WEM Return to School Plan 2021-2022

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Public Schools

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From the Office

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year! WEM is committed to providing a safe return to learning and are looking forward to a fresh year with construction updates nearly complete. As a family, we encourage you to review the information included in this document to help answer questions you may have leading up to our first day of school.

All information being shared is based upon the current guidance from MN Department of Education (MDE) with review of the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We will continue to follow these requirements and guidance but will make changes to our plans, as needed.

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Public Schools is very excited to return to in-person learning, five days a week! We look forward to seeing students in September!

WEM Administration

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Face Coverings

Face masks or face coverings are highly recommended, but not required in school buildings at a this time.

  • Students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks, unless state/federal requirements change or local health concerns necessitate. At the time of this communication, If an individual wishes to wear a face covering, they will be allowed to do so as a personal choice.

Face coverings are required on all district provided transportation.

  • All people are required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to wear face coverings while in public transportation hubs and on all public transportation conveyances (airplanes, public buses, etc.), including school buses (both public and private).

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Reporting Symptoms and Exposure

Parents will be responsible to self monitor and report to the school the presence of any symptoms in students, or possible COVID -19 exposure. Quarantine requirements as outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health and the COVID 19 Decision Tree must be followed.

Covid -19 Symptoms Include:

  • Fever of 100.4 or greater or chills
  • 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

Confirmed COVID-19 cases will continue to be reported to the Minnesota Department of Health.


The MDH Decision Tree will be followed for students presenting with symptoms. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, WEM will require the student to stay home for 5 days after symptom onset or 5 days after testing date. Additionally the student must be fever free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication AND other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving before return. Upon return students should wear a mask for days 6-10..

The district will provide notification when a student has been exposed to a positive Covid-19 case at school.

updated 1/17/22

Letter sent to WEM Families 1/17/22

January 17, 2022

Dear WEM Parents:

Effective today, Monday, January 17, 2022, the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown School District will adopt updated CDC guidelines regarding quarantine practices/recommendations for COVID-19. The updated guidelines are an overall reduction in quarantine days, now currently five, with several following recommendations. More information is included below in further detail.

If your student(s) are currently in quarantine their dates out of school may change. If you have questions on their updated return to school date please contact Amber Karels, WEM School Nurse.

Updated CDC Guidelines

  • You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).

  • You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days. Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.

  • If you continue to have fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions.

  • Do not travel during your 5-day isolation period. After you end isolation, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms. If you must travel on days 6-10, wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.

  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms.

For more information please refer to the CDC website. A link to the website and updated COVID-19 guidelines can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.

Household Close Contact/Quarantine

At this time it will still be required for household members who are unvaccinated to quarantine for 5 full days from a positive case reported in the household. They must then test on the 5th day and if negative may return to school wearing a mask from day 6-10.

Again, if you have questions about your student’s quarantine dates please contact Amber Karels. As always we are working to stay updated with the ever changing guidelines and appreciate your understanding.

WEM Administration

COVID-19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 Vaccinations are not a requirement for students or staff to attend WEM schools.
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Social Distancing

All WEM campuses will continue to provide social distancing to the greatest extent possible in classrooms and throughout campus buildings.
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WEM will limit visitors and volunteers in WEM buildings until further notice during school days.

This will allow us to evaluate our systems and protocols for health and safety of all staff and students. This practice will be evaluated throughout the fall. Any changes to this policy will be communicated with WEM families.

We ask that parents dropping off and picking up their student make arrangements to meet them outside.

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Learning Options

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Public Schools will utilize in-person learning, five days a week. Distance learning is no longer an option as per state guidance. We will accommodate any new requirements for Early Childhood-12th grade should guidance change.
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Cleaning & Sanitizing

WEM will continue to follow best practices in cleaning and sanitizing our district facilities.

Per CDC Guidance, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove potential viruses that may be on surfaces.

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Extra Curricular Activities

Extra Curricular seasons and schedules are dictated by The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). At this time we are anticipating normal seasons and schedules as well as no capacity limits. This is of course subject to change as the guidance from MSHSL changes.

??Questions or Concerns??

If you have questions or concerns regarding WEM's Safe Return to School Plan can be directed to:

Superintendent Joel Whitehurst