Edina Public Schools is requesting that Edina High School students attend class by distance learning for two weeks following spring break.

If a student would like to continue to attend class in-person, they may do so. But in an April 1 email, Superintendent John Schultz recommended that high school students utilize virtual learning for two weeks following spring break, regardless of whether they had traveled. Spring break was March 29 through April 2.

This request is in response to the high school’s rise in COVID-19 cases and quarantines the week before, the email reads. The superintendent had previously alerted the district’s families about his concern about a March uptick in cases in the Edina community.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported an increase in case rate per 10,000 people for the fourth consecutive 14-day period in Hennepin County, as of March 20. The most current case rate, reflecting the 14-day range of March 7-20, is 25.68. The case rate the 14-day period before was 21.23.

For students choosing to continue attending class in person for the four-day week, teachers will be present in classrooms and will plan to support social distancing. Students do not need to let the district know of their choice, but must attend every class period regardless of learning mode.

Site-based, in-person special education services will continue to be provided. If a student prefers to learn virtually, the district will also provide accommodation. School activities and athletics programs will continue as scheduled, as the district is “not tracing significant case numbers” to these activities.

The email said the district is encouraging students to be tested for COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that students who spend time around people outside of their immediate household should get tested every two weeks, according to Schultz’ email. MDH recommends that students involved in extracurriculars and sports get tested every week, the email said.

Test the Nest, a voluntary, pooled testing program of secondary students, started this week. This program looks to test asymptomatic students who are attending school in person to better track virus spread. During its trial run of more than 40 students, the program returned no COVID-positive tests, the April 1 email said.

– Follow Caitlin Anderson on Twitter @EdinaSunCurrent

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