Keep Minnetonka Kids in School- Maintain Masking at all Grades

Keep Minnetonka Kids in School- Maintain Masking at all Grades

February 5, 2022
Petition to
Minnetonka School Board and 1 other
Signatures: 118Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Supporting Safe Learning in Minnetonka

The Minnetonka School Board is holding a special session where they will discuss changes to the Safe Learning Plan. While they will have the opportunity to extend the current mask requirement at the High School level, there is also a risk that they will vote to remove mask requirements across grades, jeopardizing in-person learning for students in the district. We urge the Board to continue universal masking at all grades until they have established metrics to guide mitigation efforts, and until our community has reached these established benchmarks for safe learning. Maintaining current mask requirement through high school means more students and staff in schools, and a safer learning and teaching environment. 

Removing mask requirements would:
-Increase the risk of at-school transmission of Covid and other respiratory illnesses
-Add a tremendous burden on teachers and school nursing staff to track every exposure where one or both parties were unmasked
-Significantly increase the number of students removed from in-person learning due to quarantines and illness
-Leave preschool students and siblings too young to be vaccinated at greater risk of infection from spread within the school community
-Place school staff at increased risk of illness, as teachers and staff are more likely to suffer from severe Covid symptoms
-Require those in the school community with high-risk or not-yet-vaccinated family members to either take on increased exposure risk or lose access to in-person learning and school services
-Risk overwhelming the Tonka Online infrastructure with an influx of students, and
-Force high-risk families to leave the district if they are unable to transition to online learning within the district

The Safe Learning Plan can and should change in response to changes in the spread and severity of Covid-19, however we should not be dropping protocols until community spread is under control, hospitals are no longer overwhelmed, and the schools have capacity to perform effective contact tracing. Currently, students and staff do not need to quarantine after an exposure at school if both parties are wearing well-fitting masks, which has maximized the number of in-person learning days for students and teachers.

Given that the focus of the School Board is education rather than public health, we suggest that the Board create an advisory panel of medical and public health professionals from within the district, as surrounding communities have done. This would help the District to establish metrics to guide changes to the Safe Learning now and in the future. Until metrics can be drafted and presented for community feedback, and Minnetonka has met the determined criteria, we urge the School Board to keep universal masking policies in place from preschool through 12th grade. 

Support now
Signatures: 118Next Goal: 200
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Minnetonka School Board
  • Superintendent Dennis Peterson