Yinghua Response to Covid-19

Posted on by Abigail Pribbenow
  • Messages sent to all families regarding the school’s response to Covid-19 are shared below, starting with the most recent message.
  • Yinghua reviews its Covid-19 prevention measures regularly. Practices are based on the latest recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Check here for updates from the Governor of Minnesota.
  • Contact the school at info@yinghuaacademy.org.

This letter about Covid-19 Health Procedures was sent by Ginger HaoLicensed School Nurse and Yinghua Covid-19 Coordinator, to Yinghua families on September 2, 2020.

September 10, 2020, Update

On this website check Health-Related Forms for these two September 10 documents: Covid-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families, and Home Screening Tool for Covid-19 Symptoms.

August 20, 2020 Update

The Yinghua Academy School Board approved a face covering policy at its August 17, 2020 meeting: 808-COVID-19 Face Covering Policy, 8/20/2020.

August 19, 2020 Update

This message was sent to all families via Infinite Campus messenger.

  1. Contact the Executive Director by 5 p.m. TODAY if your child’s group assignment, sent to you via email on Monday, August 17, poses a significant challenge for your household: susan.berg@yinghuaacademy.org.
  2. After today, any  changes from distance to hybrid may be requested by October 1 to go into effect on October 19 (at the start of the second portion of Term I). Changes from hybrid to distance for health and safety reasons may be made at any time, and we will work to make any scheduling adjustments within 48 hours.
  3. Used Uniform Sale , today and tomorrow: Wednesday, 8/19, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, 8/20, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

August 13, 2020 Updates

2020-2021 School Learning Model, presentation by Dr. Lien and Mrs. Berg at the two online sessions for parents. Recordings below.

3 p.m. parent session recording. Use password .D4$I8*R

11 a.m. parent session recording. Use password =Z#F8+Jr

August 9, 2020 Updates

The following note was sent to all families today.

Dear Yinghua families:

Instead of three Zoom sessions for parents, there will be just two–this Wednesday’s session has been cancelled to conserve time for school leaders to continue coordinating the many, many details of how we will do school this year.

Please join us for one of these sessions:

Thursday, August 13, 11a-12p; Zoom ID: 920 2127 3776

Thursday, August 13, 3-4p; Zoom ID 927 8900 0786

The Zoom login information for the two meetings is posted in the Yinghua Master Calendar (Google): https://www.yinghuaacademy.org/current-families/master-calendar/. The two presentations cover the same topics, both sessions will be recorded, and the recordings will be made available to you.

August 7, 2020 Updates

The following message was sent via Infinite Campus to all families on August 7, 2020.

Dear Yinghua families:

This message has four parts:

  1. Lunch, bundled meals, and applying for free or reduced-price lunch/meals
  2. Fact sheets on chemicals used to clean school and air handling (HVAC) at school
  3. Parent meetings next week via Zoom–learn more about hybrid and distance models
  4. Food resources including free frozen meals on Thursdays

1. To qualify for free school lunch, complete and submit the Application for Educational Benefits (AEB) now. To qualify for other benefits, also complete the Waiver of Confidentiality. File a new AEB each school year. New: We will offer cold bundled mealsto bring home.* These are free if you qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch, and they’ll be available for purchase too. All ordering is via our online system, Boonli. If you had a decrease in household income, we strongly urge you to complete the AEB and WaiverThe AEB can be completed online via the Infinite Campus portal.

2. Yinghua Facility Manager Dan Carson (a Yinghua parent) has prepared fact sheets about the chemicals and procedures used to sanitize and disinfect the school and about the workings of Yinghua’s air handling (HVAC) system.

3. Yinghua is hosting three Zoom presentations by school leaders so that parents and guardians can learn more about Yinghua’s hybrid and distance learning models. The Zoom links also are on the Yinghua homepage and on the Master Calendar.

4. LSS Meals offers free frozen meals for pickup on Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. at River of Life Lutheran Church, 2200 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis 55411. Go to the entrance on N 22nd Avenue. Questions: Kalina at Dalton.Kalina@lssmn.org or 651-272-8693. The Free Meals for Kids mobile App helps you find and access free meals at hundreds of schools and other sites across Minnesota. It is the central resource for meals during the pandemic. Download the app.

*If a local school district has been a source of food for your children, ask them if they will offer the same service during the 2020-2021 school year or if there are any upcoming changes to who is eligible to pick up food at the site you visit.

August 6, 2020

Letter from Mrs. Berg on August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020

Dear Yinghua families:

Dr. Lien and I invite you to join us on Zoom to learn about how the hybrid and distance learning models will work at Yinghua and how we will support the learning of all students. School Board Chair Amanda Schneider will moderate three online sessions, and you’ll be able to send questions via the Zoom chat function. Please add these dates to your calendars, and join us when you are able:

There are many school-year decisions we must make–some large and some small–and all of them weigh heavily on us. Please know that we are not making any of these decisions lightly.  Now that we have guidance from Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education, the biggest challenge we face in finalizing the details of our hybrid plans is knowing the numbers of staff and students who will partake in each model.

Many of you have reached out to tell us how difficult it is to make a decision about the hybrid or distance learning options until you have additional information about each of these ways of doing school. The survey you received on August 1 will remain open through August 14 so that you have as much information as we can offer to guide your decision making. 

This is new for all of us, and we appreciate the grace you have extended to us in your notes asking about specifics. Following is information that also may help.

  1. Many have asked if it’s possible to switch from distance learning to hybrid learning. For a number of reasons, families may discover that they prefer to make a change between models once they see how their chosen model works for their children and families. Those changes can be requested and arranged for at mid-term (following October conferences, during the week of October 19) or at the beginning of each new term. We want to accommodate families, and we also must work hard to create stability and predictability for our teachers so that each day (or week) doesn’t present an ever-changing sea of faces.
  2. Yinghua reviews the county-by-county Covid-19 data, which is updated every 14 days. As things change with the numbers of diagnosed cases, schools may move to a more restrictive model of education–for instance, from hybrid learning to distance learning for all students. Schools may not independently decide move to a less restrictive model–for instance, from hybrid to in-person for all students. If a school wishes to move to a less restrictive model, it must do so in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health which may approve such a change. The Governor left room for districts and charter schools to make decisions based on their county data and what they think is best for their school communities, and these are weighty and difficult decisions.
  3. In July, the Yinghua School Board approved my request to hire five additional teachers in order to fully support a hybrid and a distance learning model. Although there remain many unknowns that are beyond our control, I believe our school is adequately prepared. No matter what happens, we will adapt and do our very best together, as always. 
  4. Whether you choose hybrid or distance learning, your student will be placed in a grade-level homeroom. This allows for a sense of belonging, consistency, and flexibility as we move through the year and respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Each homeroom will be evenly split–as much as possible–into Group A whose schedule for “live” teaching will be Monday and Wednesday and Group B whose schedule for “live” teaching will be Tuesday and Thursday. No homeroom will have more than 14 students.
  5. We will have a set of schedules that is designed to meet our plan, which will have two days of “live” sessions and two days of distance learning for all students. The schedule will remain the same if the pandemic requires us to move to a full distance learning schedule for all students. This will offer continuity and consistency to families and staff. 
  6. Our intention is that all students receive two days of “live” lessons, whether they are at school for hybrid in-person learning or at home for full distance learning. Distance learning classes will be taught live via Zoom by licensed Yinghua teachers. 
  7. The rationale between the every-other-day schedule for “live” teaching is to give teachers the opportunity to maximize the time for direct teaching and meaningful follow-up without a four-day gap between live lessons every week. This supports differentiation and the “teach-practice-check” cycle which our teachers follow. 
  8. A benefit of the hybrid model is that classes will enroll no more than 14 students each. This offers more opportunities for teachers to give individual attention to students than the 25-28 student classes, which are our norm.   
  9. On the two at-school hybrid days, there are just 12 teaching periods. It won’t be possible for us to squeeze the 30 teaching periods of a typical week at Yinghua into these 12 periods. Consequently, our plan for the two at-school hybrid days is to offer Chinese, English, mathematics, science, social studies, and one of the week’s two lessons in music and PE. 
  10. On the two hybrid at-home days all students will partake in follow-up lessons and activities to cement the content or skill presented the previous day by their teachers.  Remember that although 50% of the students will be at home on each day Monday-Thursday, the teachers will be teaching the other 50% of the students “live” on each of those days. Lower School students in kindergarten through grade 4 will have recorded (asynchronous) lessons prepared by their homeroom teachers (and English teachers, for grades 2-4), and Middle School students, in grades 5-8, will have recorded (asynchronous) lessons prepared by specialist teachers. These two hybrid at-home days will also include recorded art, music, and PE classes.
  11. Fridays are a “live” day (either at home for distance learning students or at school for hybrid learners) for all kindergartners. They will be taught by their kindergarten Homeroom Teachers and Educational Assistants, and they will have outdoor time and specialist classes, such as PE. As with other in-person learning days, there will be no more than 14 in a group. 

I hope that some of these facts help to define for you how the hybrid and distance models will work. We are still developing the specifics of each method, and some of this can’t happen until we have a sense of how many students will participate in each scenario. Nevertheless, we remain dedicated to a “Blue Ribbon” education for every student, I promise!

Again, the survey you received on August 1 will remain open through August 14 so that you have as much information as we can offer to guide your decision making. 

Families of kindergartners and other students new to Yinghua can expect to hear more from us soon regarding the mini-camp on August 18-20.

I am working with Dr. Lien and the School Board to determine whether we need to delay the start of school by one week, which would make the first day of school for all Group A students (including kindergartners) Wednesday, September 2, and the first day for all Group B students (including kindergartners) Thursday, September 3. We will keep you posted about this.

Take care and stay safe, and I’ll see you on Zoom.  


Susan Berg. Executive Director/CEO

Memo from Nurse Hao

August 1, 2020

To: Yinghua families
From: Ginger Hao, Licensed School Nurse and Covid-19 Point of Contact for Yinghua Academy
Re: answers to some of your questions about health

Many of you have written to me to ask very good questions as you are completing the survey sent to you today by Yinghua.

I understand that you would like more details about our school-specific pandemic health and safety plans. Our website has been updated with the following safety information during the hybrid model:

  • Check here to review the CDC information about high-risk categories: CDC People at Increased Risk.
  • Parents will take temperatures daily at home before school.
  • Parents will keep children home if they are ill. Whereas a child with a sniffle might have gone to school in the past, now, we ask you to keep that child home as a precaution.
  • The school will take staff and student temperatures when people arrive at school. We will outline the procedures for this safety measure and share them with you when they are ready.
  • Everyone at school will be required to wear a mask. The school will supply one cloth face mask per child. We are developing a masking policy. Teachers and staff may also wear a face shield supplied by Yinghua.
  • Frequent hand washing time will be scheduled during the day.
  • Frequent and thorough cleaning and disinfecting routines will be performed several times per day throughout the facility.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be present in spaces that necessitate that protection. For example, in the kindergarten classrooms the seven round tables will seat just two students each with a plexiglass divider between the two students.
  • There will be 14 or fewer students in each class with one teacher. In kindergarten and grade 1, there also will be an Educational Assistant in each classroom. Desks will be assigned per student and will be arranged so that students are at least 6-feet apart.
  • Every student will enjoy 30-45 minutes of outside free play.
  • Many PE classes will be taught outside. Prepare for PE outside, weather permitting! Gym classes taught inside will be limited to one section of students (no more than 14) using the entire gym or one section using each half of the gym with the divider down. 
  • Lunch will be in the classroom, whether you bring a lunch from home or order school lunch. Staff will deliver school lunch to classrooms.
  • Students will stay with their 14-person (or fewer) cohorts all day, and for the most part, in the same classroom.
  • We have created an isolation room with a bathroom, separate from and next to the Health Office, for anyone who becomes symptomatic during the school day.
  • Arrival and dismissal procedures will be in place to avoid crowding. Students will go immediately to their classrooms upon arrival.
  • No visitors or volunteers will be permitted in the school.
  • Frequent hand washing time will be scheduled during the day.

Following are additional procedures that we will have in place when students return to in-person classes according to the hybrid model. Since the pandemic started I have participated in weekly school nurse meetings with the Minnesota Department of Health Schools Team. They have been providing us with the most up-to-date guidance and directions on how to handle any cases of Covid-19 among school employees or students. The MDH guidelines will continue to be our standard throughout the school year. The pandemic is a highly complex situation, so communication with families is paramount. If you have any questions critical to your decision-making process, please email me to let me know.

In the Case of Students/Staff with Covid-19 Symptoms at School:

  • The student will be brought to the isolation room, located next to the Health Office.
  • The parents/guardians will be notified to pick up the symptomatic student and siblings as soon as possible. Siblings will need to quarantine until a doctor certifies that the student does not have Covid-19 or for two weeks if the student tests positive for the virus.
  • The student will be under the care and observation of the school nurse until picked up.
  • The School Nurse will discuss with the family when the student can return safely to school by following the most current MDH guidance in this document: Covid-19 Symptoms Decision Tree for Schools.
  • After the student leaves, the isolation room will be disinfected thoroughly.

In the Event of a Positive Covid-19 Case Among Staff or Students at School:

  • The School Nurse must be notified of any positive cases of Covid-19 among students, staff or family members. Names will be kept confidential and only shared with MDH for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Students must quarantine for 14 days if a family member or close contact is diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • If a student or staff member is diagnosed with Covid-19, they will need to stay home (isolate) for a minimum of 10 days and 24 hours symptom-free. Again, any siblings and family members must also quarantine for two weeks to make sure they do not come down with the virus as well.
  • MDH has been very clear that they want to be contacted immediately if there is a report of a positive Covid-19 case in the school.
  • MDH will respond within 24 hours and guide the school through the process of contact tracing and notification of families.
  • Any identified close contacts will be notified by both MDH and the school and be required to quarantine for two weeks and get tested after 5-7 days from the last exposure to the positive case. 
  • In some situations this may mean an entire class may need to quarantine if it is deemed that there was contact between teacher and students for more than 15 minutes within 6 feet. However, MDH states that unless the school has cases among multiple grade levels and classrooms, there would be no reason that the entire school will need to be closed for a long period of time. Again, the school will follow the guidance of MDH.
  • A school-wide notice will be sent to all families letting them know about the case, but that their children are not among those who had close contact with the case.
  • The School Nurse will work with families and staff to make sure that isolation and quarantine requirements are met before returning to school.
  • As usual, sick students will be excused from classwork and school until they are recovered and able to participate.
  • Both CDC and MDH update their guidance periodically when new information becomes available. If there are significant changes to their recommended procedures, the School Nurse will update the Yinghua community.

August 1, 2020

We would like to assure you that Yinghua is committed to protecting the health and safety of our students and employees. We are following all the health and safety guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), and the local health authorities, and have plans and procedures in place to make certain it is safe to welcome back all students and employees. These measures include, but are not limited to:

英华致力于确保所有学生和员工的健康和安全。我们根据疾病控制与预防中心,明州卫生局,明州教育局,已及本区卫生机构所颁布的卫生和安全准则,制定各种计划和程序让所有学生和员工能安心回到学校上课上班, 其中包括:

  • Health and safety training related to COVID-19 will be provided to all employees. 提供有关冠状肺炎卫生和安全的员工培训。
  • Masks deemed sufficient protection by MDH will be required for everyone* in the building. Masks and face shields will be provided to employees. 在校内人人*必须配戴卫生部认定有保护效能的口罩。英华将提供员工口罩和面罩。
  • Designated and separate entrances and exits for students and employees, with a station at each entrance to perform a health check. 入口和出口采取分流。入口处设有专人负责测量体温和筛查症状。
  • Procedures are in place for how Yinghua further handles Covid-19-related health issues, including isolation, reporting, tracing, and monitoring. 英华已建立完备防疫各阶段的详细程序。
  • All spaces in the building will be set up or reconfigured to meet social distancing requirements and minimize  potential exposures, such as installation of plexiglass and doors. 校内各空间都会重新规划以因应社交距离的规定,降低可能传染的风险。
  • Students will have dedicated classrooms and desks, and schedules will be designed to allow for staggered activities and a daily outdoor mask-free break. 学生会在指定的教室和座位上所有的课。课程表的安排会让学生错开,也会让学生每天能在户外,不必戴口罩的活动时间。
  • Frequent and thorough cleaning and disinfecting routines will be perform daily for the entire facility. 全校每天会有频繁及仔细的清洁和消毒程序。
  • Yinghua will maintain a no-visitors policy until further notice. 英华会一直维持不准访客进入的政策,直到疫情结束。

*Exemptions based on MDH guidelines 除了卫生局公布的特例

Following is information about safety during the hybrid model:

  • Check here to review the CDC information about high-risk categories: CDC People at Increased Risk.
  • Parents will take temperatures daily at home before school.
  • Parents will keep children home if they are ill. Whereas a child with a sniffle might have gone to school in the past, now, we ask you to keep that child home as a precaution.
  • The school will take staff and student temperatures when people arrive at school. We will outline the procedures for this safety measure and share them with you when they are ready.
  • There will be 14 or fewer students in each class with one teacher. Desks are arranged so that students are at least 6-feet apart.
  • Art will be taught with recorded lessons followed by Zoom meetings to work on projects.
  • Most PE classes will be taught outside.
  • There will be no choirs this year.
  • Lunch will be in the classroom. Staff will deliver school lunch to classrooms.
  • Students will stay with their 14-person (or fewer) cohorts all day.
  • We have created a room with a bathroom, separate from the Health Office, for anyone who becomes symptomatic during the school day.
  • Arrival and dismissal procedures will be in place to avoid crowding. Students will go immediately to their classrooms upon arrival.
  • No visitors or volunteers will be permitted in the school.
  • Everyone at school will wear a mask and teachers and staff also may wear face shield supplied by Yinghua. The school will supply one cloth face mask per child. We are developing a masking policy.
  • Frequent hand washing will be scheduled during the day.
  • School buses will be filled at just 50% of capacity, students will have assigned seats on the bus, siblings will sit together, everyone on the bus will wear a face mask, and seats in the back will fill first (loading will be back to front).

Letter sent to families on August 1, 2020

Dear Yinghua families:

Thank you for your help and patience as we try to navigate this difficult period together, balancing the safety of our community with the education of our children. We have a few additional survey questions for families, and a few updates. Here is the link to a new, short survey, and you’ll read about the survey questions below the updates.

Updates about the 2020-2021 school year at Yinghua Academy

On July 30, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. It explains how Minnesota schools will prioritize safe learning for students in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan provides flexibility for schools to make informed decisions about how to start the school year, taking into account a broad range of factors. 

The plan and current data indicate that Yinghua can safely adopt a hybrid model, combining in-person learning with online classes. However, we are prepared to change to an all-distance learning model if Covid-19 cases increase in our area. The Minnesota Department of Health will guide us in making these data-driven decisions, and we will promptly communicate any changes with families.  

    • Yinghua’s hybrid plan is this: Half of our students will attend school on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the other half on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On students’ at-home days, they will have recorded lessons and an occasional live-Zoom lesson with a specialist teacher. At-home recorded lessons are designed to supplement what has been learned during the at-school days. On Fridays, which are at-home days for students in grades 1-8, students will connect with teachers for online chats and complete school work, and they will have the opportunity to participate in occasional at-school activities such as outdoor play. 
    • For kindergartners, Fridays will be an at-school, onsite learning day, which means that kindergartners will have three, rather than two, onsite days per week in order to build a sound foundation for immersion learning. Information will be sent soon to kindergarten families about the format.



Link to the new survey

In the July 15 survey, we asked whether you want your children to attend school on the same or different days, and we asked about at-risk health situations preventing your children from participating in onsite learning. Combining results from that survey with guidance from the state leads us to ask a few additional questions to help us fine-tune our model and allocate our staff and other resources more effectively. Please take this brief new survey before the end of the day on Monday, August 3.

Here are the topics we are asking about now: 

  • Opting for distance learning. Per the Governor, schools must offer a distance learning option to families who choose not to attend in-person learning due to medical or other safety concerns. Yinghua’s hybrid model for the fall includes two in-class instruction days supplemented by recorded instruction during the distance-learning days along with occasional synchronous sessions. Unlike this past spring, the fall option for distance learning-only instruction will primarily use recorded video supplemented by occasional live sessions via Zoom. Use a long-term perspective when responding to this question.   
  • After school programs. We are evaluating what after-school programs we have the capacity to offer. For health and safety purposes, we likely will need to limit the number of students who enroll in after school programs. Families with housing insecurity or Tier 1 (critical worker) employment will have priority access to these services. Activity will focus on outdoor play with limited indoor options.
  • Kindergarten camp. If you are a kindergarten family, do you prefer AM (9-11) or PM (1-3) camp on August 18, 19, and 20? While this camp is not mandatory, it is offered for free, and we strongly recommend that you prioritize this 3-day experience for your kindergartner. Students will meet teachers and friends, and they’ll have an opportunity to “try school” before school actually begins. All social distancing and safety procedures will be followed, and more information will be sent to you about camp in the coming days.
  • Other. Share any other brief notes regarding your child’s attendance at Yinghua during the coming year. If there’s anything we need to know about health or attendance, please tell us.

Families are encouraged to complete the Application for Educational Benefits to qualify for free or reduced price lunch service and other benefits. A new form must be submitted each year. If your employment or income have decreased since the beginning of the pandemic, complete the form to see if you newly qualify for benefits. Attach your form to an email to helen.hindrawati@yinghuaacademy.org, or mail the form to Yinghua Academy 1616 Buchanan Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Do this as soon as possible to allow us time to process your information before school starts.

Next week you will receive more information about the start of school. Thank you for your patience as we put all of the pieces together to best serve our students and keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

Here is the link to the new survey. We need your reply by the end of the day on Monday, August 3.

Yinghua News & Announcements 7.17.2020 includes nourishment resources for Minnesota families.

On July 15, the Executive Director sent the following letter and fourteen-question survey (now closed) to all Yinghua families. Survey responses were to be submitted via the Infinite Campus Parent Portal or via Google form by July 20.

July 15, 2020

Dear Yinghua families:

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will issue guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year during the week of July 27.

  • Please complete this 14-question survey about your household preferences and needs BY MONDAY, JULY 20, to help us with our planing. We need 100% survey participation so that every voice is heard!

At school we are putting together plans for each of the three possible ways to “do school” that MDE has described: 1) in-person learning at school five days per week for all students, 2) a hybrid scenario with strict social distancing and onsite capacity limits, and 3) at-home distance learning. Most of the survey questions apply to the hybrid model which is complex and new to all of us.

With the hybrid model, we likely will split our student body into group A and group B. Here is an outline of how we think it may work:

  • Each group physically comes to school two days per week, following our regular school-day hours (8:30-3:30).
  • Everyone is required to wear masks, and strict social distancing is taught and practiced as we limit the number of students in any given space.
  • Only half of our students (roughly 420 of them) are present in our facility on any given day.
  • Fridays are reserved for teacher Zoom office hours, one-on-one teacher-student chats, independent completion of the week’s assignments, orchestra, and yet-to-be defined optional at-school activities such as a series of “mini” Field Days.
  • On the days when students are at home, they access recorded mini-lessons from teachers and complete independent work.
  • Frequent hand washing is a priority.
  • Staff regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces and spaces.
  • You take your children’s temperatures at home before school, and we do so at school as well.
  • If your children are not feeling well, you err on the side of caution by keeping them home. In the past, perfect attendance may have been a sign of commitment but, in light of the pandemic, parents must do just the opposite.

We are working on cleaning protocols, space use to support physical distancing, signage and markers to guide foot traffic through the school, and so much more. I also have appointed our Licensed School Nurse, Ginger Hao, to serve in the role of Covid-19 Coordinator. No matter what, the health and safety of students will continue to be our top priorities.

As you know, response to the Covid-19 pandemic must be fluid. The guidance we receive from MDE can and likely will change during the 2020-2021 school year as our state’s medical, science, and education experts help schools navigate the evolving situation. We must remain flexible and adaptable, and the information you provide now will help us to do so proactively.

Yinghua prioritizes its mission commitment to a safe and nurturing school environment. As a community, we will rely on each and every person, now more than ever, to follow public health requirements which we will communicate with you.

None of this work is simple or straightforward. Although this is uncharted territory, I’m grateful for the way everyone in our community has tackled the challenges of these unprecedented times since March. All things considered, we have learned a great deal, and I’m confident that together we’re all better prepared to conquer whatever lies ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Susan Berg
Executive Director/CEO

On July 10, the Minnesota Department of Education sent this guidance to families regarding the three 2020-21 options for school. Read it in English, Hmong, Spanish, or Somali.

Videos about proper use of hand sanitizer: Minnesota Department of Health (multiple languages); CDC.

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 invited families to complete a short survey about distance learning.

They wanted to hear from families about their experience with distance learning this spring. They used 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 was 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.


This entry was posted in Home Page. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.