School board to discuss COVID-19 and the process for filling vacant positions at September 27 meeting


Following the resignation of one board member and the expected resignation of another, the Eden Prairie School Board is considering discussing and voting on a process to fill vacant board positions at its meeting of September 27.

In May 2021, Veronica Stoltz resigned her seat and Karla Bratrud was nominated by 4-2 to the board on June 18 to hold the position until a special election on November 2.

At the time, the board was divided on how best to proceed with this appointment. Some were in favor of an open process for community members to apply, others for the nomination of the next highest voter in the last election. Still, others thought picking someone with previous board experience made the most sense.

Bratrud had served on the board from 2012 to 2016 and again in 2019 to fill another 11-month vacancy. She made it clear on her appointment in June that she would not be running for the seat in November.

Five candidates are running for the open seat of Stoltz in the special election: Steve Bartz, Albert Born, Michelle Mattison, Francesca Pagan-Umar and Darryl Stanton. See candidate profiles here.

Second resignation to come

Beth Fletcher has announced plans to step down from the school board this fall.

On August 19, Beth Fletcher, a board member, announced her intention to step down this fall. As of September 25, she had not formalized this resignation.

At a board workshop on September 13, members discussed the best way to fill Fletcher’s position, as the resignation will come too late to allow him to be put on the special ballot on the 2 November.

A few options for special election dates in 2022 were discussed, but all agreed that a process was needed to select temporary board members.

The September 27 agenda lists a vacancy process that will be put to a vote by the board.

COVID Update

Superintendent Josh Swanson is expected to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in the district.

Two schools in Eden Prairie – Oak Point Elementary and Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion – were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on September 24 as having five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The EPLN contacted MDH to inquire whether the reported data is for each school or the entire building it is in, but they did not immediately respond. Oak Point and Eagle Heights are both located on the same campus.

Josh Swanson, Principal of Eden Prairie Schools

“Schools that have five or more confirmed cases in a two-week period are included in the named list of schools on our situation update web page,” according to the MDH website.

The site also says schools will be removed from the list after 28 days with no new laboratory confirmed cases.

MDH updates its case data in school buildings every Thursday.

Eden Prairie case rate on the rise

The Hennepin County COVID-19 Public Dashboard reported Eden Prairie’s case rate from August 31 through September. 13 to 34.4 per 10,000 inhabitants, compared to 30.8 in the previous two weeks. The city’s case rate has been rising slowly since early August, when it was 22.7.

The district recently began releasing a COVID-19 dashboard, which it discontinued at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

As of September 24, 33 cases have been reported from preschool to 5e first-year students, up from 16 reported on September 17.

During the same period, seven cases were reported from Grades 6 to 12, including the TASSEL program. That figure is up from five on September 17.

Three cases were reported among staff on September 24, compared to two on September 17.

Data is reported for the previous 14 day period. Eden Prairie has 9,331 students and 1,825 staff, which include coaches, counselors and reserve personnel.

Mask requirements

District COVID-19 Safe Learning Plan Requires Masks for Students Inside Kindergarten to Grade 6e notes and recommends them to all students in the district.

All staff are required to wear face covers if they are not vaccinated or when they cannot maintain a six-foot social distance from students.

Staff who are fully immunized and maintain social distancing in the school may remove their face coverings when it “contributes to academic performance.”

Due to the highly contagious Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of status. vaccine “, according to its last update on September 13.

The school board meeting will begin on September 27 at 6 p.m. at the Administrative Services Center, 8100 School Road. The public is invited to attend. Anyone planning to comment on the board should check out the procedure here. The meeting is also available on Zoom here.

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