- Ely Public Schools - Questions and Answers for the Start of the 2020-2021 School Year

Q: Will Ely Public Schools open after Labor Day as usual?

A: Yes, School will open for In-Person Learning on Tuesday, September 8.

Q: How can Ely Public Schools be opening for In-Person Learning when other schools in St. Louis County are starting in
Hybrid Learning?
A: The Ely District can open with In-Person Learning because we are following the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) data driven approach of using county case rate data for Greater St. Louis County, which has lower incidence numbers than the Duluth area. We are also able to start In-Person because of the precautionary measures being taken to help protect students and staff.

Q: What precautionary measures are being
employed?

A: The Ely COVID-19 Advisory Council has developed a “Restart Blueprint” that outlines health and safety protocol and procedures. The “Restart Blueprint” can be found on our website:
https://www.ely.k12.mn.us/
Some of those measures:
• Maintain a distance of six feet between individuals
• Wear face masks or coverings
• Screen for COVID-19 symptoms
• Practice good hygiene
protocols including hand
washing, cleaning, and
disinfecting
• Limit group gatherings

Q: How do we screen?

A: Ely Public Schools plan:
• Students will arrive per usual
and proceed directly to their
first class and desk
• Teachers will conduct visual
inspections of students for
signs of illness, which could
include: flushed cheeks, rapid
breathing/difficulty breathing,
fatigue, or extreme fussiness
• We will use non-contact
thermometers to conduct
temperature screening
• If students have a temperature
more than 100.4°F or any visual
signs of illness, he/she will
be sent to the building nurse
for additional screening.
• Employees and visitors will
self-screen including
temperature checks
Q: Does everyone have to wear a mask in school?

A: Yes, a face covering is required. Executive Order 20-81 requires face covering in schools and School Board Policy 808 (in review and recommended for adoption) provides definitions, alternatives, and limited exceptions (children 5 and under, medical reasons). Temporary removal of face covering are allowed depending on the activity and setting. Examples: Eating, drinking, outdoors, alone.

Q: Are masks being
provided?

A: Yes, the State is providing 3 masks for each student. A limited supply of face shields will be available for students unable to wear a mask due to documented condition.

Q: What if there is a COVID-19 case in a
classroom?

A: If your child is in that classroom, you will be notified ASAP and we expect that it will result in a 14 day quarantine period for students and teacher. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) would be contacted immediately and provide guidance on what steps we must take.

Q: What will a school day look like for students in Washington Elementary
or the Memorial High School?

A: Students in Washington Elementary will not transition to the Memorial Building as they have in the past. Breakfast and lunch will be in classrooms or other designated areas. Specialists will come to classrooms to minimize students having to be exposed to others in the building.
Students in the Memorial Building will be grouped in cohorts that they remain with throughout the school day. Movement in the building will be controlled and monitored to limit exposure. Lunch will be eaten in a variety of settings to minimize large group gatherings.

Q: If Ely Public Schools need to transition to
Distance Learning at some point or we have chosen the Distance Learning
option, can the school help provide a computer?
A: Yes, Ely Public Schools have ordered over 500 Chromebooks which we expect to distribute this fall when they arrive. In the meantime, we have iPads and some laptops that can be checked out to students.

Q: Are Fall Sports and
other activities being
conducted?

A: Cross Country and Girls Swimming are happening as allowed by the MSHSL. Football and Volleyball have been moved to a spring season, with a limited number of practices being allowed this fall.

Q: Are there any
restrictions on travel and returning to school?

A: MDH and the CDC have not placed restrictions on travel or required testing upon return. We ask that families use good judgement, realizing that extended travel and certain large group settings can bring greater risks to our school community.

Q: Will an Open House be held before school starts?

A: No, but we are looking at providing alternative options such as classroom videos or other communication for families. New student and 6th grade orientation is being conducted in small groups by invitation.

Q: What if I still have questions?

A: The best way to get answers to those questions is to call the school your child is attending.
Call 218-365-6166 and choose the building extension. You can also contact Superintendent Erik Erie at 218-750-4564 or eerie@ely.k12.mn.us

Your feedback on how we can make this school year better for your child is encouraged and appreciated..