I am writing today to ask for your help. We are a month and a half into the school year and have already needed to change learning models due to the spread of COVID-19. Continued increases in the cases may determine the model that we will need to implement for student learning. Without your help to create a drop in cases, we will need to continue to change to a more restrictive education model.

We have been given requirements from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) that guide us in these decisions. Across the state, there has been minimal transmission within schools due to precautions implemented by all schools. Officials at MDH have said that COVID-19 virus is, for the most part, spreading outside of our schools. Transmission is happening in community settings and family or social gatherings.

We want our students in school every day, but that is unlikely without the help of all residents in District 518. You, the great people of our communities, can make a difference and we know you want ISD 518 students in school every day. What will give us the best chance of that happening is following the established guidance and requirements.

Therefore, we need your help. This information is nothing you have not already heard, but it does bear repeating as it is going to take all of us to make that difference. Please help to keep the cases low and keep our students in school by following the clear guidelines offered by MDH:

* Avoid Crowds

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* Wear your masks correctly, covering your nose and mouth

* Keep family and social gatherings outdoors

* Wash your hands regularly

* Stay 6 feet from others

* Stay home when you are sick

Please do this for our kids!