Updated: Safe and Open Schools Plan
Rochester Public Schools

Every week that goes by – if not every day – we learn more about the steps we need to take to keep our schools both safe and open amidst the continuing COVID pandemic. This memo outlines a number of adjustments to our Safe and Open Schools Plan that incorporate lessons we have learned in Rochester and evidence and guidance from experts and schools outside our district. 


The Rochester Public School Board of Education received an update to the District’s Safe and Open Schools Plan on Tuesday, January 18. The entire plan is linked below. The notable updates are called to attention here:

Contact Tracing

The District will resume contact tracing when we return from Distance Learning (January 31). Contact tracing is the process used to identify individuals who were in close contact – 3 feet or less – with a positive case for 15 minutes or longer in a 24 hour time period.

Quarantine Guidance

Quarantine is used when a person is identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Starting January 31, the District will adopt the most recent CDC and MDH guidance on quarantine, which allows a shortened quarantine period of 5 days for anyone unvaccinated and identified as a close contact. 

Isolation Procedures

Isolation is used when someone has tested positive for COVID-19. The District will continue to require 10-days of isolation or people who test positive for COVID-19. 

Updated guidance from the CDC allows for return after 5 days of isolation but advises that strict wearing of high-quality masks is required to implement that approach successfully. While Rochester Public Schools students and staff adhered to our masking requirements at very high levels, we have not made significant investments in the type or fit of masks worn in RPS facilities. As such, we will continue to adhere to the stricter standard for the return of confirmed COVID cases.  

Test to Stay (TTS)

Test to Stay is RPS’s longer-term strategy for enabling unvaccinated students to remain in school if they have been identified as a close contact but have not tested positive for and do not show symptoms of COVID. 

A staggered roll-out of TTS across the school district will begin on February 14. 


Review the entire plan below:

Safe and Open Schools Plan