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New Policy Surfaces Removing Superintendent Authority Replacing with State Authority Over Student Testing, Tracing and Quarantines

ESSA Mandates flow to the districts

New Policy Surfaces Removing Superintendent Authority Replacing with State Authority Over Testing, Tracing and Quarantines

New policies which remove superintendent/school district authority over students with possible or probable Covid-19 surfaced during the Governor’s press conference last Thursday. During the press conference, MDH Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller-Der explained that after testing had occurred within the schools, regional authorities would be contacted to take over the case with the student including the state Dept of Health and Dept of Education. If you didn’t realize that our schools have lost local control, these scenarios should signal a wake up call.

Just like our governor stated that school would have local-decision making in the reopen plans, he upended that statement by introducing an 18-page Dept of Health document laying out regulations and requirements for schools to follow. Here we have a similar scenario. There is a lot of double speak! Teachers will administer Covid tests to their own students and then if positive, the state-local school, Incident Command Team. will refer the child to regional authorities who will be immediately in control of the students’ health going forward. Principals and Superintendents will then be under “continuous consultative partnerships,” as the state removes local authority and administers a pre-set list of regulations. Superintendents will focus on educational; the Dept of Health and others will focus on student health in a way never seen before. In other words, should your child be considered positive, probable or possible for Covid, there will be immediate involvement by the state and regional authorities regarding your child, leading to the relinquishment of local school and charter school authority. In fact late in the speech, local community leaders (mayors, city council, etc) are included to also relinquish their authority to the state.

When will the parents be called? There was no discussion about calling parents and saying that your child may need a test – Come and get them now. No, there was no mention of parents regarding testing whatsoever. MACC sees additional issues regarding teachers medically testing their own students. What exactly does “not feeling well” look like? Mueller-Der talks about “possible, probable, tested yet no results” as reasons to move forward with state/regional actions. Far too much in this speech is open-ended. If teachers are allowed to medically test for Covid now, what might they be able to do medically to students down the road? For one, teachers do not have medical degrees. The testing in itself, is an incredible overreach. So there was no talk of parent notification or the consent to be tested at school.

If you didn’t read our first article on the Governor Walz and MDH Commissioner Malcolm’s speeches from last Thursday, please read here. https://commoncoremn.com/2020/07/31/walz-calls-for-local-district-decision-making-while-pushing-state-guidelines-and-requirements-for-matrix-extensive-testing-and-quarantines/   

Salient points from our first article include:

18-pg MN Dept of Health document that includes regulations and requirements for schools

Regional support teams include the Regional Service Cooperative, County Public Health office, Minnesota Depts of Health and Education.

State “continuous consultation” with administration

State-led local school ICTs or Incident Command Teams that will pinpoint any child that might have Covid

Teachers administer Covid-19 tests to students

Governor Walz calls for “extensive testing in the schools”

Beginning around the 46:00 minute mark, we’ve transcribed the press conference for those who prefer to read over listen. We know this is long, but we are hopeful that parents and teachers not only begin to really understand what this Fall might look like in the schools but also push back against government (and likely corporate in the wings) overreach in our local communities.

Additional topics include funding and utilization (federal funding that comes with strings), “student accelerated learning”, “accelerated learning for 0 to 8 year old “students”, focus on technology, the “digital divide”, funding for technology, wearing face coverings, teacher testing, a “testing event”, student and teacher testing, teachers testing students immediately and universal testing. Here’s the video followed by transcription.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfo3azfAlB0&fbclid=IwAR0akEQRj33_EMondPGR8MZECj-hWVbZfvz4nR4fDvorcAQNDRqaFW63fTg

TRANSCRIPTION

MDH Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller

“And finally, the last thing we need to talk about are the components around testing. We know once we finally get our students back in the buildings, if that is the base model, if that is what is expected and supported, then we have the opportunity to be thoughtful about how we can support our staff and students in that testing.

46:32 “So first I’d like to talk about where we’re putting our human resources and our capital. We recognize our superintendents and our charter school leaders run entire school districts and communities. We recognize the importance around that comes from being able to support the academic social-emotional, health, safety and wellness of our students as well as our mental health and nutritional needs.”

“While we have a Covid-19 pandemic we also need to be thoughtful about how we will continue to promote that work and public health supports that we need. So we have developed a regional team, a support team, that is inclusive of the MN Dept of Education, the Dept of Health, our Regional Service Cooperatives and local Public Health officials. That gives us the opportunity to, for example, if there is a case in a school or school district, the superintendent would contact the Regional Service Cooperative and they would say essentially, “We have a case or confirmed case in our building. What do we do next?” They would be able to work with our service cooperative person and would work with our local health officials as well as MN Dept of Health. While the superintendent can turn back to what they need to focus on, that is their school community and communications with families, continuing to the academic needs and all the other pieces they’re doing. So while the superintendent is doing that work, our regional support teams members will be coming together and thinking about what does that mean for a school district? How would we be able to ensure that we do contact tracing? They would come up with that plan and then be able to come back and work with that superintendent in partnership. That goes back to that consultative model that we’ve talked about quite frankly a bit in the beginning of, looking at the science, at no point in time are we saying that superintendents and charter school leaders are on their own, in these decisions. It gives us the opportunity to have a partner in this work and we’re not going to stop there. So once we have our regional teams up and running we will have the opportunity to focus in and come back in and support cases when there is a Covid-19 case in their school community.”

“We also are thoughtful about the funding. Once that we’ve identified what the human capacity and support is it’s really we’re important to be thoughtful about where are we going to put our monetary resources because those resources are also an indication of value. And the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have been very clear in this. Since we have started with Covid, we have supported our schools and our K-12 education programming with the recommendation of over $430M in supports. The first of that came with $38M that were identified for K-12 schools in our Gears funding.”

“Those funds [Gears] were identified for 3 basic things: the first, focus on technology. We know there is a digital divide and to provide for students and ensure that we have a model beyond brick and mortar settings, if needed. We also identified in those Gears dollars that we would need a staffing support, specifically this summer. To be really thoughtful how we’re going to continue to accelerate our learners and be really purposeful about how we talk about the acceleration of our learners. We don’t want to put learning loss on the backs of students’ shoulders. Covid is not their fault. Covid is something that has happened and is a societal response, we we are talking about not from a deficit base but from a strength base. We have the opportunity to accelerate learning and Gears dollars will help and has been identified to do that as well recognizing the opportunity for 0 – 8 year old students to have our littlest learners in Minnesota and have the opportunities to have some enrichments throughout the summer. So those were the 3 priorities that were identified with that $38M. In addition to our school districts have had the opportunity to utilize $140M in ESSER funds. Again we identified some priorities with in that. The first priority was specifically to look at technology. If you were not able to close the digital divide with the Gears dollars that were assigned and allocated to you, you can also use your ESSER funds to shore that up. The 2nd piece that we prioritized within the ESSER funds was staffing. How you will staff up your buildings and your schools so you have what you need to support you, your students and your staff and your families. And the third piece is around mental health and that was something that was really important to talk about simply because we know the impacts of Covid and the change in routine for students has caused a lot of stress not only in our students but also in our families.  And we wanted to ensure that as we were thinking about models that are supported for our students, that was one of the things we were prioritizing.”

“And finally we are requesting additional funding from the Corona Virus Relief Fund for $250M in specific areas. First is an operational costs and the 2nd is in student and staff and family support. When we think of operational cost not only did we use the base information and the science. The Dept of Health has helped to provide as a place to start thinking about our learning scenarios but is also giving us the thinking of how when we get back into the buildings – What else do we need to think about? Or that we haven’t been able to budget for before. We’re having to clean in ways that we’ve never had to do before. We’ve never been able to budget for that and other things. We’re going to be transporting differently than we ever have before in a hybrid model. We have to be able to think about that differently and we have to provide funds to that.”

“Protective equipment: Thinking about how it is that we can support our close proximity. Adults who are working with students who are medically fragile and hot it is effective equipment and supporting that. Cleaning our buses and those pieces we need to be thoughtful about. The other piece is the support for our students and families. We know that once you get them into the buildings, there’s so much that goes beyond the operations of a school. It’s everything else. So we’re thinking about how it is we can increase protective materials which is something that became apparent from our community outreach and our families that we need to be able to do differently and we need to be able to do better. We need to be able to be thoughtful about how we are .. then continue to be able to support the mental health and social-emotional health of our students. How are we going to be able to continue to grow technology and devices if you still have not been able to finish shoring up that digital divide and how is that we’ll be able to provide tutors? And so that request has been sent forward to the governor and have their support in that and are very thankful to be able to identify that funding.”

“The other thinking I didn’t identify came from the Executive Order regarding face coverings…. 53.32 The Governor’s Executive Order. Face masks are as important as a pencil, or a pen or paper or device in the buildings. The state will provide face masks for every K-12 students and adult in educational settings. So every single students in a K-12 will have 1 cloth face mask. Every single teacher and staff member will have 1 cloths face mask. Every single school will receive 3 disposable face masks per student… We never want a face mask to be a reason the student is unable to come into the building. And we know that we can provide them and it’s not going to be just students but also grown-ups that forget them.  And the final thing is that every school receive face shields because our youngest learners need these for appropriate development with adults… Face shields also important for students who are deaf and hard of hearing and need to be able to read lips. So face shields are important. Every teacher and 50% of non-licensed staff will have a face shield.”

55:35 “If or when we have a case of Covid in the schools, whether that comes through a student or through an adult, we know that it is incredibly important for our staff member and our students to have access to testing. So the first thing the Governor and Lieutenant Governor asked us to figure out is for educators and staff members through K-12 to have availability for a test at no cost. 56:24 So we have identified a process where a saliva test for every single educator throughout Minnesota will have a saliva test test that is for them. Each teacher or staff will have 1 because if there is a point in time where they realize there is a student who is sick in the classroom or they’re not feeling well and they may not be able to get in immediately, we can give them some peace of mind. [Immediate testing in the schools!] They would essentially do the saliva test, they would seal that up and send it off and within 24 – 48 hours they would have the response. 57:10 A student’s safety and health and wellness is at the center of every decision we make around our efforts to move forward in the Fall with the K-12 education system.”

57:26 “In addition, the Dept of Health has given guidance prioritizing for our educators that they are testing and prioritized within the testing. So that means that they will test. If there is a case for exposure whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic that means they have also been identified as critical workers and have the opportunity to be tested and prioritized within the testing. That means if they are exposed, are symptomatic or asymptomatic they will have the opportunity to be tested and prioritized within the testing. And we really appreciate the guidance that the Dept of Health has given it and we also know that that is another place where staff and students will find peace of mind.

And finally, we also know there may come a time when, where the Commissioner of Health, Commissioner Malcolm, talked a little bit about when there is the possibility of 50+ cases in a community or school community, then it might warrant a “TESTING EVENT”.  And as such, we have identified specific individuals who will be able to, from the state agencies, coordinate those events within those schools communities because we know our school superintendents and our charter school leaders and our community leaders are busy leading in their communities. We want to give them the opportunity to continue to lead [in some areas?] while we support them and their efforts. And so we will be using a TESTING EVENT.”

“And finally, what that kind of goes along with the testing, there are a couple of different things to think about that is possible that if a student or a staff member is feeling ill or needs to go in or someone who has already been tested that we use our local provider testing when possible. We want to ensure continuity of care for student and staff with state assistance which will coordinate with them and their local public health officials as needed. It also means that our state will supplement local resources with staff, lab capacity logistics and results in other assistance and know how important this one particular factor is in our education. And then if appropriate, we would move toward a UNIVERSAL and consider UNIVERSAL TESTING [All are tested!], if that is warranted.”

Children are not wards of the state. Whether sick or not, children belong to families. Parents care for their own children and care for them well! The state and regional minions do not need to be involved particularly since the large majority of children do not become seriously or gravely ill with Covid. Thousands of contact tracers have been hired for the purpose of quarantining individuals and finding at least 16 to 20 more individuals who are either possible or deemed probable cases for each positive test case. MACC has written about the documents Make-A-Plan Minnesota where parents reveal copious amounts of information about their children (how they get to sleep, their favorite stuffed animal, favorite foods) and even include parent’s Last Will and Testament. Is that document in conjunction with the role state authorities will play in positive student cases pointing toward children being quarantined away from their families? It’s something to consider!

 

 

 

 

Walz Calls for Local District Decision-Making While Pushing State Guidelines and Requirements for Matrix, Extensive Testing and Quarantines

Governor Walz

Walz Calls for Local District Decision-Making While Pushing Guidelines and Requirements for Matrix, Extensive Testing and Quarantines

by: Linda Bell

Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flannahan, MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm, MDE Commissioner Mary-Cathryn Ricker and MDH Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller decreed that school districts would be making their own decisions. MACC applauds state leadership in tipping their hat to local control! That’s the way it’s supposed to be!  Unfortunately, decisions and on-going school operations will be controlled through “constant consultation” and advisement on regulatory policies originated in the Dept of Health particularly and the Dept of Education. Oh, no… We’ve seen this show before!

If ever there was a time to get into your local school board, NOW IS THE TIME!  We’re talking about the lives of our children and it is time to step up and get into all school board meetings beginning in August and continuing… During the press conference it was made clear that the current plan will continue to evolve.

Apparently the “local decision part” is  a “data-driven approach”, written by the Dept. of Health, in the 18-page, “Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year.” This “data-driven approach” or Matrix framework is the biggest deciding factor in opening or not opening a school. In essence, if a county has more than 50 cases those districts will be prohibited from offering any in-person instruction! https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/k12planguide.pdf

Considering last spring’s failed “distance learning” model, we would hope that some districts would rely more on their own district regional statistics rather than total stats in very large counties. Districts can also say no to the whole deal! It is high time for districts to start standing up.

State Goals in Making a District Decision

MN Safe Schools Plan #1A

Hitting on the theme of “the state raising the child,” Gov. Walz said he is very responsible for the care of all of the state’s children and that “the school is the one thing in society that binds us all together.”  Enter Stage Right —–> Arne Duncan! We gazed into the mind of the governor last year as he advocated for the “Great Start for ALL Minnesota Children Act” which prods babies into schools and home visiting prenatal to 3 years old, at one point a mandate.

Walz stated, “There will be extensive testing in the schools.”

This act will unleash a multitude of corporations and businesses who will make staggering amounts of money on daily temperature checks, Covid testing and thousands and thousands of Contact Tracers. We are creating a cottage-industry to fight a pandemic that hasn’t truly panned out.

Minnesota: Expect extensive academic testing and extensive health testing. It’s called surveillance data tracking and MACC has written about this for years.

Building an education system “for the long haul” is the key to this plan. This is a plan not just for the fall but for years to come. “Wearing masks will keep cases down. Social distancing helps.” It is interesting to ponder if the matrix used for schools will cross over to businesses, also?

MN Safe Schools Plan #3A

In this graphic, districts will be making decisions (in consultation with agencies) about the total number of cases over 14 days divided by the county population/10,000 totaling the 14-day county level case rate per 10,000.  Commissioner Malcolm stated that, “There will be a detailed consultative process for local schools to apply these guidelines.”

Selecting a Learning Model for School Opening (50+ cases = distance learning) This count includes prison Covid cases and yet, these individuals are not part of the general population.

MN Safe Schools Plan #4A

At MACC, we are curious as to why the Dept of Health chose to use “cases” as opposed to “deaths?” Minnesota likely has lots of cases and most are asymptomatic. The death percentage rate is truly the all-important number and we encourage the Governor to use the death count instead.

Additionally, shouldn’t we be questioning the data, which is the foundation of the Matrix framework? Many individuals in Minnesota have been told they possibly have Covid but never received a confirming test. These individuals were counted as “cases” nevertheless.  Also, the case count is skewed because cases represent the number of the tests, which could be 4 – 10 tests, on 1 individual. In the statistical count, 4 individuals appear to have Covid when in actuality there were 4 tests given the same individual.

[MDH Commissioner Malcolm] The state has set up “Incident Command Teams” in every public school. ICT will evaluate the ability to implement REQUIRED and RECOMMENDED health best practices in guidance.”   One must question why the governor is pushing “extensive testing” in the schools? Will in-person learning students be tested or will this extend to hybrid and distance learning students, also? Will their families be tested? Add to this the unneccesary and nefarious contact tracing and we have a society-wide disaster with continual quarantines.

Requirements for In-Person and Hybrid Learning

MN Safe Schools Plan #5A

MN Schools #7

Determining when to turn the dial backwards

MN Safe Schools Plan #6A

The Governor’s plan is incredibly concerning not only for academic progress but also concerns regarding mental health for our next generation. The plan will not lead to trust among children and/or teachers. In fact, MACC has witnessed this sort of state takeover of school districts in the past with the Common Core Standards, a corporate led takeover using federal and state structures. Let’s move in a positive direction!

MACC encourages Governor Walz and Commissioner’s Malcolm and Ricker to:

  • Remove the Matrix framework due to faulty unreliable data.
  • Allow local school boards, administrators, teachers and especially parents to make their own local decisions as to how to reopen schools, write their own guidelines and create what is best for their community’s children.

MN TESTING/CONTACT TRACING in FULL SWING at RETIREMENT HOMES and SOME SMALL CHILDCARE CENTERS

MN TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING IN FULL SWING AT RETIREMENT HOMES and SOME CHILDCARE SMALL CENTERS

Covid testing and contact tracing is ramping up at our retirement homes and small childcare centers. The tracers are setting up camp for weeks at a time in some businesses. In accordance with MACC’s mission to report on “government structural changes, parental rights, education, children and families”, today we continue our coverage on contact tracing. (MACC published information on the MN contact tracing bills during the session and our response. Unfortunately the contact tracing bill of rights was not passed and so it is up to YOU and YOUR LOVED ONES to refuse testing and tracing.) Refer to this quick summary. https://commoncoremn.com/2020/05/15/minnesota-sf-4500-hf-4579-testing-and-contact-tracing-bills-move-forward-know-your-rights/
 
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and various individual nursing homes are implementing a “5-point battle plan” as they work together to “protect residents and employees”, or so they say. Are we testing because of many new cases?  NO! None of these residents are reportedly sick or have symptoms of Covid. The MDH is expanding their testing coverage to facility-wide Covid testing across the state. Some childcare centers are also reporting tracers on a daily basis.

Governor Walz made it clear he would have 4,000 contact tracers hired. The mission here is to give all nursing home residents a Covid test. Contact tracers then return to tested sites, despite negative results, and wait and watch…. Did they hear a sneeze? Was that a cough? Do you have allergies or is it Covid? So then they want to test again and it appears every 2 weeks. This is termed “continuous testing.”

Retirement homes are circulating and emailing the attached form.  Although the letter states that residents and family members with power of attorney may opt-out of testing, we are learning that not all centers are offering this option. Some nursing homes are literally walking in and telling residents they need to have this test. Some residents have dementia or other health issues and may not have awareness of the situation. Consent must be required and offered in every case.

Please note: Regarding the letter… Identifying information was removed due to privacy concerns of individuals and residents. The letter states initial testing dates and these dates may already have occurred or are about to happen. If you have loved ones in Minnesota nursing homes, please check with the facility a.s.a.p.

 
Regional state teams are being deployed to test onsite in resident’s rooms. Although the letter lists the National Guard, concerned individuals who have contacted MACC state that the National Guard has not been seen at the various facilities.  The individuals observed were contracted by the MDH.

If you recall, the Minnesota Testing and Contact Tracing bill’s purpose (HF 4579 and SF 4500) was to establish:
  • Testing
  • Continued/Continuous Testing
  • Contact Tracing
  • Case Investigation
  • Investigative Workers
  • Follow-up Workers
  • Providing essential services, including alternative housing
  • Information Technology
  • Surveillance / Data will be collected on each individual
  • No consent language included (although a later Senate bill did offer a “consent bill of rights”)
Though neither bill passed, it did offer a model template for the Commissioner of Health to utilize her emergency powers’ authority.

Contact tracing is a vicious circle of data collection, surveillance and quarantine. Thankfully, our friends at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) make it clear that they are closely watching and in opposition to how people may be tracked and predatorially surveilled. They’ve submitted a FOIA for information from the CDC and Dept of Health regarding all communications with technology companies.https://www.engadget.com/aclu-privacy-principles-contact-tracing-220040940.html

 
A number of childcare centers (not corporate) are reporting they have contact tracers who show up every day they are open. They want to check attendance records as these are key to place a child or parent in that center on any particular day. One center, Care Corner in Mankato, was closed down last week due to a Covid case. This center has over 100 children. Contact tracing this many children (and their families) and teachers (and families) will quickly drive up “positive cases” as tracers look for 16 to 20 people within the sphere of the positive tested individual. Those 16 to 20 individuals will then be traced and so the circle is ever-expanding. Possible “positive cases” can truly accelerate the reporting of cases, though these are not actual cases. Most will be quarantined. We find it interesting that the closing of Care Corner has not been mentioned in the media.

If you watched the numbers rise quickly in Texas, this was managed through Governor Abbott’s contract with a large international contact tracing business, MTX. https://www.governing.com/finance/Texas-Governor-Criticized-Over-295M-Contact-Tracing-Deal.html

SO… “What can I do?” A LOT!!!

STAND YOUR GROUND.
STAND TRUE TO YOUR CONVICTIONS.
REFUSE THE TESTS.
OFFER NO INFORMATION ON TRACING.

If ALL citizens refused these Orwellian measures, we could close down testing (for the well) and tracing overnight.

Call your local retirement centers/nursing homes and tell them to be sure that all residents understand opting-out and comply with a patient’s consent to not test or contact trace.
REMEMBER, if you are not sick, you have every right to refuse a Covid test! Secondly, you do not have to answer a contact tracer on any question. This whole system of contact tracing is predicated on possible contact and no test. Please feel free to contact us if you’d like your personal story regarding contact tracing to be published.
Retirement Home Letter2
 

UNESCO Collecting Personal Data on ALL Children

School and Sustainable Development Goals

by Linda Bell

UNESCO Collecting Personal Data on ALL Children

Why does the most powerful international and intergovernmental organization in the world want to know your child? UNESCO is aggressively pushing all children (and their parents) to acknowledge and accept the importance of their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The sustainable development goals are foremost in what is taught in our children’s curriculum and testing. If the data is available (and it is!), UNESCO can have access into your child’s inner thoughts on the ideas expressed within the goals.

The embedded UNESCO news brief advocates all countries achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #4 – A Quality Education for All – prior to the Agenda 2030 deadline. If you’ve not read much on the UNESCO website before, they routinely nag countries toward total obedience for which countries compliantly follow in lockstep. https://sdg.uis.unesco.org/2020/01/22/our-new-years-resolution-for-2020-let-data-be-our-guide/

UNESCO’s 2020 New Year’s Resolution is “Let Data be Your Guide!”

UNESCO will measure data globally by tracking learning outcomes at 3 points in a child’s educational journey. How will UNESCO use this information? What are they going to do with your child’s personal information?? How will it affect your child getting into college and/or into the career that they desire?

According to the article, 33 of 43 sustainable development goal #4 indicators will be tracked on each child. Additional sustainable development goals #1 – #3 and #5 – #17, outside of SDG #4, will also be tracked.

UNESCO uses sub-points, called indicators, which signify a child’s mastery of specified subject matter. “The indicators are conceptually clear and have international methodologies and standards.” This is a direct reference to the Common Core standards and teaching/learning methodologies. CCSS standards are also data points that are tracked and are based on the SDGs.

UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics (UIS) holds the Global Education Databank.

uis-global-ed-database

The ugly truth is that the UN/UNESCO is centralizing power via punitive policies that repress all national and state laws. New laws are enacted and replaced with the language of sustainable development goals. This action is a removal of the freedoms we’ve enjoyed in the United States. Directing the UN SDGs is the technocracy. If you’ve had enough of Gates, Bezos, and the other technocrats, you might want to look into the technocracy.

Understand now why they want “distance learning” or a combination of distance and on-campus? Either way, with the technocracy at the helm, it’s a win-win for UNESCO’s on-going inculcation of America’s children.

School and Sustainable Development Goals