New Life Academy’s Back to School Plan 2021-22
We are pleased to share the initial Back to School Plan for the 2021-22 school year. While NLA will be returning to many of the pre-pandemic protocols and procedures this school year, be assured the health and safety of our faculty and students is a top priority in all the decisions NLA makes. NLA plans to start the 2021-22 school year with all grades attending school in-person five days a week.
NLA will daily assess our school environment and monitor guidance from the state of Minnesota, public health agencies, and COVID-19 community/school spread. As special circumstances arise, NLA will adjust protocol based on the health and safety of staff, faculty, and students.
NLA recommends that families and staff weigh their personal health options and make the best decisions for their student(s) and family.
See below for the latest fall plans regarding face coverings, bus transportation, quarantine information, and further details. We will regularly provide pertinent details and updates across all our communication platforms.
Face Coverings—On Campus
Although MDH and the CDC is once again recommending masks, NLA is not requiring them at this time. Any families/students who are more comfortable wearing masks are encouraged to do so, but we believe the parents of our students are best equipped to determine the course of action that works the best for their family’s health and safety.
Face Coverings—School Bus and District 833 Transportation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires face coverings for all public transportation. This requirement currently applies to all occupants of school buses and district transportation for students.
This means students must wear a face covering for all situations (to and from school, field trips, athletics buses, etc.) in which they are boarding a school bus or other district transportation. Students will no longer have assigned seats for social distancing.
FlexEd Learning (Distance Learning)
We believe in the value of person-to-person, student-to-teacher relationships, and we know that students learn best in class with their teachers and alongside their peers. Our expectation this year is that all students will be learning in person. We will continue to evaluate the need for FlexEd and it will remain a viable option only as a contingency plan.
At this time, social distancing is no longer required by the state of Minnesota and will not be implemented on campus. This will continue to be monitored and could change based on conditions in the school setting.
At this time, New Life Academy will not require daily health screens, but will continue daily temperature checks at the start of the day in the classroom. This protocol will be reevaluated, as necessary. In addition, NLA recommends that families continue the practice of temperature checks at home to help monitor symptoms of illness.
Please keep your student home if they have any of the following symptoms (for more details reference our health page):
- A fever of 100.0 F or greater
- Persistent cough
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Undiagnosed rash
- Suspected communicable illness (COVID-19, influenza, pertussis, etc.)
At this time, students may return to school after they have been symptom-free for 24 hours or as directed by their health care provider. Testing for COVID-19 is recommended if your child experiences symptoms of COVID: MORE COMMON SYMPTOMS—fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell; LESS COMMON SYMPTOMS—sore throat, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, congestion, nausea, diarrhea.
The only exception to returning to school after 24 hours is if your student receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis (see positive cases section).
We encourage all parents to remain vigilant about their student’s health and wellness. Click here for more information about a convenient and free way to test for COVID-19.
Positive COVID-19 cases are treated as communicable illness and will be reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). At this time, NLA will follow the recommendation from MDH for an individual’s return to school after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, which is currently a minimum of 10 days.
If you suspect you or your student has COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or want to test proactively, there is a convenient at-home way to do so.
Quarantines and Contact Tracing
Regular health and wellness protocols will continue to take place when someone is ill. At this time, NLA will follow the recommendation from MDH for an individual’s return to school after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, which is currently a minimum of 10 days. See: If You Are Sick or Test Positive: COVID-19 – Minnesota Dept. of Health (state.mn.us)
Household quarantine if a family member tests positive: If a student is in a home that has a positive case, the student/siblings will be required to quarantine for a minimum of seven days, only if the student is not vaccinated or has not had a lab-confirmed positive case of COVID in the past 90 days. On day five, the non-vaccinated student will need to get a COVID test. If the student tests negative, they are welcome to return to school: after a minimum of seven-day quarantine with a negative PCR test (not an antigen test or antibody/blood test), if the test occurred on day five after exposure or later. A seven-day quarantine means the person can resume activities on day eight, (or longer as instructed by your health care provider.)
Quarantine for 10 days without a COVID test, returning to school on day 11 if no symptoms develop. Continue to watch for symptoms through day 14 after exposure, if any symptoms occur, separate from others right away/stay home and get tested. See this guide for more information. Notify our school nurse of your household case of COVID for more information on the date your child/ren can return to school: email@example.com
At this time, New Life Academy will not conduct contact tracing. As in our pre-pandemic protocol, NLA notifies families whenever a communicable illness has occurred in a classroom. NLA has added COVID-19 to our list of communicable illnesses. Therefore, parents will be notified when exposure occurs so they can be aware and monitor their student for symptoms.
Division Level Entrances
New Life Academy recommends that each division use a designated door to enter and exit the building.
- Early Ed will enter Door 5, located back by the church office (marked in blue on the map)
- Lower School will enter through Door 7, located back by the playground (marked in green on the map)
- Middle and Upper School will enter through the Main Entrance (marked in yellow/orange on the map)
Please consult your health care provider and/or MDH for guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations for your family. There are currently no state requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations for school attendance or school employment.
K-12 students will return to dining in the cafeteria for lunch. Early Education students will eat lunch in their classrooms. À la carte and the coffee shop will be open. Visitors are allowed to eat with students; however, food delivery from outside vendors is not allowed.
Field trips may occur throughout the school year. Face coverings must currently be worn on all public transportation, including school buses. We will follow the guidelines and policies of the venues visited.
Visitors on Campus
Visitors will be allowed on campus during school hours and will need to check in at the front desk. We request all visitors avoid entering the building if they are ill, have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Currently, there are no practice or game restrictions for athletes and coaches (masks, social distance, etc). At this time there are no capacity limitations for parents or spectators at games. Sports may require modifications based on future guidance from the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and MDH.