COVID 19 Updates
We are doing our best to make the return to school this Fall as transparent as possible. Due to the variety of factors involved in implementing the Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-2021 school year, and the fact that many of the state timelines are tied to a traditional school opening date of Sept. 8th, JGESA has decided to move our opening date to Tuesday, Sept. 8th for new students and Wednesday, Sept. 9th for all students. You can find our updated school calendar here. We understand that our families have different situations. Your student’s Advisor will be in contact via email to schedule virtual back-to-school conferences prior to the start of school. This will be a great time to discuss your student’s needs and ask questions.
Following the guidelines set by the Minnesota Dept. of Education (MDE) and Minnesota Dept. of Health (MDH), JGESA anticipates starting the school year in a hybrid model. All of us want nothing more than to be back in school face-to-face in the wonderful JGESA community we have built, but we know that for now, the daily experience at JGESA will look and feel different. While we absolutely understand the importance of building relationships and community in-person, we must also prioritize everyone’s safety. JGESA will continue to live our mission of “Out of the Classroom, Into the World.” We are primed for continuing our innovative approach to learning using our 300 acre campus.
To start, have a serious discussion with your student(s) so they understand that due to health and safety requirements, returning to school in-person does not mean returning to school "as normal." Also, remember that any family may choose the distance learning model.
Please understand that by participating in any in-person or hybrid learning, students and families are agreeing to the following guidelines and requirements:
- SCHEDULE AND ATTENDANCE:
- School Calendar - Note all new students (and those that joined JGESA in March of 2020 during Distance Learning) will start Tuesday, Sept. 8th for our New Student Orientation. Returning students begin on Sept. 9th or 10th depending on grade level.
- Tentatively, Grades 6-8 will attend in-person each Tuesday/Thursday. Grades 10-12 will attend in-person each Monday/Wednesday. We will confirm which days 9th grade will attend once we have received responses on who is planning to distance learn. This is to ensure that we maintain the appropriate capacity guidelines each day.
- All students will participate in distance learning each Friday. Students who have chosen full-time distance learning will have scheduled weekly meetings with their Advisor.
- When in-person/hybrid learning, we will follow our typical school day schedule of 8:20am-3:00pm. On the days that students are distance learning, we will utilize essentially the same distance learning plan from last Spring. Students are expected to engage with their Advisor virtually and complete work to be considered in attendance.
- If you are experiencing symptoms, stay home and notify the office.
- If you are quarantining for a period of time, but are still able to complete work, you may participate in distance learning and be considered in attendance.
- DAILY ARRIVAL:
- Parents are responsible for monitoring their student for any symptoms. If they are experiencing symptoms, the must stay home and notify the office. Full CDC guidance on monitoring symptoms available here. Any student showing symptoms at school must be picked-up within 90 minutes of parent notification. If parents are unavailable, emergency contacts will be notified.
- Transportation Plan - Every student needs a transportation plan on file.
- JGESA is waiving parking fees due to Covid-19 in an effort to reduce bus ridership.
- When riding the bus, students must load the bus and fill the rear seats first and sit one student per seat (every other seat) and stay in that seat.
- Students will enter the cabins through their assigned door and are expected to social distance throughout the day and in all spaces. JGESA has access to a wide variety of learning spaces indoors and outside and will be using them to our advantage.
- School Supply List - Please note that in years past, many students shared items or used JGESA supplies. Due to health and safety guidelines, no sharing of school supplies will be allowed making it especially important that your student comes to school fully prepared each day.
- WHAT MY DAY WILL LOOK LIKE:
- Students will remain with their Advisory throughout the day, including lunch & activity time.
- Each student will be provided a reusable cloth mask and disposables will be available as needed. Face coverings must be worn when inside school buildings or on school transportation as dictated by MN Safe Learning Plan.
- 6-foot social distancing will be enforced.
- Handwashing hygiene will be taught and expected.
- Lunch will be at the student’s desk or outside.
- No large group activities and no mingling between cabins/Advisories.
- Activity times will not include large group/gym type games and will be focused more on outdoor and/or individual activities such as hiking or yoga.
- We will be outside as much as possible.
- Students will be assigned workspaces.
- No bean bags or couches will be available for student use (soft surfaces).
- Kitchen access will be limited to project needs by reservation and sanitized between uses - no food will be prepared on site.
- Use of special spaces and technology, such as the sound studio, VR, etc. must be scheduled and will be sanitized before and after each use.
- No students will be allowed in the Library. Books will be checked out by staff members.
- Chromebooks will be provided to all students for use on campus and at home.
- Cleaning will be conducted twice daily in all spaces and as needed.
- Students are expected to minimize unnecessary movement throughout workspaces and all buildings on campus.
- SPECIAL EDUCATION:
- Students receiving specialized services will be in contact with their Case Manager.
While we will begin the year in a hybrid model, please be aware that we will likely shift between scenarios as the situation warrants based on factors including but not limited to, available staffing, building space, and MDE/MDH Guidance. We will communicate any changes in the learning model via email, our website, and social media. Please be aware that JGESA has students from 18 local communities across 5 counties. As such, the decision made by your resident district may not reflect the decision that is made at JGESA.
Below is a summary that highlights how JGESA will address the three scenarios. Please note, we have provided space on the document so your family can begin planning for all learning scenarios that we may encounter during the upcoming year.
JGESA is consistently adding additional resources to our website that will assist students and parents during this time. We have also crafted a JGESA Full Distance Learning Plan for use if/when we need to implement Distance Learning.
Letter from the Counselor Amanda with suggestions for staying connected and healthy.
Plans for three scenarios are required for all Minnesota schools - In-person, Distance Learning and hybrid of both. Schools may be required to transition between all three scenarios based on circumstances throughout the year. Families need to prepare to move in and out of these three scenarios depending upon circumstances throughout the year. See JGESA's full Safe Learning Plan HERE
- Q&A for frequently asked questions.
- Parents Guide to accessing Headrush and/or Khan Academy
- Distance Learning Norms
- Letter for families with children receiving special education services.
JGESA has posted our full Distance Learning Plan to our site as per the Minnesota Dept. of Education instructions.