For the Love of Learning™

Parent & Family Resources

November Director’s Newsletter

November 11, 2020

Berry Patch Families,

Welcome to Winter!

As COVID-19 cases in Hennepin County continue to rise and school districts begin making the decision to shift to more distanced learning I want to answer some questions that may be on your mind in relationship to The Berry Patch. Governor Walz’ Children’s Cabinet is a key for coming alongside early learning centers that are providing care for our youngest Minnesotans at this time. I was on the monthly Children’s Cabinet call on Monday night and heard from the Lieutenant Governor and officials from the Health Department and Licensing. I am proud to be a part of a school community that is committed to following the protocol we have been given and to be among the centers who have been able to remain open.

Thank you for your patience with us as we ask so much of you in relationship to keeping your children home when necessary and being responsive and understanding of our stringent return-to-school policies. This has been the KEY to keeping our school community flourishing.
In an effort to keep everyone informed, here are some answers to some FAQs:
Remind me again when my child would need to stay at home because of COVID-19?
  • If your child or a household member has symptoms for COVID-19 (one common or two less common) and are waiting for test results.
  • If your child tests positive for COVID-19
  • 10 days Home Isolation (separated from rest of family) begins
  • Return to school after Home Isolation (and symptoms resolved)
  • If a household member tests positive for COVID-19
  • 14-day Quarantine begins the last day of EXPOSURE to the positive household member
  • If the positive household member is unable to Isolate (stay in separate room from rest of family for 10 days of illness), Quarantine would begin after the positive person’s 10 day illness
  • Get tested 5-7 days into Quarantine
  • If any other household members test positive during Quarantine a new 14-day Quarantine begins
  • Return to school after 14-day Quarantine with no new positive cases in the household
  • If your child or their teacher tests positive for COVID-19
  • We would let you know with an email and phone call
  • 14-day Quarantine begins the last day of exposure to the positive case
  • Rest of household does not need to Quarantine at home
  • Child get tested 5-7 days into Quarantine
  • Return to school after 14-day Quarantine if no positive cases in the household
  • If a non-household member lets you know that they are positive for COVID-19 and your child was with them (for 15 minutes or more within 6 feet within 48 hours of their symptoms beginning) OR you get a call from MDH that your child is a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
  • 14-day Quarantine begins the last day of EXPOSURE to the positive case
  • Get tested 5-7 days into Quarantine
  • Return to school after 14-day Quarantine with no positive cases in the household
When/why would The Berry Patch close?
  • An individual class would close for 2 weeks if there is a lab-confirmed positive COVID case of a student or teacher in that classroom.
  • An individual class would close if the teacher is out because of illness or quarantine and we are not able to find a substitute. (THIS IS WHY MOST DISTRICTS ARE GOING TO DISTANCE LEARNING.)
  • The Berry Patch would close if Governor Walz mandated that childcare centers close because of a Stay-at-Home order.
  • The Berry Patch would close if the Department of Health recommended this due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in our school.
Why don’t we follow what the school districts around us are doing now when we did follow them this Spring?
  • Our mandate to be closed in the spring was a part of Governor Walz Stay-at-Home order. Childcare Centers were included in businesses that needed to be closed. When they were allowed to reopen it was only for essential workers.
  • The data has shown, that with the right Preparedness Plans in place– closely screening for illness, limiting class sizes to under 10, and close monitoring of absences with strict return-to-school guidelines– that childcare centers are NOT a significant source of community spread of COVID-19.
Have there been any positive COVID-19 cases in our school (staff or students)?
  • No
Have any staff or students had to quarantine because of exposure to a positive COVID-19 case outside of Berry Patch?
  • 6 students
  • 1 staff member
  • We are in very close communication with all families with students in Quarantine
  • We require strict adherance to all return-to-school protocol stated above
What happens if my child’s class has to close for 2 weeks because of a positive COVID-19 case in their classroom
  • You will be credited 50% of that month’s tuition
  • Your child’s teacher will provide some resources for learning/play at home as well as a Zoom time with the class two times during the class’ Quarantine
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding our operations and preparedness plans. We are looking at them regularly and adapting as the situation changes. I am happy to connect with you.
Blessings on each family represented in this fantastic community.
Gratefully,
Molly
Molly Lounsberry Dykstra
Director, The Berry Patch
m.dykstra@berrypatchschool.com
952-836-1577 ext. 2