1640 Hwy 2 Two Harbors, MN 55616 | Phone: (218) 834-8201

A Letter From Principal Archer

Minnehaha Family,

What a crazy couple of weeks. We all knew COVID variants could impact us, but it really had an impact on our school this past week. We went from one COVID case to nine in one week!  We started with an attempt to make learning as normal as possible this year and we learned a few things these past two weeks.  We are making some adjustments to how we operate in order to ease the number of students being quarantined and further mitigate COVID spread.  Here are some changes coming starting Monday. Masking and other changes have been put into place to prevent distance learning. We do not want to go in this direction. Working together I am very hopeful we can avoid moving in that direction.

Increased distancing:

We will have a new lunch schedule with a seating chart. The new schedule will lengthen the overall lunch period but will allow us to keep kids distanced in most cases at 6 feet. In other cases at least 3 feet. Because children are unmasked in the cafeteria there is a higher risk of quarantine for some if they are sitting within 3 feet of a positive covid case. We are changing our morning routines by further spreading out students in the morning. We are going to change our recess schedule so students stay in cohorts during the day.

Masking:

The biggest change that went into effect was masking. Because we are now all masking we will not need to quarantine entire classes due to new COVID cases.  This week we had to quarantine 3 classes due to exposure prior to masking. The new plan will keep kids in school and parents at work.  Without masking this wouldn’t be possible. Students will still get recess and will still have mask breaks two times a day when they are outside.

Homework sent home:

Please remember we allow teachers a day to get homework together for students that are out sick or if they are quarantined.

Regarding masking:

There have been questions regarding masking and what is a suitable mask. The Minnehaha Elementary School understands there are many differing opinions regarding the efficacy of masking.  With the demands for masks in the marketplace, there have been many different types of masks introduced to the public. We recognize that masks differ in terms of “breathability”, fit, and look. The school reserves the right to determine if a mask is suitable for the purpose of mitigating the spread of COVID.  The principal along with the district COVID committee, or representative of the committee, will make this determination.

Below is a description of suitable cloth and disposable masks from the CDC. This serves as the baseline for our understanding of what a suitable mask is

Cloth Masks can be made from a variety of fabrics and many types of cloth masks are available.

Wear cloth masks with:

  • A proper fit over your nose and mouth to prevent leaks
  • Multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric
  • Nose wire
  • Fabric that blocks light when held up to a bright light source

Do NOT wear cloth masks with:

  • Gaps around the sides of the face or nose
  • Exhalation valves, vents, or other openings
  • Single-layer fabric or those made of thin fabric that doesn’t block light
  • Mesh-like fabric.

Disposable face masks are widely available. They are sometimes referred to as surgical masks or medical procedure masks.

Wear disposable masks with:

  • A proper fit over your nose and mouth to prevent leaks
  • Multiple layers of non-woven material
  • Nose wire

Do NOT wear disposable masks with:

  • Gaps around the sides of the face or nose
  • Wet or dirty materials.

Hopefully, things will smooth out now with these changes. Please do what you can to mitigate the spread of COVID. Thank you for your patience.