SMEC
Southern Minnesota Education Consortium
21697 State Hwy 56
Austin, MN 55912
507-857-1160


August 31, 2020

SMEC Parents/Guardians,

SMEC chose to open under the Hybrid Learning Model for all PK-12 students in Fillmore and Mower County, and chose and in-person model in Freeborn County.  Some families have chosen the Distance Learning Model due to health concerns. Our current learning model is subject to change depending on the COVID 19 case number in Fillmore, Mower and Freeborn County, and/or our school building.  We will evaluate condition after the first several weeks of school.

This is an overview of our district’s Hybrid Learning Model.  We have tried to put as much detail to our plan as possible, hoping to ease the numerous questions our families have.  The best way to get your questions to us is through email, not Facebook.  This is a working document that will be updated and redistributed as needed.  Questions posed by families are the best feedback we can get to bring clarity to the information presented in this document.  
Our contact information:

  • Denise Kennedy, Director of Special Education, dkenendy@smec.k12.mn.us​
  • Dan Armagost, Executive Director of SMEC, darmagost@smec.k12.mn.us


SMEC thanks its families and communities for the support provided.  We are treading new ground.

Educationally,

Dan Armagost

Hybrid Learning Model Overview

  • Hybrid for the following programs will be Monday-Friday from 8:00-2:00: East & West Success, CARDS, East & West Enrich 
  • The SMEC Education Center that hosts the ALC and Level IV RESET program, will be in session Monday-Friday from 8:30-3:00 regardless of in person or hybrid model. This is subject to change if enrollment increases.  
  • Students will be expected to participate in instructional activities virtually and synchronously if they choose to distance learn.  


Distance Learning Option

  • Parents may choose to have their child(ren) attend school virtually all days using the format provided for the at-home learning days.
  • Please notify your students case manager if you plan to do so.


Face Coverings

  • All SMEC staff and students will wear face coverings (masks and/or plastic shields) when indoors or on school vehicles and in the presence of students or colleagues, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order.
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own reusable face covering from home.  facemasks will be provided for any students needing one.
  • Students will be allowed to temporarily remove face coverings while eating, during times of physical exertion (i.e. physical education class), while playing musical instruments, singing, while playing outdoors at recess, and other times when students are outdoors and able to social distance.  
  • See page 6 of the Minnesota Department of Health Planning Guide for Schools for full details regarding face covering requirements.


At-Home Symptoms Screening

Parents should check their children for any symptoms of COVID-19, including taking your child’s temperature, prior to sending or bringing their children to school each day.  Students should remain home if any of the symptoms below are present.  When in doubt, stay home!

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue


Transportation (District Provided) to School

  • Students who qualify for special transportation will be provided a van, or bus, ride on the days they are assigned to attend school onsite.
  • Students will be screened prior to entrance on the special transportation van. If they fail the screening parents will be asked to keep their child at home. 
  • Bus and van rider capacity will be limited to maintain social distancing while on the bus/van.  Students’  driver may be different than under normal circumstances.
  • Students may be asked to sit in designated bus/van seats to allow social distancing.


Student Drop-off

  • Students will be screened prior to entrance of the building. If they fail the screening parents will be asked to keep their child at home. 
  • Students will report directly to their classrooms upon arrival at school.
  • Parents should avoid entering the school building with their children.
  • No visitors (including parents) will be allowed beyond the district office or SMEC office during the school day until further notice.


Hybrid Instructional Model

  • Students  who choose to distance learn will be assigned daily times to join their class from home via Zoom for Math and Reading/Language instruction, etc.
    • Teachers are encouraged to record hybrid instruction sessions.
    • Modifications will be made for students lacking home internet access.
  • To prevent cross contamination students travel between multiple rooms may limited so meal, services, etc. may take place within the classroom.   


Dismissal

  • Student dismissal times will be staggered to prevent crowding at the exits.


Illness During the School Day

  • Students who become ill during the school day will be asked to visit their district office.
  • If a student is displaying any potential symptoms of COVID-19, a parent or emergency contact will be notified to pick the child up from school.
  • Waiting spaces have been created in each building office for ill students to wait for their rides home.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health Decision Tree for People with Symptoms of COVID-19 will be used to determine when students may return to school after displaying potential symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Contact tracing and self-isolation of possible contacts will be implemented only in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case.


COVID-19 Program Coordinator
Dan Armagost, Executive Director, will serve as the district’s Program Coordinator.
Phone:  507-438-5397
Email: darmagost@smec.k12.mn.us

  • Staff members and students’ parents should notify the Program Coordinator as soon as possible upon learning of a positive test for COVID-19.
  • The Program Coordinator will work with school staff and County Public Health to implement contact tracing protocols and encourage those who have been in direct contact with infected individuals to self-isolate and/or consult their family physician.
    • The Minnesota Department of Health currently defines direct contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more.


School Open House/Orientations

  • Level III and IV students will have open house/orientations set up by the case managers. 
  • Students served in resource rooms will follow district open house/orientation dates.  


Visitors/Volunteers/External Groups (Nonessential)
General Information:

  • Students and staff only will be allowed beyond district offices during school hours.
  • Parents and guardians dropping off and/or picking up students before and after school should do so outside the school building.
  • Please contact your child’s teacher to schedule an appointment outside of the student school day, if you need to meet with the teacher.  Virtual meetings will be available upon request.
  • All community volunteer programs (i.e. Knight Crew) are suspended until further notice.


Cleaning and Disinfecting
General Information:

  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting will occur at least daily (or more, depending on use patterns) frequently touched surfaces and objects


Resources

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE):

https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/covid19/


Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/index.html
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html



​​Click here for a PDF of this document.

Southern Minnesota 

Education Consortium

Safe Learning Plan