Dear Richfield Students, Families, Staff and Community,
We have a big week ahead of us. We have an election occurring on Tuesday, where we may see students and families across our community experience significant emotions. We are also in a place where COVID-19 case numbers are rising and approaching a threshold where the Governor and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance suggests some possible changes to our learning model. Also, as a quick reminder, there is no school for students on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Throughout the pandemic, we have been monitoring COVID-19 case rates in Hennepin County—along with numbers in the city of Richfield. According to the state’s Safe Learning Plan, if case rates exceed 30 per 10,000 residents, we should begin planning to move to distance learning at secondary. Elementary has a higher threshold and would be able to stay in our current hybrid model unless case rates exceed 50 per 10,000 residents of Hennepin County.
We do not have any announcements at this time, but we want our families with secondary students to be aware that we are nearing numbers that would cause a change of our learning model and result in a move to full to distance learning for secondary students—including advisory courses. Should this occur, we would likely take a couple of weeks to change our secondary, advisory and athletics to a fully online format.
We know that in-person learning and social interaction lead to better outcomes for students—both academically and socially. But we also need to balance that with protecting everyone’s physical safety.
We also know that change can create stress and anxiety for students and families—change in a learning environment, as well as potential political changes from the upcoming election. If you feel that you or your child need additional support, please reach out to our student support services team. I have included a link to their web page at the bottom of this email.
Please note that, as a public school district, we are not an organization that takes any political stance to promote or endorse any candidate or political party. We are here to support and educate the children of all families. Please know that when students return to school next week, our staff are fully prepared to return to our curriculum, while also making themselves available to talk with students (in a non-partisan way) about any feelings they may have about the election, COVID-19 or any other topics.
We want to thank you for your ongoing support and partnership.
Superintendent Steve Unowsky
Help Keep Infection Rates Low and Schools Open:
- Be sure you always wear a mask when you are with friends and/or out in public.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not an option.
- Stay home when you are not feeling well. Play it safe and help keep your friends and family safe. Even colds and flu are contagious.
District Resources and Information for Families: