Safe Return to In-Person Learning

WAPS Safe Learning Plan Header Temp


Click here for information on free rapid testing

We are encouraging Winhawks of all ages to get tested for COVID-19 before school resumes on Monday, Jan. 3. An easy way to do this is to visit the main office in your school building to request a rapid test kit.


Winona Area Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment that supports social and emotional development, access to critical services, and improvements in life outcomes for all. COVID-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protecting people, including students, teachers, and staff, who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of substantial-to-high community transmission levels. We believe it is important that we all remember to respect the decisions and actions of others in our community while we seek the common goal of a safe environment.

Together with local public health officials, Winona Area Public Schools will consider multiple factors when making decisions about implementing or reducing layered prevention strategies against COVID-19. Since WAPS serves the surrounding community, decisions are based on the district’s population, families and students served, as well as the Winona Community. All protocols are subject to change if substantial or high levels of COVID-19 transmission occur in the local community/in-school. 

The primary risk factors considered and monitored include:

  • Level of community transmission of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the community and among students, teachers, and staff.
  • COVID-19 outbreaks or increasing trends in the school (internal) or the surrounding community.
  • Ages of children served by K-12 schools and the associated social and behavioral factors that may affect the risk of transmission and the feasibility of different prevention strategies.
CDC Metrics and Thresholds
Transmission Level Case growth per 100,000 Positive rate (7-days)
Low <10 <5%
Moderate 10-49 5-7.9%
Substantial 50-99 8-9.9%
High 100 10%

Federal Government and Minnesota Rule Requirements

Face coverings: All people are required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to wear face coverings on all indoor public transportation conveyances (airports, public buses, etc.), including school buses. See CDC: Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs

Handling a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19: Minnesota Rule 4605.7070 requires any person in charge of any institution, school, child care facility, or camp to report cases of COVID-19 to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). See MDH: Reportable Disease Rule

Health and Safety Protocols

On Thursday, Aug. 19, the school board approved our COVID-19 health and safety protocols to begin the 2021-22 school year. For the complete plan, see this document: COVID-19 Prevention Strategies for a Safe Return to In-Person Learning Fall 2021

Jackie Henderson

COVID-19 Coordinator
District Office

Link to COVID-19 Dashboard

Masks Required

Herky With Mask

Winona Area Public Schools currently has a universal mask requirement for all teachers, staff, students and visitors during instructional hours (7:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.) 

Fall Guidance

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