2021-22 COVID-19 Education Plan and Information

Update: Mar. 10, 2022

Effective Thursday, February 10, Benilde-St. Margaret's is employing a mask optional approach for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Effective Thursday, March 10, masks are no longer required on school buses. 

We continue to assess a variety of factors when adjusting our protocols. Here are some of the important factors at this point: 

  • Case rates in the school

  • CDC and MDH mandates

As for additional safety measures and protocols, please note: 

  • Isolation will still be required for individuals testing positive for COVID for a minimum of five days.

  • After five days, provided they show no active symptoms, individuals may return to school, although they will be required to wear a mask for an additional five days. 


Previous COVID-19 protocol updates


BSM's COVID-19 Education Plan and Information

BSM has established the following COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year, based on three principles:

  • Create a learning experience for students that is as close-to-normal as possible
  • Rely on school-specific transmission data to guide mitigation strategies
  • Allow for flexibility as circumstances change

Our COVID-19 response team will continue to work closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to monitor case data and on-campus transmission rates as the school year progresses. Some portions of this plan could change as the situation evolves. 

We will keep parents and guardians informed of any significant updates. 

2021-22 Learning Model and Mask Policy

  • Students in grades 7-12 will learn in-person on campus each day.
  • Masks are optional on campus starting Feb. 10.
  • The attendance office will have regular and KN95 masks available for any students part of a vulnerable population or those choosing to continue masking.
  • Per transportation regulations established by the CDC, students will be required to wear masks while riding the bus. 
  • Students will be required to show proof of a positive test result to be added to the virtual learning list while in quarantine.
  • Although our hope is to have updated all students on the virtual learning list by 8 a.m. each day, please allow two hours after submitting their COVID-19 positive results to Katie Galper for accommodations to be fulfilled.

BSM's COVID-19 Dashboard

 Positive COVID-19 Cases
Aug. 31-Sept. 48
Sept. 5-110
Sept. 12-181
Sept. 19-251
Sept. 26-Oct. 20
Oct. 3-93
Oct. 10-161
Oct. 17-230
Oct. 24-301
Oct. 31-Nov. 65
Nov. 7-139
Nov. 14-206
Nov. 21-276
Nov. 28-Dec. 48
Dec. 5-111
Dec. 12-180
Jan. 3-736*
Jan. 8-1458
Jan. 15-2136
Jan. 22-282
Jan. 29-Feb. 45
Feb. 5-111
Feb. 12-180
Feb. 19-251
Feb. 26-March 40
March 5-111
March 12-181
March 26-April 19
April 2-88
April 9-156
April 16-226
April 23-2915
April 30-May 623
May 7-139
May 14-209
May 21-273
May 28-June 34
June 4-80

* Reported cases on-campus since school resumed following winter break.

Attendance Guidelines

Students must stay home if they suspect they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperature over 100.4 degrees
  • Excessive coughing
  • Chills
  • Severe headache
  • Sore throat
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath

Parents and guardians must notify the school by contacting our COVID-19 Coordinator Katie Galper at kgalper@bsmschool.org and completing the attendance module on PowerSchool if their student:

  • Has flu-like symptoms
  • Has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Is awaiting test results

If someone at BSM tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to leave campus until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider or have satisfied the 5-day quarantine requirement. BSM will notify MDH of each positive diagnosis. 

Athletics

  • BSM athletic teams will follow the guidance, rules, and regulations of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). Current guidelines require a 10-day quarantine from athletics. Updates will be shared with athletes as protocols are updated. 

Communications and Monitoring

The COVID-response team will actively monitor daily COVID-19 rates to ensure the safety of our community. 

  • BSM’s COVID-19 coordinator will notify MDH of each positive diagnosis. 
  • BSM will no longer individually notify families of close contacts in classrooms. All students should remain vigilant regarding COVID-19 symptoms.
  • BSM will continue to notify families of close contacts for student participating in athletics. These communications will come from individual coaches or BSM's athletic director.
  • Each week, COVID-19 case numbers will be updated on our website at the end of the day each Friday (see above).
  • Community-wide updates regarding our response to COVID-19 will be shared as necessary.

Quarantine Requirements

  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for a minimum of five days. Students and adults will be allowed to return to campus after they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, and after the five-day quarantine period has passed.

Facilities and Daily Cleaning

  • A new HVAC and air-filtration system was installed in the summer of 2020. This system eliminates pathogens, odors, and particulates throughout campus.
  • Every classroom will be disinfected at the end of each school day.
  • Common areas and high-touch-point areas (light switches, doorknobs, classroom desks, etc.) will be cleaned daily. 
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfectant, facial tissues, gloves, and masks will be made available in multiple locations.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Strong vaccination rates among the student body.
  • Face coverings required for anyone while riding the bus.
  • Students with illnesses are encouraged to stay home when sick.
  • Regular hydrostatic cleaning of learning spaces and high-touch surfaces.
  • Upgraded ventilation system installed in 2020.
  • Students are given regular hand washing and respiratory etiquette reminders.

Vaccination Policy

  • BSM strongly recommends every eligible student get the vaccine and get boosted. It is the strongest line of defense against COVID-19.

Visitors

  • Visitors will be allowed on campus per BSM’s standard safety procedures and protocols, and they will be expected to follow the current protocols. 
Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19? 

  • If someone at BSM tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to leave campus and quarantine according to the established guidelines. 
  • Current guidelines require anyone who tests positive to quarantine for a minimum of five days. Students will be able to learn virtually during their quarantine, and will be allowed to return to the classroom after they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, and after the five-day quarantine period has passed, at which time they will be required to mask for an additional five days to mitigate exposure. 

Will distance learning be an option in 2021-22?

  • Only students who have tested positive for COVID-19 – or those who have been asked to quarantine by MDH due to close contact with a positive case – will be allowed to learn virtually. 

Will families of students who come into close contact with a positive case be informed?

  • Yes. Families of students who come into close contact with someone who has tested positive at BSM – either in the classroom or during athletic events or other activities -- will be notified by BSM’s COVID-19 coordinator.