infection rate averages distributed weekly by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). In addition, recommendations from Steele County Public Health are reviewed and considered.
Cases in Steele County: 34.35 per 10,000
Cases reported in Owatonna Public Schools: 7
Cases reported in Owatonna Public Schools are not clustered into any one school or grade level. Social distancing, wearing face coverings/masks, washing hands and cleaning protocols have been important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. When a positive case is reported, families and staff are notified by the school district, MDH or both with information on next steps.
As Owatonna Public Schools continue to work to keep students in school, please do everything you can to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community. We understand the difficulties it places on families when students can’t attend school, but it is very important that we continue working together to minimize the potential spread of the disease in school buildings.
Please keep children home:
- when they are sick. If you’re not sure whether to send them or not, call the school nurse.
- if they are being tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results.
- if someone in your household is sick and is being tested for COVID-19.
Stay informed about current COVID-19 information:
Our district leadership team carefully planned for three learning scenarios: in-person learning, hybrid learning, and distance learning. Mapping out safety procedures, sanitizing and disinfection processes, social distancing protocols, teaching and learning tools, transportation planning, protective equipment for staff and students, food service protocols, technology needs, and most importantly how we will continue to build relationships with students and families. All of this planning was coupled with the feedback collected from many parents, students and staff members regarding our plans and how this may impact them.
Based on this work, we developed a safe learning plan that will allow us to shift between learning scenarios as needed while we:
- Prioritize the safety of students and staff
- Prioritize in-person learning, especially for younger learners
- Consider infectiousness and transmission risk among different ages
Thank you for your support, patience, and understanding as we work to provide Owatonna students with the best - and safest - education possible.
- What is COVID-19?
- How can I help prevent COVID-19 spread?
- When should I stay home?
- If a teacher or staff member tests positive, do all of the students who interact with that teacher or staff member need to stay home and quarantine?
- When does someone need to be tested? Who pays for that?
- Will schools provide testing?
- Will parents be notified when there is a case of COVID-19 in their child's school/classroom?
- What happens on the buses?
- COVID-19 Resources
Please note, this information is based on Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines. Guidelines can and do change frequently (length of time for close contact*, for example) and specific details of a concern/situation/positive result will be examined by MDH on a case by case basis as they arise. District protocol may also be adjusted in the below scenarios, as MDH and CDC update their guidelines.
*Close contact is currently defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset.
Messages from the Superintendent
- August 17, 2020 (with translations)
- August 4, 2020 (with translations)
- June 26, 2020 (with translations)
- May 21, 2020 (with translations)
- May 1, 2020 (with translations)
- April 23, 2020 - English
- April 23, 2020 - Spanish
- April 23, 2020 - Somali
- March 25, 2020 - English
- March 25, 2020 - Spanish
- March 25, 2020 -Somali
- March 15, 2020
- March 13, 2020
- February 28, 2020
Other Messages & Updates
- October 2020 e-Newsletter
- August 6, 2020 e-Newsletter
- August 3, 2020 School Board Meeting
- How Our Schools Are Responding (April 7, 2020)
- April 2020 OPS eNews
Free COVID-19 Test at Home
MDH Home Screening Tool
COVID-19 Attendance Guide
Decision Tree (English)
- Decision Tree (Somali)
- Decision Tree (Spanish)
Owatonna Safe Start Learning Plan (PDF)
Preparedness Plan for the Workplace
Preparedness Plan Video