Return-To-Learn Newsletter

LS-H Middle/High School

Dear Le Sueur-Henderson Middle/High School Parents and Families:

I hope this newsletter finds your family healthy and having a wonderful summer. All of our LS-H Middle/High School staff are excited to welcome our students back for the 2020-2021 school year! Throughout the summer, we have been creating plans to provide a safe learning environment where all of our students will engage in high quality educational opportunities. We appreciate your feedback and are continually working to ensure our Return-to-Learn plans are in compliance with the guidance provided by the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the CDC. We know that families are eagerly and urgently needing to know how their child will “attend” school this Fall.

Governor Walz unveiled the state’s Safe Learning Plan on Thursday, July 30. This plan prioritizes health and safety protocols, data-driven decision making and the importance of local school districts to make informed decisions. County public health data will be used throughout the 2020-2021 school year as one factor in determining the learning scenarios of our schools.

I would like to provide you with some specific information about our local plans to provide a high quality education for all students in a safe, healthy manner. Together, we must be prepared to move between the three learning scenarios described in this newsletter as needed throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Three Learning Scenarios

Scenario 1 (In-Person):

  • All students will attend school in-person following our school board approved district calendar.

Scenario 2 (Hybrid):

  • Students in grades 6-12 will be divided into a Day 1 group and a Day 2 group.
  • Day 1 students will attend school in-person on Monday/Wednesday and virtually on Tuesday/Thursday.
  • Day 2 students will attend school in-person on Tuesday/Thursday and virtually on Monday/Wednesday.
  • All students will engage in distance learning on Fridays.
  • Students in the same family will be placed in the same hybrid learning group.

Scenario 3 (Distance Learning):

  • All students will engage in distance learning.
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Le Sueur-Henderson Schools is currently in the process of evaluating health data and following the process identified by the Minnesota Department of Education to determine which learning scenario our schools will utilize at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. A recommendation for our initial learning scenario will be brought to the school board on August 17th. LS-H students and families will be notified as soon as possible.


  • This may be needed as a response to illness of staff and/or students.
  • An advisory committee will meet weekly to evaluate current health data and its impact on the Le Sueur-Henderson School District.
  • This committee will recommend moving to a more or less restrictive learning scenario as needed throughout the school year.
  • Families with multiple children in different grades will be divided into a Day 1 or Day 2 group so families are able to move between learning scenarios together.

2020-2021 "To Do" List for all LS-H Families

In addition to completing the surveys or important forms below (click on the buttons below), please take extra care when completing all necessary paperwork in the back-to-school packets. It is paramount that all families have multiple emergency contacts listed with current information.

Campus Portal Support

Please refer to the following document to assist with logging into and updating information in Campus Portal:

More Information About Preparations at LS-H Middle/High School


  • LS-H Schools will be utilizing passive daily health screenings for all students and staff.
  • Parents will be responsible for taking their child's temperature before school each day.
  • Parents: By sending your child to school, you are verifying that he/she/they do not exhibit any of the following symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, muscle aches and headache, chills or runny nose.
  • Students and staff will be expected to remain home if a temperature or any of these symptoms are present.


  • Daily health screenings for all students and staff.
  • Regular hand washing will be encouraged. Hand sanitizer will be provided in the following areas: entrances/exits, every classroom, main office and in the cafeteria.
  • Staff and students will be required to wear a face covering. More specific guidelines for face coverings will be provided in our next newsletter.
  • In Scenario 2, several hallways will be designated for one way traffic flow. Hallways will remain open to two way traffic when social distancing can be followed.
  • In Scenario 2, student lockers will not be utilized and students will need to carry backpacks.
  • Signage will be provided throughout the school to indicate social distancing, best hygiene practices, and traffic flow.
  • An isolation room will be provided for students who show symptoms for COVID-19 at school. More will come later defining communication and procedures for students and staff who are ill.


  • LS-H Schools is adding custodial staff to facilitate increased cleaning procedures.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be utilized in the main office for administrative assistants.
  • Only essential visitors will be granted access to LS-H Middle/High School.
  • Field trips will be virtual only.
  • Brian Thorstad will serve as the COVID-19 Coordinator at LS-H Middle/High School.


  • All students at LS-H Middle/High School will be provided a chromebook that will remain with them throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Details about our 1:1 device implementation will be provided at a later date.
  • Virtual tools such as Google Meets and Zoom will be utilized to meet virtually with students in the hybrid and distance learning scenarios.
  • A limited supply of hotspots will be available to support students experiencing internet access barriers.


  • Students will be transported at 50% bus capacity in Learning Scenario #2.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization procedures are being implemented by the Le Sueur-Henderson Bus Company.
  • Family members may be asked to sit together.
  • All families are encouraged to complete the Transportation Survey to identify your child’s method to school: walking/biking, parents dropping off or picking up, or riding school district provided transportation.


  • Students arriving by bus will be assigned to enter/exit through Door #3 or Door #4 to ensure social distancing.
  • Students who drive to school will enter/exit LS-H MS/HS through Door #14 or Door #18.
  • Students who are dropped off at school will enter/exit through the Main Entrance.
  • Before school, students will report directly to their 1st hour class and remain there until the school day begins in Scenario 2.
  • After school, students will be dismissed in a staggered manner over the intercom to ensure social distancing can be maintained in Scenario 2.


  • An additional lunch period will be added to reduce the amount of students being served at one time.
  • Students will sit at their lunch table and wait to be dismissed to the cafeteria to ensure social distancing in the lunch lines.
  • In Scenario 2, only two students will sit at each lunch table to ensure social distancing.
  • Tables will be disinfected between each lunch period.
  • Aviands' Food Service is implementing health and safety protocols to be in compliance with MDH and MDE.


  • Please contact Ms. Undeberg (Middle School and AVID Counselor) or Ms. Al-Sattam (High School Counselor) for additional resources and support.
  • Sioux Trails School-Linked Mental Health supports will be provided throughout the school year.
  • The 7 Mindsets social/emotional curriculum will be introduced at LS-H Middle/High School throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
  • All students at LS-H Middle/High School will be placed in a small group advisory that will meet two times each week.


  • If you do not plan to send your child to school in an in-person or hybrid model and would like to opt into distance learning, please fill out our Distance Learning Election Form by clicking the link below. Please submit this form by Friday, Aug. 7th.
  • You may choose to opt into or out of distance learning at a later time if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who will be allowed to enter LS-H Middle/High School?

A: Only students and staff will be granted access to the school. Parents will be asked to make appointments for in-person meetings or participate in meetings online. LS-H personnel will accompany the child to the front door and await the arrival of the parent/guardian if a student needs to be picked up from school for any reason.

Q: What happens if my student’s teacher is absent? Will there be a substitute teacher?

A: Similar to school districts all across the country, LS-H has experienced a substitute teacher shortage in previous years. We have taken steps to recruit additional short-call substitutes in the event we encounter similar shortages this year. The reality is that if we are faced with a staff shortage due to required quarantines, then we may be forced to implement a more restrictive Scenario (e.g. transition from hybrid into distance learning). If you have a Bachelor’s degree and are willing to assist with our possible substitute shortage, please consider applying for a short call substitute license. Call the Le Sueur-Henderson District Office for more information regarding obtaining a short call substitute license.

Q: How will my child get to school?

A: All families are encouraged to complete the Transportation Survey to identify your child’s method to school: walking/biking riding, parents dropping off or picking up, driving or riding school district provided transportation.

The LS-H bus company will increase its cleaning and sanitization procedures. While riding on the school bus, family members will be asked to sit together.

Q: What happens if a student comes to school with COVID-19 symptoms or develops them during the day?

A: With the guidance and training from the school district’s nurse, staff will be trained to watch for possible symptoms of COVID-19. When staff or students develop symptoms during the school day, the symptomatic individuals will be immediately separated for all others and placed in a designated space. The individuals with COVID-19 symptoms will remain under the visual supervision of a staff member. Families and/or emergency contacts will be notified immediately and will be required to have the symptomatic individual removed for the school building within 30 minutes of the received notification.

Q: Will families be notified if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

A: The school district nurse, building administration, the Department of Health, and Sibley or Le Sueur County Public Health will collaborate to facilitate communication/notifications, contact tracing, and testing (if necessary).

We are excited to welcome our students back to school and provide world class educational opportunities in any of the learning scenarios described above. We will provide several parent/student updates with more detailed information as we move closer to the start of the school year. These updates will contain information about our open house, 6th grade orientation, activities, and new back-to-school procedures. We're thrilled to welcome you back with GIANT PRIDE.

Go Giants!

Brian Thorstad


Le Sueur-Henderson Middle/High School

Middle/High School Contact Information

Brian Thorstad, Principal (507) 665-5803

Jeff Christ, Dean of Students/Activities Director (507) 665-5804

Pam Mediger, Attendance Secretary (507) 665-5801

Bonnie Davig, MS/HS Secretary (507) 665-5802

Christy Smykalski, Activities/Counseling Secretary (507) 665-5805