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Detroit Lakes begins classes today, masks recommended for unvaccinated

All employees, students and visitors who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings. Masks, however, will not be required for any staff or student in the buildings.
All employees, students and visitors who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face...
All employees, students and visitors who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings. Masks, however, will not be required for any staff or student in the buildings.(Detroit Lakes Public Schools Website)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 3:38 AM CDT
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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Detroit Lakes Public Schools students are returning to the classroom today. The school district will be following these protocols as they begin their 2021-2022 school year.

Face Coverings: All employees, students and visitors who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings. Masks, however, will not be required for any staff or student in the buildings. Face coverings are still required on a school bus per federal mandates regarding public transportation.

Physical Distancing: There are no social distancing requirements during the school day or during after school activities, including sports.

Schedules: All students will follow the 2021-22 school calendar. Normal start and end times will be in place and sites will return to their typical days and hours of operation.

Vaccines: The Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC strongly recommends those people 12 years old and older to get a vaccine.

Meals: Students will be eating meals in the cafeteria or commons. DLPS food service and purchasing departments have established material and food procedures that meet the requirements of Minnesota Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Minnesota Department of Education.

Healthy Facilities: HVAC systems will be running at maximum capacity to ensure high air flow and air quality. Cleaning practices continue to support the mitigation of COVID-19. The district will continue to clean and disinfect school buildings and locations on a consistent basis. When custodial staff is unable to provide a deep cleaning of building locations, disinfecting of high touch surfaces will be prioritized. Disinfecting wipes will be provided to classrooms as another disinfecting tool.

Health Screening, Quarantine and Isolation: Self screening for symptoms of illness is a practice that keeps everyone safe. If you are ill, or showing symptoms, stay home and report your symptoms to the District Nurse. We are mandated to report any positive cases to the Minnesota Department of Health. Our current practice regarding someone who is in close contact with a person who is COVID positive is to notify any staff, student or family members of a close contact with a positive case and ask them to monitor their symptoms closely. Students will not be asked to quarantine if they have had close contact.

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: The district will continue to provide hand sanitizer in each classroom and at the entrances of school buildings and frequent handwashing will be encouraged throughout the district.

Accommodations for Children with Disabilities: Parents or guardians of children with disabilities seeking accommodations with respect to health and safety should be in direct contact with their child’s case manager. Accommodations can then be discussed at the team level.

Coordination of State and Local Health Officials: The school district will continue to monitor federal, state, and local guidance in regards to COVID-19 protocols. If direction changes, communication will be provided to our staff and families.

Visitors and Volunteers: Visitors and volunteers who are ill are not to enter a DLPS building. Visitors and volunteers will follow regular protocols when checking in at each school building during the day.

Distance Learning: DLPS will not be providing distance learning for any K-8 student choosing to stay home for the academic day. If families are not comfortable with the protocols that have been set, they are encouraged to seek online placement through an outside agency. Students in 9-12 that are interested in distance learning are encouraged to continue their Laker in our new online high school, Laker Online and can seek information at info@ELakerOnline or 218-844-4761. (Note this contact info is not live until August 9th)

Subject to Change: We will continue to actively monitor our local COVID data to determine strategies necessary to ensure the safety of our students. As in the past, this plan is subject to change at any time due to new state and/or federal mandates regarding COVID.

Fergus Falls and East Grand Forks are among other schools in Minnesota that start today.

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