COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

September 24, 2021 - Mask mandate

At the August 30th Nerstrand Board of Directors Special meeting it was decided by vote that should Faribault School District move to a mask mandate, Nerstrand School would follow this mandate. At a special meeting on Monday, Sept. 20, the Faribault Public Schools board voted to approve that the district follow the Center for Disease Control's recommendation to require indoor masking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under these new guidelines beginning Friday, September 24th, face coverings will be required for all students (5 and older) and staff at Nerstrand School until the Rice County COVID-19 case rate falls to below 50 cases per 100,000 residents. The current Rice County case rate is 261.

The following face coverings are acceptable: paper or disposable masks, cloth face mask, scarf, neck gaiter, bandana, and medical-grade masks and respirators. Those requesting a religious or medical exemption can contact the office via email: or

The CDC's masking recommendation is supported by Rice County Public Health and Mayo Clinic. Additionally, nearly 70 local doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have endorsed indoor masking as a way to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to reviewing information provided by public health experts, the Faribault School Board and the Nerstrand ICT team has also monitored situations in other school districts without masking requirements where outbreaks forced large numbers of students to go into quarantine. By following the CDC's masking recommendation, the Nerstrand Board of Directors and Nerstrand ICT Team hopes Nerstrand Public Charter School can avoid any disruptions to learning, and keep students and staff safe, healthy, and in the classroom.

Our COVID-19 protocols page has been updated with more detail. Please review.

September 10, 2021 - Additional COVID-19 Protocols

We have added additional clarifications on our COVD-19 Protocols page.

August 30, 2021

Our COVD-19 Protocols page has been updated. Please see it for the policies for the 2021-22 school year.

December 21, 2020

Dear Nerstrand Families,

You may be aware of Governor Walz's announcement this week. MDE and MDH are encouraging all elementary schools to make plans to bring students back to in-person learning as soon as possible. This adjustment can be found in Minnesota's Safe Learning Plan for 2020-21. This plan has been the guide for schools across the state during the pandemic. We have also been using the planning guidance sent out from the Minnesota Department of Health: 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools: Health Considerations for Navigating COVID-19.

The Safe Learning Plan has been updated so that starting on January 18, 2021, every elementary school across the state may choose to operate an in-person learning model as long as they are able to implement all updated health and safety measures. These new measures include all adults wearing both masks and face shields while in school, voluntary staff testing every other week and other safety measures. Going forward all elementary schools will be monitoring data that is more closely related to their surrounding community and virus activity within their school building. The 14 Day County Case rate will not impact elementary decision making, but will continue to do so in the Middle and High Schools across the state. The reason for this change is that scientists are learning more about the virus and the data shows that children 0-10 years old are less susceptible to the virus and less likely to have serious complications. Data is showing that schools are a safe place for children because of the strong mitigation efforts that schools are following.

Comparison of students most at risk for COVID-19

Nerstrand School Plan for bringing students back to In-person Learning

We know as Educators and Parents that children learn best when they are at school. With the change in the Safe Learning Plan, Nerstrand School will be following a gradual entrance back into In-Person learning.

We will return to school on January 4th in Distance Learning. Distance Learning will continue from January 4th until January 13th for all grades.

January 14 & 15, 2021:

  • No school or Regal Eagles. Tier 1 Childcare will still be offered. These 2 days will be used as planning days for bringing all students back to school.

January 18, 2021:

  • No school or childcare for all students. This is the Martin Luther King Holiday.

January 19, 2021:

  • Grades K-2 classes will be brought back to school for In-Person Learning (Childcare ends for grades K-2 for Tier 1 workers)
  • Grades 3-5 will continue with their Distance Learning Schedule (childcare will be available for any students in grades 3-5 for Tier 1 workers)

February 2, 2021 (revised date on 12/21/20):

  • Grades 3-5 will be brought back to school for In-Person Learning (Tier 1 Childcare ends)
  • All grades in the building with In-Person learning.

I know this is a big shift. All elementaries in Rice County will be moving into this updated data monitoring system. We will continue to face challenges this year, but it is very hopeful to have a vaccine that may be used in Rice County before the end of the year. I am proud and grateful of the way our team has constantly had to make changes and adjust to huge challenges. Thank you families for all of your support! I feel hopeful for the future, and excited to see students in the building again (safely).

One of our School's greatest challenges in having students back in the building is staffing. Adults are more susceptible to the virus. It is difficult to keep our school open if our teachers and paras are exposed to the illness. We need your help in following all of the safe guidelines in order for our school to be and remain open. We are doing everything we can to give all of our students a strong and loving educational experience. However, it is impossible to do this if I do not have staff in the building. We must all work together to slow the spread of this virus, so that we can keep our school open.

August 31, 2020

Please see our newly updated Flexible Learning Plan explaining how multiple scenarios of this school year will work.

July 28, 2020

Please see our official timeline for making a decision about in-person vs. remote learning below:

A decision-making timeline for reopening Nerstrand School

April 1, 2020

Our Distance Learning page has been updated. Please review the page for updated information..

March 27, 2020

Schools are now to be closed through at least May 4th. Please refer to our Distance Learning page to see our plans for distance learning.

March 18, 2020

School is currently closed, through at least March 27th, as ordered by Governor Walz.

Please bookmark this page and refer to it for the most up-to-date information on Nerstand's actions.