EPS Smart Restart

Check here for all Smart Restart information & guidelines.

Return to In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services PlanESSER III Final Application

March 22, 2021

For the past 3 months, we have enjoyed declining COVID-19 cases and very few individuals out of school due to COVID-19.  Think about this:

  • During the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, we had 59 COVID-19 positive staff and students.

  • During the second semester of the 2020-21 school year, we have only had 2 positive cases connected to the school (as of today).

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is becoming more predominant in our community again.  According to the North Dakota Coronavirus Dashboard website cases and the positivity rate are up in our community.  Let’s work together to keep cases low in our school by following the health and safety guidelines.  To protect yourself and others:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Avoid close contact
  3. Wear a mask
  4. Stay home if you are sick

The end of the school year is insight.  Let’s finish the year strong and in-person.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School 


January 18th, 2021

Dear Ellendale School Families,

While the statewide mask requirement was allowed to expire today, Ellendale Public School will continue to require masks in certain circumstances and where 6 foot physical distancing isn’t possible.  The Ellendale Public School mask requirement is as follows:

  • Masks are required when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained. 

  • Masks are required to be worn upon arrival, during transitions, and during dismissal when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained. 

  • Masks are required in the classroom when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained. 

  • Masks are required with all group projects and when congregating. 

  • Masks are required in the serving line for breakfast / lunch. 

  • Masks are required when on a school bus. 

  • Masks are permitted during PE, recess, and activity practices. However, masks are not recommended during strenuous activity. 

  • Staff / students are responsible for bringing their own mask to school each day. 

  • Staff / students are responsible to wash cloth masks after each use. 

  • Specific requirements may be modified based on executive order, health officer order, and/or ND Smart Restart Guidelines. 

Masks are still required by all fans at all times as per North Dakota High School Activities Association Guidelines.  

My sincere appreciation to the Ellendale Public School community for doing their part.  Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School  


December 10, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families,

Yesterday, Governor Burgum and Interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke extended mitigation measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in North Dakota.  The State Health Officer order requiring face coverings to be worn in indoor businesses and indoor public settings as well as outdoor public settings where physical distancing isn’t possible, has been extended to 12:01 a.m. on January 18, 2021.  The masking order by the State Health Officer supersedes the school policy that was adopted in October.

Competitions and performances at EPS will resume on Monday, December 14th.  The Governor’s order to pause winter sports competitions and other extracurricular K-12 activities will be allowed to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2020.  Please watch the school calendar for updates.  

The North Dakota High School Activities Association has also announced new attendance guidelines to determine maximum fan attendance for regular season events.  Based on the new guidelines, the seating capacity will be 25% of the occupancy limit.  More details will be announced at a later time.  

Lastly, the CDC and NDDoH recently updated their quarantine guidelines for close contacts who don’t have any symptoms.  To summarize:

  • If you remain symptom free, you may reduce your quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days. 

  • If you receive a negative result from a viral COVID19 test (PCR or rapid antigen), you can reduce your quarantine to seven days (Your test can be collected no earlier than 48 hours prior to your quarantine release date, so the earliest you can be tested is day six from your exposure date. You must continue to quarantine while awaiting test results). 

I apologize for the changing guidelines and understand the frustration that goes along with it.  Most of the changes occurring are outside of our control and we are doing our best to keep you updated.  We will be making some changes on the EPS Smart Restart web page in the near future to keep you up to date.  As always, please let us know if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School  


November 25, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families,

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I want to express my gratitude to the community for trusting us to educate your children.  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and we’ve had to make some adjustments, but I’m proud to say that we have been open to in-person instruction for 62 consecutive days!  And it continues to be our goal to keep the school open to in-person instruction.  

Below is a summary of cumulative and active COVID-19 cases at Ellendale Public School.

Cumulative Positive = 50 (28 students & 22 staff). Total number of positive COVID-19 cases connected to the school since August 25.

Active Positives = 3 (2 students & 1 staff). Number of students or staff who have active COVID-19 cases as of today.

Cumulative Masked Close Contacts = 39 (35 students & 4 staff). Total number of masked close contacts since October 1.  When the positive case and close contact have both been wearing a face covering consistently and correctly for the entire time, the close contact does not need to self-quarantine at home.

Have a peaceful Thanksgiving! 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School  

 


November 19, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families, 

Winter sports practices and extracurricular activities in North Dakota are now allowed to resume on November 30th with extra precautions, while competitions will remain suspended until December 14th.  View the full press release from the Governor’s office here. 

This means that Wrestling, JH Girls Basketball, JV & Varsity Girls Basketball and JV & Varsity Boys Basketball will be allowed to resume / start practicing at Ellendale School on Monday, November 30th.   Junior High Boys Basketball will start practice on December 14th as originally scheduled.  Please watch the Google calendar for changes to the game schedule. 

View the recently updated North Dakota High School Activity Association (NDHSAA) FAQs related to the current winter sports suspension here.

Please contact the school if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School  


November 16, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families, 

Over the weekend, Governor Burgum announced Executive Order 2020-43 which suspends all winter sports and activities until December 14th.  Remaining November contests including girls swimming and diving, volleyball, and B plays are exempt and will be allowed to complete their respective state tournaments.  Click here to reference the full order.  Further information will be provided as we receive updates from the North Dakota Activities Association and the Governor’s Office.  

Ellendale Public School will now offer streaming of our home games (when they are allowed to resume) free of charge through NFHS Network.  Users will still need to create an account to watch games that take place at EPS, but will NOT have to pay a subscription.  If you want to watch an away game, a subscription may still be required.  If you are within the first 30 days of a subscription you already paid for, you may cancel by emailing: customersupport@nfhsnetwork.com or submit a refund request here: https://playonsubs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Please contact the school if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School  


October 30, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families,

The past five to six weeks have been challenging for Ellendale Public School.  In that timeframe, we experienced 37 positive COVID-19 cases and over 200 close contacts (Note: numerous individuals are counted multiple times as they were close contacts to more than one positive case).  Of the positive cases, 21 cases were students and 16 cases were staff members.  To mitigate the spread of the virus, we have quarantined close contacts, promoted social distancing, and implemented a mask requirement when social distancing isn’t possible.

I feel these mitigation strategies have been successful.  As of today, Friday, October 30th at 8:00 AM Ellendale Public School District is down to two active COVID-19 cases.  Below are some additional statistics:

  • As of today, EPS has 2 active COVID-19 cases.  One student and one staff member.

  • As of today, EPS has 4 teachers and 2 students out as close contacts.  Note: These close contacts occurred outside of the school building.

  • As of today, EPS has 11 students who are close contacts and are monitoring symptoms, but are in school because both parties were wearing a mask.

It continues to be our goal to keep the school open to in-person instruction. I would like to recognize the EPS staff and substitutes for the crucial role and extra effort they have put forth this year to provide educational services to the children of our community.  Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate this situation.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School


October 8, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families,

Due to an increase in positive cases, Governor Doug Burgum updated Dickey county’s COVID-19  risk level from low risk (green) to moderate risk (yellow).  This new guidance will go into effect on Friday, October 9th at 5:00 PM.  At that time, Ellendale Public School will begin implementing it’s yellow protocols for school and activities.  EPS will continue in-person instruction with enhanced precautions.  Additionally, Ellendale Public School will now require face coverings for all staff and students effective Monday, October 12th.  Guidelines are as follows:

  • Masks are required when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained.

  • Masks are required to be worn upon arrival, during transitions, and during dismissal when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained.

  • Masks are required in the classroom when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained.

  • Masks are required with all group projects and when congregating.

  • Masks are required in the serving line for breakfast / lunch.

  • Masks are required when on a school bus.

  • Masks are permitted during PE, recess, and activity practices. However, masks are not recommended during strenuous activity.

  • Staff / students are responsible for bringing their own mask to school each day.

  • Staff / students are responsible to wash cloth masks after each use.

  • Specific requirements may be modified based on ND Smart Restart Guidelines.

  • Click here for information on how to select a mask.

Ellendale Public School District now has 16 active COVID-19 cases and many more close contacts. The mask requirement is being implemented to address the increase in cases and to align with the new guidelines from the North Dakota Department of Health regarding masks and quarantine.  To summarize, if  both the infected person and close contact are wearing a mask at all times during the exposure, the close contact is exempt from being quarantined. Click here for more information on the updated quarantine and mask guidance.

Ellendale Public School serves the community best when it’s open to in-person instruction.  The decision to implement masks is meant to keep kids in school as much as possible to in-person instruction while following current guidelines from the Department of Health.  Thank you for your patience and understanding in this emerging and rapidly evolving situation.  As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School


 

September 30, 2020

Guidance for Quarantine and Mask Use

In addition to social distancing and good hygiene practices, principle components for reducing the transmission of COVID-19 among North Dakota citizens include testing, isolation of cases, quarantine of contacts and use of face masks. This guidance allows for the consideration of face mask use to determine if a person exposed to someone with COVID-19 will need to quarantine.

Evidence is showing that masking can be highly effective in reducing the risk of virus transmission from an infected individual (the source) to their close contacts. Masking can reduce the risk of virus spread from an infected person and reduce virus exposure to the close contact. Masking works well and with minimal training can be implemented almost universally.

Contact tracing and quarantining contacts is also effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19. However, it has limitations:

  • People can transmit COVID-19 prior to symptom onset and asymptomatically.
  • People need to be tested, diagnosed and reported to the health department so they can be interviewed to identify their close contacts.
  • People who are infected, need to cooperate fully with disease investigators.
  • People who are named as close contacts need to comply with quarantine recommendations.

There are numerous exemptions to quarantine recommendations so people can continue to work in industries and jobs that are deemed critical or essential.
With this guidance, close contacts will continue to be defined as individuals who have been within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. Close contacts will still need to be quarantined for 14 days from their last exposure unless both the infected person and close contact were wearing a mask at all times during the exposure, this would exempt the contact from being quarantined. Care must be taken that activities that require removing masks are done only when people can socially distance themselves appropriately.

Except as noted below, the quarantine exception applies to most non-health care settings. This exception includes, but may not be limited to:
• Childcare centers where staff and older children (age two or above) are able to wear a mask.
• Group homes
• K-12 schools and preschools
• Colleges and universities
• Work settings
• Social interactions
• Other settings where both the infected person and contact were masked during the exposure.

This exception does not apply to household contacts.
People, who because of mask use, are exempted from quarantine should:
• Wear a mask while around others;
• Watch for symptoms for 14 days and be tested if symptom(s) occur;
• If you become aware that you have been potentially exposed, consider being tested 7-10 days after the last exposure.
• Practice social distancing, including avoiding large crowds and gatherings.
People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will still be required to isolate for at least 10 days, with absence of fever for at least 24 hours and improvement in symptoms.
Case investigation and contact tracing staff will continue to notify close contacts of their exposures to COVID-19 and will provide recommendations whether quarantine or self-monitoring due to masking is appropriate for the exposure.
Download PDF of this letter from Govenor.nd.gov here.

September 3, 2020

Dear Ellendale School Families, 

All Ellendale Public School students are now eligible for free meals via a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) waiver as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Free meals will be provided from August 31 to December, 31 2020 or until the available federal funding runs out.  As of today, meal charges incurred from August 22 through August 30 will not be refunded unless the USDA allows schools to retroactively claim those meals. 

The available free meals include breakfast and lunch for all students, either virtual or in-person, and includes grab-and-go meals.  Virtual and distance learning students who are interested in grab-and-go meals may contact the school at 701-349-3232 to make arrangements.  Extra milk and seconds will still be charged to the individual account. 

Current funds in a student account can be held for when charges to meals resume.  Families are still encouraged to complete Free and Reduced Meal Program applications as the free meals are temporary and dependent upon available federal funds.  In addition, there are also other household and school district benefits to qualifying for the Free and Reduced Meal Program.

For more information about the USDA free meal extension, visit their website here. If you have any questions, please contact Superintendent Michael Kaiser at 701-349-3232 or michael.kaiser@ellendale.k12.nd.us.

Sincerely,

Michael Kaiser, Superintendent
Ellendale Public School 
  


 

August 24th, 2020

Superintendent’s Welcome Message

It has been a challenge for our entire community since March, but I hope you have found ways to cope and embrace this new normal.  Thank you to the students, staff, parents, and community members who have helped us succeed in these difficult times. Through hard work, planning, and preparation over the summer we are now ready to return back to school for in-person instruction.

While l look forward to having students back at school, we cannot disregard that the health and safety concerns associated with the virus remain.  Therefore, Ellendale Public School will be taking practical steps to keep our schools from contributing to virus spread in our community.  Below are some key changes that I want to communicate:

Wash your hands often

  • Students will be encouraged to wash their hands often.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building.

Avoid close contact

  • Social distancing will be promoted.
  • Schedules will be modified to increase physical separation.
  • The sharing of resources will be limited as much as possible.
  • Floor markings will be placed throughout the building.
  • During drop-off and pick-up, parents should remain outside.
  • Essential visitors (i.e. parents) will be allowed in the building during the day.
  • Essential visitors should enter door #1 and remain in the main office.
  • Nonessential visitors will not be allowed into the building.

Clean and Disinfect

  • School staff will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Facial Covering

  • Face coverings are encouraged when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • The district may require face coverings in specific circumstances.
  • EPS will provide one face covering for all staff and students.
  • Face coverings will be the responsibility of families to wash and maintain.

Monitor your health daily

  • Parents should screen their children before school each day.
  • Staff and students who are sick should stay home.

— 

Michael Kaiser, Superintendent

Ellendale Public School

 


 

– OTHER UPDATES –

 

 

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