As you may have heard in Governor Walz’s announcement this week, he is loosening restrictions related to COVID-19 effective Memorial Day weekend. While this is good news, we want to remind you that the pandemic is not over and case rates continue to be high in Hennepin County. Please continue to follow best practices like regularly washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, etc. Here is additional guidance from the State of Minnesota.
- Health screening, isolation and quarantine
- Hand hygiene practices
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Indoor facilities, utilities, and ventilation
- Additional COVID-19 Mitigation Practices
- Continuity of Services
Richfield Public School District is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff, students, parents/guardians, and visitors. To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, Richfield Public School District has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrators and workers are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our workers and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplaces.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by Dr. Steve Unowsky, Superintendent, who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, administration and staff are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Richfield Public School District’s administrators and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this plan.
Our staff are our most important assets. Richfield Public School District is serious about safety and health and protecting our staff. Staff involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our staff in this process by: Gathering input from all bargaining units, soliciting input on the processes and modifying plans to improve processes and protocols. The district also posted the plan on the district website that provided opportunity for public comment.
Richfield Public School District’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the COVID-19 Universal Guidance for All Businesses and Entities developed by the state of Minnesota, available at the Stay Safe Minnesota website, which is based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders as well as Federal ESSER requirements. The following requirements must be addressed, but each entity is encouraged to consider additional recommendations and adopt additional requirements that appropriately address COVID-19 mitigation strategies the business deems necessary.
- Health screening, isolation, and quarantine
- Hand hygiene practices
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Indoor facilities, utilities, and ventilation
In addition this plan addresses
- Continuity of services for students and staff
Staff have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess staff, student, and other visitor health status prior to entering any district building and for staff to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms. Richfield Public School District has also developed a plan to advise staff, students, parents/guardians and other visitors to leave the facility if their responses to health screening indicate they have tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have been identified as a close contact.
Student and staff home screening (before leaving home):
Parents/guardians/staff are asked to take their (child’s) temperature before coming to school and confirm that the child/staff does not have fever, new onset shortness of breath or cough or any other of the following symptoms associated with COVID-19 or had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed COVID-19.
Make a visual inspection of your child/self for signs of illness which could include any of the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If these or any other illness symptoms are present, do not send your child to school and staff should not go to work.
Richfield Public School District has implemented measures to ensure that sick or COVID-19 positive staff and/or students isolate until they are no longer infectious, according to applicable MDH guidance. Visit If You Are Sick: COVID-19. If a staff person becomes symptomatic while at work they will be sent home and will be excluded according to MDH and district guidelines.
If a student is symptomatic at school:
- Student will be isolated.
- Health Service staff will assess the student.
- Student will be masked.
- Student will be excluded according to MDH and District guidelines (see the MDH: Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms in Youth, Student, and Child Care Programs)
- A parent/guardian/emergency contact will be asked to pick a child up from school if unable to continue the day due to illness. Return to school allowance will be according to the guidelines referenced above.
- Materials that will go to parents/guardians:
Richfield Public School District has also implemented a policy consistent with CDC and MDH guidance for identifying and communicating with staff, students, and parents/guardians of students who may have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 at their school and/or workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. See Close Contacts and Tracing: COVID-19 and Quarantine Guidance for COVID-19.
If a student or staff member is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive:
- RPS COVID-19 Program Coordinator and the building or program administrator will be informed.
- Site Health Service staff will be alerted
- Student will be excluded and excused according to MDH, Hennepin County, and District guidelines.
- Staff exclusion guidance will be directed by RPS Human Resources.
- Minnesota Department of Health Regional Support Team will be contacted to verify investigation, advise on notifications, and recommend communication
- RPS staff will cooperate with Regional Support Team on close contact identification, notification, and communication
- RPS site/program staff will coordinate notification and communication plans
- Students identified as close contacts by Regional Support Team/MDH will be excused per MDH guidance.
- A notification of close contacts of the student or staff will be sent to those families and staff to alert them of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19.
Linked below is the district’s COVID-19 Positive Case of COVID-19 Protocol.
Richfield Public School District has implemented a policy to provide instruction, signage, facilities, and supplies to encourage regular hand washing and sanitizing. This policy is consistent with MDH: Hand Hygiene.
- Hand-washing will be taught and reviewed (Hand-washing video link). This method to be used in classrooms and bathrooms and any other areas where hand cleansing is required prior to or after certain activities (e.g. prior to food preparation, after a clean-up incident).
- Hand sanitizer will be available for use when hand-washing is inaccessible.
Richfield Public School District has implemented a regular schedule and checklist for cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces (workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, doorknobs, etc.), shared items, shared equipment, and high traffic areas. Richfield Public School District will continue to perform other routine environmental cleaning according to established schedules and procedures. Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications, and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product. This policy is consistent with CDC: Cleaning Your Facility and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) List N for products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.
- General Classroom Cleaning (Mealtime and anytime else needed)
- Trigger spray provided per classroom with mild soap and water
- Teacher to spray each desk and counter
- Student or teacher to wipe down desk with provided paper towel
- End of Day Procedures
- Teacher and students to clean each desk, chair, counter and high touch areas
- Where possible place chairs upside down on desks or tables
- Pick up large items from the floor
- Empty classroom waste baskets in large waste container in hallway
- Custodian will disinfect surfaces, vacuum floors and empty hallway receptacles
- Additional intensive cleaning on non-student days
- Facilities staff schedule and locations adjusted to address cleaning needs
Richfield Public School District has evaluated the operational capacity of indoor ventilation systems and developed a plan to increase and maintain ventilation provided throughout indoor spaces. Steps will be taken to increase the intake percentage of outside air to increase dilution of contaminants, and minimize recirculation, whenever possible, while maintaining indoor air conditions. In the absence of effective mechanical ventilation, steps will be taken to increase natural ventilation as much as possible, including opening windows when possible and safe. This plan is consistent with applicable Stay Safe Industry guidance, and Richfield Public School District has consulted the resources in applicable industry guidance and others, as necessary, in developing this plan.
Wold Architects and Engineers reviewed the district’s facilities.
- Through recent construction projects our systems have been tested to be assured that they are optimally performing.
- Ventilation and filtration efficiency has been increased to the extent possible within the capability of the building systems and all air recirculated in the building, including each individual classroom, is filtered.
- Continually working to improve the performance of the building systems to ensure they meet or exceed industry requirements. A typical classroom exchange rate, based on supply air delivered to the room, averages 6-8 air exchanges per hour.
- Increasing fresh air intake as part of the system settings
- Reviewing impact of open windows/open doors and personal air purifiers
Address additional COVID-19 mitigation practices as needed. Businesses are strongly encouraged to consider the recommendations in Stay Safe industry guidance, as well as other relevant guidance from the CDC, MDH, OSHA, and other relevant federal, state, and local authorities. In addition to all above measures, Richfield Public School District implements the following mitigation practices.
Mask wearing (Summer 2021)
- All people, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, must wear face coverings on district transportation vehicles.
- Any individual (student, staff or visitor) who is not fully vaccinated must wear a mask when in a district building.
- Students in PreK-grade 8 are required to wear masks, and staff working with students in PreK-grade 8 are encouraged to wear masks.
- Masks are optional for students in grades 9 – 12 and staff members if they are fully vaccinated.
- School Board Policy 548: COVID-19 Face Covering describes the accepted face coverings, correct wearing of face coverings, and all additional relevant details.
- Mask guidance will be reviewed in August 2021.
- All eligible individuals, staff, students and community members are encouraged to get vaccinated. Below is a link to use to find vaccination sites.
- Below is the location and contact information on a no-cost community site
- Bloomington - Mall of America
Bloomington, MN 55425
- Bloomington - Mall of America
- Door signage with masking requirements and restricting access if symptomatic
- Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations will be restricted from entering district buildings.
- Plexiglass panels at all customer facing desks
- Encourage/require water bottles (no drinking fountains)
- Some areas provided with additional plexiglass panels for student/teacher use
- No shared school supplies
- Staff self-monitor social distancing and not congregate in lounges, hallways, offices, etc.
During the 2021-2022 school year, families will have an option of a hybrid learning model where students will be able to access the majority of their learning virtually. All students grades preK - 12+ will have this as a learning option. Families of students who are at increased risk of severe illness (including those with special healthcare needs) or who live with people at high risk may choose to access this learning option.
- Meals will be available for pick up on Wednesdays from June 16- August 25, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. at Richfield High School.
Support mental health and wellness
- The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a tremendous amount of stress, fear, and anxiety for many people. It’s important that Minnesotans have access to the mental health care resources they need to stay well during this challenging time. Schools can play an important role in helping students and staff cope, access needed resources, and build resilience.
- For Employees:
- For Families:
Training and information is provided for all of the above protocols and procedures to staff in written communication and/or in person training.
A cloth or paper mask, scarf, bandana, gaiter or religious face covering that covers the mouth and nose. Whichever you choose, please ensure that there are two layers of fabric. If you are wearing a gaiter/bandana with only one layer, please fold it over to create two layers. Gaiters/bandanas are not recommended.
Only a clear face shield that extends below the chin in the front, to the ears on the sides and with no gap between the forehead and the headpiece may be used in certain specific circumstances.
Face Covering DoesNot Mean
- Any mask or other item that includes a valve, hole, gaps or openings to facilitate easier breathing, or is made of a mesh material.
- Safety goggles that cover only the eyes or only the eyes and nose.
- A face shield
Face Coverings Are Required For:
- Students in PK through grade 8 whenever they are indoors in any RPS building
- Any individual (student, staff or visitor) in any RPS building who is not fully vaccinated
- Anyone on RPS buses and vans
Face Coverings Are Not Required For:
- Students in grade 9 and above if fully vaccinated
- Individuals when they are eating or drinking, as long as social distancing is maintained
- Individuals who are outside
- Students when they are participating in indoor activities involving playing musical instruments (if the instrument cannot be played while wearing a face covering), as long as social distancing is maintained
- Individuals who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a developmental, medical or behavioral health condition and a medical exemption has been approved
- Students with an IEP/504 receiving specialized instruction or service where wearing a face covering is problematic, as long as social distancing is maintained
- Students who are participating in athletics competitions may temporarily remove their face covering during competitive gameplay. However, students must keep their face covering on when not actively playing (on the bench) and at all other times, including practice and warm-ups.
How to Make Your Mask More Comfortable
- If it bothers your ears, you can get a headband with buttons, a plastic “ear-saver” or hook it around pigtails.
- You can purchase a mask that ties in the back of the head instead of looping over the ears.
- If your mask doesn’t fit tightly enough, try tying a knot in each ear strap.
- If your glasses fog up when wearing the mask, try folding a small piece of tissue and setting it between your nose and the top of the mask.
Care & Disposal
- Never share or trade your face covering with someone else!
- Make sure you have a safe place to put your face covering when you take it off outside or to eat or drink so that it does not get mixed up with someone else’s.
- The same face covering can be worn throughout the school day unless it becomes dirty or wet, in which case it should be replaced with a new, clean one.
- Masks should be washed each day. You can put in the regular laundry on the warmest appropriate setting for the type of cloth or hand wash it with soap and hot water, then hang it to dry overnight.
- Used disposable masks should be thrown away.
- Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that makes it unreasonable to maintain a face covering.
- Children who are under 2-years-old should never wear a face covering.
Students who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a developmental, medical or behavioral health condition may be exempt from wearing a face covering. An exemption form must be signed by a parent/guardian and a medical authority. A medical authority includes a medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, physician assistant or nurse practitioner (a person licensed to write prescriptions in Minnesota). The most common accommodation would be to wear a face shield instead.
At Richfield Public Schools, we are implementing passive health screening. Passive health screening is one option for student health screens on arrival at school that is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This screening allows students and staff to efficiently and safely enter school spaces and engage in learning.
Visual and verbal screens will occur as students enter the classroom and throughout the day by teachers and staff. Students who appear and/or report being ill will be isolated in a designated school area for further assessment, following guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health and Hennepin County Epidemiology.
Before your child leaves for school, we are asking parents/guardians to take their child’s temperature and confirm that they do not have any of the more common symptoms: fever of 100.4 F or higher, new onset and/or worsening of a cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, or any other of the following symptoms associated with COVID-19 or had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed COVID-19. Note that any of these less common COVID-19 symptoms alone or in combination may be a sign of COVID-19 or another illness.
- Sore throat
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Muscle pain
- Excessive fatigue
- New onset of severe headache
- New onset of nasal congestion or runny nose
Make a visual inspection of your child for signs of illness which could include flushed cheeks, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing (without recent physical activity), or fatigue.
If these or any other illness symptoms are present, do not send your child to school.
On-site summer school will be located at Richfield STEM Elementary from June 21-July 22. This program is for students finishing grades K-4 and offers both academic and enrichment programming. The schedule will run Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (no school Fridays). Breakfast and lunch will be served. You can find detailed information on our Summer Programs page.
On-site summer school will be located at Richfield STEM Elementary from June 21-July 22. This program is for students finishing grades 5-7 and offers fun, hands-on math, language arts and social emotional learning. The schedule will run Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (no school Fridays). Breakfast and lunch will be served. You can find detailed information on our Summer Programs page.
On-site summer school will be located at Richfield High School from June 21-July 22. This program is for students finishing grades 9-12 and offers independent study with online courses, supported by a licensed teacher. Credit recovery options are available. The schedule will run Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (no school Fridays). Breakfast and lunch will be served. You can find detailed information on our Summer Programs page.
|Building||Cases in the last 14 Days||Total Since 9/18/20|
This list is updated every Friday. Last updated on 7/23/21 at 2 p.m.
MN Department of Health Resources
- Home Screening Tool for COVID-19 Symptoms
- COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families (PDF)
- Free saliva testing locations and home testing kits
- Tips and Resources for Children and Parents During COVID-19
- Decision tree for people with COVID-19 symptoms (Somali) (Spanish)
- What to do if you're waiting for COVID-19 test results
- What to do if you've had close contact with a person with COVID-19
We are excited to share with you the plans for the expanded hybrid programs at the secondary level. Hybrid learning students in grades 6-12 will be able to attend in person four days per week. Distance learning is still an option for all students.
We would like to share with you the plan to expand our in-person program for elementary students. Starting on Wednesday, March 17, all elementary students who have been on a waitlist for hybrid/in-person learning will be able to attend school five days per week.