Winona Area Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, employees, and the community. The district has a Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was developed to provide guidance to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces, classrooms and communities. Full cooperation is required among the administration, staff, students and families. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our students, staff and families.
Face coverings are required for students and staff in accordance with Executive Order 20-81. Students and staff will be provided with one cloth face covering, and most staff will also receive face shields. Each school building will have a limited stockpile of disposable face coverings if a student or staff member forgets their face covering. Masking requirements do not apply to preschool students, but they do apply to apply to preschool staff members. Families are expected to ensure their child has a clean face covering daily.
WAPS staff will enforce physical distancing when feasible in an in-person learning model, following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. When in a hybrid model, physical distancing will be strictly enforced, both in the school buildings and on school buses.
When possible, students will enter and exit through assigned doors to prevent bottlenecks. Students may also be assigned bathrooms to use during the school day, and the number of students in a bathroom at a particular time may also be limited.
Regular housekeeping practices are currently being conducted by the maintenance department including routine cleaning and disinfecting of the general area. Employees should frequently clean and disinfect high-touch areas. Employees should avoid using other employees’ items, and they should disinfect their personal workspaces and electronics at least once each day.
Families are required and responsible for daily screening of their student(s) for COVID-19 symptoms. Families will be expected to keep their student(s) home when sick. Families will also be expected to report COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms during the school day, an isolation process will be implemented, and the student will be sent home.
Employees should use the Health Self Screening Checklist each day to assess their health status prior to reporting to work. Employees exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19 are to stay home from work. Employees who have the onset of COVID-19 related symptoms throughout the work day should immediately notify their supervisor and Human Resources and leave the premises immediately.
If someone in the school community tests positive for COVID-19, WAPS will receive assistance from its Regional Support Team, which includes local county health officials, to determine appropriate next steps such as communication, contact tracing and notifying close contacts. WAPS responsibility is to provide as much detail as possible to the county health officials and to follow their guidance. Individuals will be notified in the event that a potential close contact has occurred and quarantine may be necessary.