Flexible Learning

Nerstrand Elementary School Flexible Learning Plan 2020-2021

The purpose of the 2020-2021 Nerstrand Elementary School Flexible Learning Plan is to provide an equitable plan for learning for every child regardless of the scenario.

The pandemic continues to evolve and change. All planning is based on a flexible response to changing State of Minnesota guidelines, directives and health situations. Nerstrand Elementary School will monitor, revise and adjust the plans as needed as we proceed through the school year.

Overview of the Three Scenarios

The Minnesota Departments of Education and Health directed districts to prepare for three scenarios for the 2020-21 school year. The 3 scenarios are as follows:

Scenario In-Person Hybrid Learning Distance Learning
Description All K-5 children onsite at school daily. Attendance will be taken daily. K-5 students at school either Mon/Tues or Thurs/Friday. Wednesday building closed for cleaning with children at home doing outdoor activities, catching up on work, and getting assistance from teachers and paras. Attendance will be taken daily. All K-5 children learn remotely. Attendance will be taken daily.
Daily Schedule All K-5 Students at school everyday. (Families that elect online choice will be doing Distance Learning). Students are divided into 2 groups (Oak-group and Maple-group) Students from the same family will be in the same group.

Oak Group meets in person Mondays /Tuesdays and works by distance learning Wednesday-Friday.

Maple Group meets on Thursday and Friday and by distance learning Monday-Wednesday.

Teachers will deliver instruction via Seesaw (K-3), Clever (K-3), Google Classroom (4-5) and Zoom (K-5)
Safety Procedures Parents are required and responsible for daily screening of Covid-19 symptoms and agree to keep their child home if they are ill (a health check list will be attached). Parents will be expected to report Covid 19 symptoms or exposures to the school. Nerstrand Staff may conduct an additional onsite screening upon arrival. All Staff are required to conduct a daily self-screening of Covid 19 symptoms and agree to stay home if ill. Late students report to the office as normal. Staggered class movement and lunch/recess times to minimize congestion. Eating in Classrooms. Social Distancing when possible, but may not be possible in classrooms at all times. Changes in classroom furniture to allow more indoor space. Individual supplies. Using outdoor spaces, weather permitting. Avoid large gatherings in school and before and after school.
Implement frequent handwashing and/or sanitation. Isolation process implemented when Covid 19 Symptoms are reported during the school day. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and or more often depending on use. Students, staff would be required to wear face coverings in buildings and buses. Executive Order 20-81. Families will ensure that children wear a clean face covering everyday. Visitors not allowed into the building. Hand sanitizers at entrances, classrooms and throughout the building. We are analyzing the doors used for arrival and departure to minimize congestion.
All Safety Procedures that are expected in the In Person Model + Strict Social Distancing throughout the entire school.

Less than 50% occupancy throughout the entire building.

Children remain at home
Technology All K-5 Students will have access to chromebooks and will be assigned one to be used throughout the year.
Transportation The buses that run to and from Nerstrand into town will be at 100% capacity. The buses that run to and from Nerstrand into town will be at 50% capacity. Families who transport their children to school may be given a staggered arrival/departure time. Buses will not be running.
Meals Students eat in classrooms or outside depending on spacing. Meals delivered to children in the building for lunch. Breakfast may be handed out as children enter the building. Families in Distance Learning option can pick up meals at Nerstrand or in locations in Faribault. Come to the front desk for pick up in Nerstrand. Strict social distancing at all meal times. Meals in classrooms and throughout the building. Families are able to pick up meals on days their children are in distance Learning. Pick up at school or Faribault locations. Students in Distance Learning. Meals will be available as they were in the spring of 2020. Pick up spot location information will be coming.
School Aged Child Care Fee based program after school. Limited all-day care available for Tier 1 critical workers on distance learning days during school hours. Fee-based care after school hours. Limited all-day care available for Tier 1 critical workers on distance learning days during school hours. Fee-based care after school hours.
Visitors Nonessential visitors will not be allowed. Any essential visitors will be subject to a health screening check.

Parents can drop of essential items for children by calling the office: 507-333-6850

Nonessential visitors will not be allowed. Any essential visitors will be subject to a health screening check.

Parents can drop of essential items for children by calling the office: 507-333-6850

Building and Grounds will be closed.

The Learning Model will be determined by the Nerstrand Incident Command Team. These decisions are outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Educations Safe Learning Plan

After determining the starting model for the school year, Nerstrand School will review weekly (this data comes out every Thursday) data with Rice County Public Health. If the data indicates a change in the learning model is needed the Nerstrand Incident Command Team will be in contact with our assigned Regional Support team (members of MDE, MDH, a regional cooperative) to determine next steps. The data used to make these decisions is outlined in the following table:

Nerstrand Learning Model Covid case rate from Rice County (updated every Thursday)
Scenario #1: In person (100%) 0-20
Scenario #2: Hybrid
Oak Group attends Mon + Tues
Maple Group attends Thurs + Fri
Scenario #3: Distance Learning for all students 50 or more

Distance Learning Model

Nerstrand School will provide an online distance learning option for students and families not ready or able to return to school. The Distance Learning option will utilize the platforms used in the spring and will be led by licensed teachers and staff members. We ask that families that choose this platform commit to November 9th before making any changes. However, Nerstrand will work with families that need to make a change.

Virus Prevention and Mitigation Efforts

Safety protocols will be in place to limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19 for the in-person and hybrid models.

Daily Health Screenings

Step 1

Parents / guardians will be required to conduct a daily health screening before sending their child to school. Students should remain at home if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever 100.0 or higher (daily home temperature check required)
  • Chills
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*By sending your child to school, you are reporting that your child does not have any of the above symptoms.

Virus Mitigation at School

Steps to reduce virus mitigation include:

  • Six feet of distancing will be practiced as feasible.
  • Learning activities provided outdoors to the greatest extent practicable
  • Plexiglass barriers in the school office, designated special education spaces, and additional instructional spaces.
  • All children, staff and visitors will be required to wear face covering as mandated by Executive Order 0-81. Face coverings will be provided by the school as needed. Families are expected to ensure their child has a clean face covering daily.
  • Regular hand washing and / or sanitization will be required as part of daily routines.
  • Students will have their own set of individual supplies such as markers and pencils stored separately from others. Any shared classroom supplies such as math manipulatives will be disinfected after use and stored separately.
  • All indoor learning spaces have screened windows that can be opened.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of building and buses.
  • Groups of children will remain with their classmates throughout the day and, where practicable, will be located in a single indoor instructional space with minimal levels of movement. Outdoor learning will be used whenever feasible.
  • Every effort will be made to minimize the number of different adults interacting with each classroom group.
  • Building exit and entry points will be assigned for staff and students.
  • Physical Distance Markings
    Floor markings will provide reminders about the need for physical distancing, including:
    • Directional arrows in hallways to indicate one-way traffic flow patterns
    • Floor markings in classrooms to indicate distancing
    • Floor markings in bathrooms and other common areas

COVID-19 suspected or confirmed case protocols

Staff and families are asked to self-report if they or their student have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or had a close exposure to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Reporting data will be handled in a manner consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Nerstrand School will use the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms in Youth, Student and Child Care Programs to determine a course of action. All actions are taken in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Safe Learning Plan 2020-2021.

If a known exposure occurs in a classroom (from staff or students), close contacts will be quarantined at home for 14 days. Close Contacts are defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset (or 48 hours prior from a positive test date for asymptomatic cases) until the time the patient is isolated. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Nerstrand School COVID-19 Coordinator and Team

The Nerstrand School COVID-19 Coordinator is Andrew Lubinski
The Nerstrand School Incident Command Team COVID-19 team includes Director Maggie Kiley or designee, Administrative Assistant Barb Grote, Teacher Carmen Bonde

Isolation Process

If a student is displaying symptoms during the school day, the staff lunchroom has been repurposed for the isolation area. Students with non-COVID-19 health issues will report to the main school office. If more than one student is symptomatic, six-feet distanced is required in the isolation space. If this is not possible, student’s will be assigned to an alternate isolation space in the building. If a staff member is displaying symptoms during the school day, they will leave the building. If the staff member is too ill to leave on their own, they will be assigned to an alternate isolation space until they can be safely transported by a family member.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing will be conducted under the direction of MDH. Families and staff will be notified about any exposure in accordance with MDH. Staff and students will be required to quarantine based on the MDH Decision Tree.

Determining Factors for transition between models.

The Safe Learning Plan provides the following guidance for transition scenarios. Decisions would be made in consultation with Health Agencies and MDE Regional Consultation teams.


Transportation will be provided by the Faribault Bus Company. Face coverings are required of all students riding the bus. For a hybrid model, capacity will be limited to 50% of students. New drop off and pick up times for students may be necessary. Buses will be disinfected and then pick up all in-town students and transport to their schools.

Visitors / Volunteers

Volunteers, unscheduled visitors and activities involving external groups or organizations will be prohibited until further notice.

Attendance and Engagement

All children are most successful in their learning environment when they are present. This Flexible Learning Plan plans for full student participation regardless of scenario.

  • Attendance will be reported daily in all three scenarios
  • Flexibility will be important as families, staff and children navigate the health and safety priorities and logistical challenges of each scenario
  • School administration will monitor attendance and communicate regularly with families to provide support and resources

Virtual Support Systems

Children will have access to school iPads and chromebooks.

  • SeaSaw
  • Google Classroom
  • Zoom