Red Wing Public Schools

The Red Wing School Board met Monday to discuss mask wearing in schools, the Sister Cities Young Artist Showcase, district employee COVID leave and more.

Here is what you need to know:

Mask wearing enforced

Gov. Tim Walz ended the mask mandate last Friday for people who are fully vaccinated. The state did not, however, change mask protocols for schools until after the academic year ends.

The Red Wing Public Schools reiterated to staff, parents and students that it has not changed COVID-19 safety measures that are in place. 

Masks continue to be mandatory for students and adults in school, regardless of their vaccination status.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two weeks after the Johnson & Johnson single shot.

Sister Cities Young Artist Showcase

Kristin Bray, a Red Wing High School art teacher, presented the Sister Cities Young Artist Showcase winners.

Every year, the Red Wing Sister Cities Commission brings the Sister Cities International’s Young Artist and Authors Showcase to local students ages 13 to 18.

YAAS gives students worldwide the opportunity to express their vision of a unified society through art and literature. This year’s theme is “United in Hope.”

According to the Sister Cities International’s website, the organization strives “to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation -- one individual, one community at a time. The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique phenomenon in that it has affected every country around the globe. However, as is common in tragedy, hope shines through for those who persevere. Hope is a uniting force during this time as people struggle to cope with its ongoing effects and once again start to imagine a life without social distancing or wearing a mask.”

The local winners are:

  • 1st place: Cole Marks for his piece titled “Worlds Connected”

  • 2nd place: Hannah Beaulieu for her piece titled “Hope in the Rain”

  • 3rd place: Isabella Goeman  for her piece titled “Connection”

Goeman said in her artist statement, “The beautiful thing that we have been able to see in recent times, it shows us that even in times where we are not allowed to see others, people will find ways to remain in touch.”

All three local winners will go forward to the next step in this worldwide competition.

Red Wing has two sister cities: Quzhou, China, and Ikata, Japan. Students there also are able to participate in the international competition.

COVID-19 leave

The board approved all employees to use any remaining COVID leave days/hours that they have from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act from April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

An employee can use COVID leave days if:

  • Employee or dependent has COVID

  • Awaiting a COVID test results

  • Receiving a COVID vaccine

  • Ordered by the Minnesota Department of Health, a health care provider or the district’s COVID Response Team to quarantine

This means that the board has decided to opt out of the additional 10 COVID leave days that was being offered by the American Rescue Plan Act from March 2021.

Benefits for district employees

Bluecross Blueshield has been approved by the board to be the provider for dental and optional vision coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Guardian Life will be the carrier for basic life AD&D, long term disability, and voluntary life and AD&D coverage beginning July 1, 2021.

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