The St. Paul school district Monday reassured families that it will not leave them to fend for themselves while schools remain closed due to the spreading coronavirus.
In an email sent to parents, it laid out plans underway to ensure students are equipped for distance-learning should closures stretch beyond spring break, and committed to providing meals to families in need and offering spaces to help students maintain their well-being during these uncertain times.
iPADS WILL ENABLE DISTANCE LEARNING, DISTRICT SAYS
In the email, the district announced plans to ensure every K-12 student has an iPad as well as access to the internet to accommodate distance learning in the event it becomes necessary.
Staff is working on plans to determine which students left their devices at school so they can get them to the right students.
Families who are able will pick up the devices at their students’ schools on Tuesday per district-provided instructions. For families who can’t get to schools, the district’s transportation department is working on a plan to deliver the iPads to individual homes.
The iPads will have a pre-installed link that connects students to the district’s COVID-19 webpage, where they will find information and resources on how a distance learning environment would operate, the email said.
Distance learning will not take place until after spring break concludes, and only if schools aren’t back in session by then.
The district will offer a different distance learning plan for Pre-K students that doesn’t require the devices.
Families without internet access at home can utilize free hotspots Xfinity is offering throughout the area, the email said.
MEAL PICK-UP LOCATIONS WILL HELP FAMILIES IN NEED
Starting Wednesday, school bus routes will be used as meal pick-up locations for families needing extra help during school closures. Parents are asked to accompany their children to the sites, and each child will be provided with a one-week supply of meals.
Bus stops will take place Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during the closure.
Additional meals will also be available for curbside pickup at designated schools. Interested families can review a complete list of meal times and locations at spps.org/ns.
Families with medically fragile children or without transportation can also request to have their meals delivered to their homes.
STUDENT HEALTH, WELLNESS SITES TO OPEN AT SOME SCHOOLS
Students who left medications or health office supplies at school should contact their individual school’s health office staff to arrange a time to pick up the items or get them sent home. Some medications could be delivered alongside iPads.
The district will also be opening a small number of “Health Start” clinics where students can receive wellness, nutrition, mental health and general health support during the closure. Neither coronavirus nor flu testing will not be available at the sites. “The clinics will provide a space for youth who feel healthy to have their preventive and emotional needs met,” the district’s web site says. More information about the locations can be found here.
CHILDCARE TO BE PROVIDER FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
The district’s Discovery Club will serve as a childcare option for school-age students of first responders and medical staff starting Wednesday. Information about registration, hours, locations and requirements for document of work status is available at spps.org/ekidscare.