Yinghua Response to Covid-19

Posted on by Abigail Pribbenow

Yinghua reviews its Covid-19 prevention measures daily and posts updates here as needed. Practices are based on the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health.  

Notices sent to families via email and newsletter also will be posted here on the Yinghua homepage. If you need to contact the school, use info@yinghuaacademy.org, rather than the phone number.

June 26, Updates

Executive Director Sue Berg sent this message to all families regarding the three options for how we will structure school during the 2020-21 school year, school supply lists, and food resources.

Dear Yinghua families:

I want to share with you a recap of the news about how we will “do school” in the coming year, and I’m also sharing our 2020-21 school supply lists, and resources for meals for Minnesota children.

At multiple Zoom meetings with Minnesota superintendents, state leaders have described the three models they are considering for the coming year: in-person learning for all students, a hybrid scenario with strict social distancing and capacity limits onsite and at-home distance learning, or distance learning only. No matter what, the health and safety of students will continue to be the number one priority. MDE plans to announce a decision about which model of educational delivery will be in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, school staff, and school communities for the 2020-21 school year during the week of July 27, 2020.

Check yinghuaacademy.org for the 2020-21 School Supply Lists which have been revised in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the precautions we are taking are to limit the movement of supplies between home and school and to no longer allow students to share supplies and resources. Face masks and hand sanitizer are new additions to the lists. To facilitate distance learning, each student needs access to the internet and an electronic device with a camera and microphone. Later this summer, you’ll use a digital form to let us know if your household has any technology needs. See the brown box at the bottom of each list for the items we recommend you gather for at-home learning. If you have questions about the supply lists, please contact abigail.pribbenow@yinghuaacademy.org.

Not knowing the structure of our 2020-21 school days is a challenge for all of us. Your partnership with us during the spring term this year helped us to quickly convert our curriculum for distance learning, we are confident in the talent and can-do attitude of our entire staff, and we know that we’ll be able to support one another again to achieve our education goals.

Please continue to take good care of yourselves. Practicing distancing, washing hands often, and wearing masks in public are important health practices. In addition, use the Free Meals for Kids mobile app to find food resources for children 18 and younger, and check to see if your family is eligible for the P-EBT program to receive up to $325 per child to spend on groceries. The school office will be closed June 29 through July 6 in recognition of Independence Day, and our next communication regarding plans for next year will come to you via email during the week after the holiday when we seek information from you in a short survey about transportation and technology needs.

Yours sincerely,

Sue Berg
Executive Director

P.S. Shop back-to-school sales or order online through School Tool Box (STB) with free home delivery for orders of $50 or more. (Search for Yinghua Academy at schooltoolbox.com.) Yinghua earns 4% per STB order. With STB, you also can customize your quantities. Find labels for just about everything at mabelslabels.com. Mabel’s supports us when you search for Yinghua in the “support a fundraiser” tab.

P.P.S. Given the unknowns of the school year, we have decreased quantities on the school lists. Teachers may reach out mid-year to ask you to resupply your children with any items which are running low. Consider purchasing extra glue sticks and pencils during summer “back to school” sales and storing these for future use.

June 16, Updates

 The Minnesota Department of Education invites you to complete a short survey about distance learning.

The Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health invite families to complete a short survey. They want to hear from families about their experience with distance learning this spring. They will be using this data to plan for the 2020-21 school year and to help families as they balance the responsibilities of work and family while also supporting distance learning. The survey is available in English, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish.

May 29, Updates

Support Yinghua businesses and nonprofits

  • Parent Jewlee Washburn serves as hospitality manager at Chowgirls Catering and invites families to place a Chowgirls food order for delivery or pickup or make a donation to help feed vulnerable people in our community through the Chowgirls-affiliated Minnesota Central Kitchen, a project with Second Harvest Heartland to address food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please email info@chowgirls.net to get involved.
  • Contact Shel and Eric House at MLS Mortgage for a complimentary mortgage refinance consultation and/or home purchase pre-approval. MLS Mortgage offers low rates and will donate $200 to support Yinghua if you close on a new home loan with them, and they also offer online classes. Contact Eric@MLSMortgage.com.
  • Enroll in a cultural competency course with Yinghua parent Khanh Nguyen, founder of C3. Contact c3consults@gmail.com, or visit https://www.facebook.com/khanh.nguyen.3192 to connect with her.
  • Make a donation to support Theatre Unbound, a nonprofit cultural organization. Julie Phillips serves as Interim Executive Director.
  • Order author Sarah Kieffer’s The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, or preorder 100 Cookies. Follow Sarah’s blog for luscious photos and recipes gone viral.
  • Learn to play piano with Peter Shu; sign up for online lessons.
  • Enroll in an online class or schedule a private Pilates online session at Dannell Shu’s elevate pilates.
  • Purchase a gift card or enroll in an online class at Gretchen Bierbaum’s Straightline Dance Fitness, and place an order for pickup or delivery or purchase a gift card at Gretchen’s SiP coffeebar. 
  • Purchase a gift card for framing at Mike Menasco’s Artistic Indulgence.

May 21, 2020, Updates

May 6, 2020 Updates

5/8/2020 school packet distribution routes April 23, 2020, Updates

School packet distribution routes

April 10, 2020, Updates

  • Governor Walz extended the Minnesota stay-home order through May 4.
  • The earliest possible date for students to return to school is Tuesday, May 5.
  • MCA tests are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Hunger Impact Partners created an app called “Free Meals for Kids” to connect Minnesotans with free food for children. The app is available on Apple App or Google Play stores.
  • Yinghua school lunch: If you ordered school lunch during the school closure, your Boonli account has been credited. Check your “order history” to view the credit which may be use for future lunch orders this year or next year. If you prefer to receive a refund, please send your refund request to Helen.Hindrawati@yinghuaacademy.org.
  • Governor Walz launched a discrimination help line for Minnesotans to file reports with the state Department of Human Rights: 1-833-454-0148. The NAACP also wants to learn about possible civil rights violations during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Minneapolis Gap Funding Plan soon will be offering assistance to tenants and small businesses struggling with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. In St. Paul, residents who qualify should apply now through April 19 for emergency relief through the St. Paul Relief Fund.

April 2, 2020 Updates

Teachers’ Office Hours, Fridays, 9-11:00 a.m.

March 27, 2020, Updates

Information about the Governor Walz order to stay at home: Stay at Home, NYOB HAUV TSEV, Guriga Joob, Quedarse en Casa.

March 26, 2020 Updates

School supplies pickups are March 26, 12-5 p.m. and March 27, 10a-12p.

Map of gym

March 25, 2020

Letter to Families with Distance Learning Updates with one-page Distance Learning at A Glance

March 23, 2020 Updates

March 23 Letter to Families Introducing Distance Learning Plan

Check this Childcare link to view the expanded list of professions for which free childcare is offered at school. Yinghua is providing childcare at school during school hours for emergency and healthcare workers, and Yinghua will expand this service to include the school-age children 12 and under of the expanded list of professions which includes food distribution and utilities workers. Click Childcare to see the entire list. If you are eligible for this childcare, please complete this short survey: http://bit.ly/YAchildcare2020.

March 20, 2020 Updates

Free Meals: During the school closure, all Minnesota families are welcome to pick up free meals for children under 18 at many area school district facilities. Check Free Meals in Area School Districts to find the schedules and locations nearest your home. Going forward, Yinghua will not distribute food. Please make use of the resources closest to your homes.

Contact abigail.pribbenow@yinghuaacademy.org if you need assistance with accessing food during the school closure. Delivery service is available if needed.

March 20, 2020, Updates (continued)

  • The Yinghua office is not staffed at this time. Our building is only open to essential staff and for emergency worker childcare.
  • Use info@yinghuaacademy.org to contact us during the school closure.
  • Many of you have asked about picking up items from lockers and desks. Next week we will contact you about how we will facilitate this.
  • Contact Renee Cosgrove about enrollment paperwork or anything related to enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.

March 17, 2020, Updates

MDH has created a new video on washing your hands.

March 16, 2020 Updates

Go to http://bit.ly/YAchildcare2020 to complete the form if you work in emergency services or healthcare and have school-age children under 12 who will need childcare during the school closure period. If you will not need care, you do not need to complete the survey.

March 15, 2020 Updates

Dear Yinghua families and staff:

Today Governor Tim Walz announced Executive Order 20-02, the temporary closure of Minnesota schools due to Covid-19. Yinghua students and staff will not return to school this week, and we will be closed to students through March 27. This means that there is no class, no busing, and no before or after-school activities or events.

We anticipate beginning remote learning for Yinghua students by March 30, per the Governor’s announcement.

If you haven’t already done so, complete this form: Online Resources in Your Household..

Yinghua will be in further contact with you as things unfold. Until then, please continue to use the resources available to you such as iChinese Reader and AR, and continue to read. 

Although the Governor announced K-12 schools will close as of Wednesday, March 18, because of our spring break timing, the Minnesota Department of Education has given Yinghua permission to close as of tomorrow, Monday, March 16.

Thanks, in advance, for your continued understanding and support during these unprecedented times.  The Yinghua school community is truly exceptional in our partnership for the sake of our children. As always, together we are better!

Yours sincerely,

Sue Berg, Executive Director

Amanda Schneider, School Board Chair

March 13, 2020 Updates

Letter to families regarding delay of students’ return to school until March 17.

Families, please complete this form if you haven’t already done so: Online Resources in Your Household.

March 6, 2020 Updates

The Academic Director sent the following letter to families on March 6 via the school newsletter and via IC messenger.

Dear Yinghua families:

Our students and teachers are completing Term II today, and everyone is looking forward to a bit of time off. I hope that you and your families have a chance to relax, read books, and restore your energy during Yinghua Spring Break.

Although there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Minnesota, our school is following the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education to create a plan for online learning. Our teachers and I have worked to create a framework to support remote learning through the Zoom and Extempore platforms, and I need your feedback as we continue to customize Yinghua’s plan.

I ask all Yinghua families to reply to this short survey to let us know about the resources available in your household to support remote learning: https://forms.gle/W9GokJ9JMTS4DoHF7. My letter to you with this survey link also will be sent to families via IC messenger and will be posted on www.yinghuaacademy.org.

If it becomes necessary for schools in Minnesota to close, we will share detailed instructions with families about how to use Zoom, Extempore, and any other online resources that may help to enrich the remote learning experience.

Yours sincerely,

Luyi Lien, Ph.D.


March 5, 2020, Updates

1. Before sending your child back to school following Yinghua ​Spring Break, contact Licensed School Nurse Ginger Hao by email at ginger.hao@yinghuaacademy.org if you have traveled to any sites with an identified Covid-19 outbreak or if you have come into contact with others who have done so.

2. On March 6 and following Spring Break, please keep children home if they have ​frequent or persistent cough, even if they do not have a fever. If your child has a persistent cough, contact Ginger Hao by email at ginger.hao@yinghuaacademy.org to discuss your child’s symptoms before sending the child to school.

3. You may wish to review the CDC’s recommendations regarding household response to Covid-19. This source outlines how household members can plan
for community transmission of Covid-19.

4. On March 2 the following wording was added to the digital sign-in document for Yinghua visitors and guests:

  • IMPORTANT: If you have traveled to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, or a known Covid-19 hot spot within the past 14 days or if you have come into contact with someone who has traveled to these places, please check in with office staff.

5. On March 2, students began the practice of washing their hands upon arrival at school. Students wash hands when they arrive at school, before lunch, after lunch, after using the restroom, and at other points during the school day and during after-school programs.


On February 28, the following information was shared in the school newsletter.

​What we ask Yinghua families to do:  

Contact ginger.hao@yinghuaacademy.org if anyone in your family has had direct contact with someone who was diagnosed with the virus, or if in the last 14 days someone in your household has returned from travels in virus hot spots such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, or China.

Practice illness precautions, also known as Nonpharmaceutical Interventions. Stay home when sick, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Watch the World Health Organization hand-washing video and practice hand-washing steps at home: WHO hand-washing video.

Keep sick students home from school. Contact teachers via email to ask about assignments which will be available via Infinite Campus.

NEW: Keep at home a child with any concerning respiratory symptoms, including persistent or frequent cough, even if the child does not have a fever. This is a new precaution. If a child is coughing, even without fever, contact ginger.hao@yinghuaacademy.org.

Check your child’s temperature daily. If your child has a morning temperature of 100° F (37.78 °C) or higher, keep your child home.

​What Yinghua is doing:  

Licensed School Nurse Ginger Hao addressed all grades two weeks ago and again last week about the importance of proper hand washing, and she demonstrated how to properly wash hands.

Starting Monday, March 2, students wash their hands upon arriving at school. In order to make sure this is efficient, Mr. Brewer created a schedule including directions about which sinks–lunchroom, art room, science room–Middle School students should use (since they do not have sinks in their homerooms).

Lower School teachers supervise hand washing before lunch and throughout the day.

DISINFECTING THE SCHOOL Staff disinfect (with Alpha-HP and Oxivir) the tops and reachable undersides of lunch tables and benches daily, and the same surfaces are sanitized (with food-safe sanitizer) before and after lunch and between seatings. Staff disinfect handrails, light switches, door knobs and other frequently touched surfaces multiple times during the school day.

Teachers disinfect table tops and chairs and their reachable undersides each afternoon after students depart.

Dr. Lien and teachers are preparing a remote learning plan in the event that the Minnesota Department of Health asks schools to close temporarily to prevent the spread of the virus.


Yinghua will communicate with families as needed through Infinite Campus via email and text messages and via the school newsletter.

The contents of messages from Yinghua regarding Covid-19 will be posted on www.yinghuaacademy.org.

You may wish to view the public service announcement from Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Jan Malcom. Below are links to the message in English and in English with Chinese subtitles.


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