Perspectives

January 8, 2021

This newsletter provides updates, information and event details for Horace Mann School, the Horace Mann School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), and Saint Paul Public Schools. It is published weekly and distributed through email. Current and past issues can be found at spps.org/mann or directly by clicking here.


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Three Key Family Preparations for In-Person

1) All students will be required to wear masks all day. The only exceptions are for breakfast, lunch, and hydration. If your child needs to seek an exemption for medical reasons, the exemption needs to be in place before we return. Contact our School Nurse, Doneta Johnston, via email or at 651-888-7636. If your child does not want to or does not like wearing a mask and refuses, we encourage you to register your child for Virtual Learning School (VLS).


2) Read and review the Saint Paul Public Schools COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines. We strongly urge you to watch the handwashing and masking videos and practice together. After reading the Guidelines, please email jim.litwin@spps.org with any questions.


3) SPPS will not screen children each day. We ask families to answer the following four questions each morning before sending your child to school:

  1. Did my child recently test positive for COVID-19?

  2. Does my child have any of the COVID-19 symptoms?

  3. Does my child live with someone who is being tested for COVID-19 or showing symptoms of COVID-19?

  4. Did my child have close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19?


If you answered YES to any of the above:

  • Do not send your child to school, report your child’s absence, and contact your child’s healthcare provider.

  • Report your child’s symptoms or exposure using the online SPPS COVID-19 Reporting System. There will be a red button on our home page or a gray button at the top of the Perspectives.

Additional Questions and Answers for Re-open Horace Mann School


  1. Click here to read updates or watch the video from the January 7 special edition of Perspectives..
  2. How many cases of COVID are there amongst SPPS? https://www.spps.org/coviddashboard
  3. Click here to learn when and how you will be notified if there is a case of COVID at school or in your child's classroom.
  4. When will I find out who my child's teacher will be? We will notify families January 21-26. Teachers will schedule two Google Meets, (1) to talk with their current class, talk about the change, and bring closure and (2) to talk with their new class, welcome them, and their families.
  5. What are the plans to clean the classrooms? The custodial crew will sweep floors and then use disinfecting spray. High-touch surfaces throughout the building will be sprayed every night (door handles, drinking fountains, light switches, and more). Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily. Drinking fountains will be unavailable, but students may bring a water bottle from home or have one provided by the school. You can find more details here. Students and staff will also assist in cleaning efforts. See the details here under the column labeled "Tenants." We will limit shared equipment and materials, but where we have to share, students are able to share equipment and materials.
  6. When will I get the bus stop and time? What will the bus look like? Families will receive bussing information starting on January 18. The driver and students will wear masks. Students will be assigned seats. Students have to sit further than 6 feet from drivers. Drivers will be disinfecting high touch areas between routes and buses will be fully disinfected nightly.
  7. When will teachers be vaccinated? Our Director of Student Health and Wellness will monitor and keep staff members posted when the vaccination plan and schedule are developed.
  8. What metrics will be used to determine if in-person learning is sustainable from a health perspective? We will follow the Department of Education's Safe Learning Plan. Its guidance has changed since the summer. Please reference page 10 of this document.
  9. How will lunch and recess be managed? What changes could the students expect? We are working to create a lunch and recess plan that separates students as much as possible. The current state plan requires students to eat in the classroom or have social distance to limit interaction between classes. Students will have an adult supervising during lunch. We will schedule recess and rotate between the field, the playground, and the parking lot. Teachers will supervise recess for students. Students may have two recesses per day. Students will need to wear masks during recess.
  10. Could a student be excluded from gym during the pandemic? If a family felt strongly enough to seek an exclusion from PE or any class, we encourage them to register for the Virtual Learning Schooll (VLS).
  11. Will the building be open to non-staff adults? Is there a plan for first day of school? Will parents be able to walk to classroom? We are going to limit all non-essential adults in the building. That means parents/guardians/relatives will not be allowed in school. In a couple of weeks, further details will be provided for the first day plan and the process to pick up and drop off students. Our staff members will meet, welcome, and teach the Kindergarteners and the new students everything they need to be comfortable and successful at school.
  12. What will be the consequences if a student doesn't wear a mask? The school will have extra masks if a student forgets or loses a mask. We will teach and practice with students first. We will ensure the masking policy is clearly posted and communicated to students, staff, and families. The use of suspension for students as a consequence of not wearing a face covering is strongly discouraged. Our school nurse will work with families whose child cannot tolerate face coverings due to a legitimate health reasons (e.g. health conditions, disability, etc.) We will encourage a face shield first and registration in VLS second. The school will not tolerate stigma or bullying of these students, if we have any.
  13. Will students be able to receive assignments through virtual school if they need to quarantine? Will the in-person classes (or portions of the lessons for the day) be streamed/recorded and available for kids who are quarantined or otherwise unable to attend? Once we transition to in-person learning, students will remain with that homeroom teacher for the remainder of the year. Teachers will post all assignments using Seesaw or Schoology. Students will be able to continue to work from home within quarantine. We are not able to ask teachers to record lessons or to live-stream.
  14. How will the specialist classes look like for VLS students? Will they still have access to each discipline weekly? We are still working to determine the schedule for students in VLS and the students who will be in-person. More information will be provided in two weeks.
  15. If virtual learning grades are grouped together will there be one curriculum for all grades or separate curriculum depending on their grade? Both students in VLS and students in-person may be in composite classes. Teachers will assess students to determine where they are at and provide lessons to help them meet their own grade level standards. Teachers will differentiate.
  16. Will HMS start at 7:30 as usual? What time will Virtual Learning start, or will it vary by classroom? The in-person schedule remains 7:30am-2:00pm. It is likely that buses will arrive between 7:00-7:15am. We will ask walkers and drop-offs to arrive between 7:15-7:30am. The VLS schedule will remain similar to this fall. The Art, PE, and Science schedule may change. Again, more information will be provided in two weeks.
  17. Will there still be walking lines with patrols or will parents be responsible for walking their children to and from school? At this time, we are asking for families to walk Kdg-2nd graders to/from school or to drop off. Instead of a walking patrol, we will have stationary patrols at defined corners starting on February 16 when 3rd-5th graders return to school. More details will come in two weeks.
  18. How concerned are you about the ability to staff for in-person (for the duration)t due to teacher illness/quarantine? I am concerned about covering for staff members during a pandemic. Our school district leaders are working on solutions, including re-assigning District staff to cover schools in the event of shortages.
  19. Based on state guidance, the tentative plan for Art is to be taught in the homerooms, PE to be taught in the gyms, and Science to be taught outdoors. It will be very important that students have layers of clothing for winter weather. This includes snow pants, jacket, hat, face covering, and gloves. If a family needs assistance, please email judy.browne@spps.org to express your need. If families have gently-used winter gear to donate, you may send it to school with your child. Anyone willing to help wash used gear during the school year will be appreciated.

PTA News & Announcements

Click here to watch a video of the most recent meeting. Click here to see the Meeting Notes.

Horace Mann School Student and Family Support

If your family needs extra support, we have several great resources. To start, you can complete our Horace Mann School Student & Family Support Contact Form or you might contact a staff member below directly.


Carrie Asmus, COUNSELOR

SUPPORTS: Students in grades K-5

CONTACT AT: carrie.asmus@spps.org or 651-744-4645 (e-mail is checked most often)


Cori Boehm- Peterson, SOCIAL WORKER

SUPPORTS: Students who receive Special Education services or experience homelessness

CONTACT AT: cori.boehm@spps.org or (651) 744-2563


Pia Cole, STUDENT SUPPORT COACH

SUPPORTS: Students in grades K-5 with social, emotional, and/or behavioral needs

CONTACT AT: elpidia.cole@spps.org


If you are seeking support from the school district, you can try the SPPS Student and Family Support webpage.

SPPS Technology Help

If you need help for your student’s iPad, please visit spps.org/iPadhelp, call the SPPS Family Support line at 651-603-4348 between 7am-4pm, or email familysupport@spps.org.


If you have questions about distance learning, including how to take your student’s attendance, please visit spps.org/distancelearning.

HMS Library

Pick-up and Return Dates and Times

  • Tuesdays 4:00-6:00 pm and Thursdays 7:00-9:00 am


Student Check-out Process


Student Pick-Up & Return Process

  • Pick up on Kenneth St Door 4. Call Lynda Imholte at (612) 930-2260 and tell her your student’s name.
  • Place returned book(s) in return bin on cart by Kenneth St Door 4.

Specialist Schedule Next Week

  • Art: Kdg and Gr 5 (Google Meet code: hmart)
  • Phy Ed: Gr. 1 and 3 (Google Meet code: hmpe)
  • Science: Gr 2 and 4 (Google Meet code: hmsci)

Important Dates

Bookmark our school calendar. It can be found at the top of our website. Here are some highlights.


Monday, January 11-Friday, January 15

  • Mon: Classes resume online
  • Tues 4-6pm: Library Pick-up/Return
  • Tues 6:30pm: PTA Meeting online
  • Thurs 7-9am: Library Pick-up/Return
  • Thurs 9am: Virtual School Tour with Principal for Prospective Families


Monday, January 18-Friday, January 22


  • Mon: Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday
  • Tues-Fri: School continues through Distance Learning
  • Thurs: 6pm Virtual School Tour with Parents/Students for Prospective Families

Contacts and Social Media

Main School Number: 651-293-8965.


Virtual Office Hours: Request by phone or text at 612-314-5187 or email.