“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier.’” Alfred Lord Tennyson
RE: New Safe Learning Plan
I know that I am not alone in celebrating the close of 2020---a year fraught primarily with the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic, but also with strife and discord of various descriptions stretching from coast to coast, and the widening of the gulf of civilized discourse around the globe. However, throughout this year the ISLA community has been a rock for many of us to hang onto in the middle of the storm. Without the ISLA families and students, faculty and staff, it is hard to fathom how we would have managed. It is clear that our IB World School Community has “walked the walk” this year, and has remembered the part of the IB mission that makes us unique--that we “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” It is precisely that which brings me hope today and going forward into 2021.
Safe Learning Plan
On Wednesday, December 18th, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a plan for all Minnesota elementary students to return to school, placing the priority and emphasis on young learners. Guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) further advises additional safety procedures and a phased-in approach where students gradually return to the buildings. The MDE has recommended these changes due to the evolving nature of what the Minnesota Department of Health knows about this virus, as they learn that children are less susceptible to spreading the disease as previously thought, and less likely to develop complications at the primary level.
The ISLA School Board will meet on Monday, December 21st, during which we will consider the implementation of a new ISLA Safe Learning Plan:
The deadline to complete this form is Tuesday, December 29th, but a response is appreciated asap.
New Safety Precautions
We will continue the safety precautions which we began in the fall, with the following additional required safety precautions and strategies that school districts must adhere to per MDE guidance in order to return to in-person learning:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently updated their recommendations for quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19. These recommendations include certain situations where the quarantine period may be shortened. However, monitoring and surveillance still needs to occur for the entire 14 days following the exposure. The science behind how the virus works has not changed. The virus still has a 14 day incubation period, thus the requirement for continued monitoring during this time. The reason for the change to a shortened quarantine time in certain cases is to increase compliance and reduce the burden of quarantine for individuals and families. The safest option is to stay home and away from others for 14 days. But, in certain situations, you may end your quarantine after 10 full days with continued monitoring, or after seven full days with a negative PCR COVID test result and continued monitoring.
ISLA will allow these shortened quarantine periods for staff and students, provided that certain guidelines are followed. In order to qualify for a shortened quarantine time the following things must be true:
If your student has been exposed to COVID-19 and you would like to be considered for a shortened quarantine time, you must submit a request through a Google form (see below). You must submit the proper documentation and hear back that it was approved before sending your student back to ISLA. Otherwise, they will follow the standard 14 day quarantine.
Our next community PTO meeting will be Tuesday, January 26th at 6:30. We’d love your input on possible topics. Please click here to fill out this survey!
The PTO would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who contributed during Give to the Max! We raised an unprecedented amount of $25,665 and we obviously couldn’t do it without you! ¡Muchas gracias!
Do you need to exchange last year’s yearbook? Or are you regretting not purchasing one?
Contact Kris Bilardi at email@example.com for your replacement or to order one!
ISLA needs you! Looking for a way to help support the mission and oversight of our amazing school? We are looking for interested community members, teachers, and parents to fill upcoming vacancies on the ISLA Board of Directors for three-year terms, beginning July 1, 2021, as well as a community member to fill a one-year vacancy from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The Board is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the school, implementing policies and procedures, and long-term strategic and financial planning. No previous experience necessary, but we do have a specific need for expertise in finance, marketing and fundraising. Questions can be directed to Mary Jo De Villers, Election and Nominating Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in applying, please submit a Statement of Interest to the Election and Nominating Committee by February 19, 2021. Here is a link to the Statement of Interest: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bCSWpuanWuJblxC-JThgl-vXVKZE_at8/view?usp=sharing A sample ballot will be posted on the school's website in April 2021, and the election for office will occur in connection with the school’s annual meeting in May 2021.