More School Reopening Decisions Expected This Week
School starts next month in the Twin Cities. Because of COVID-19, local school districts are trying to figure out the best way to conduct classes in a safe way. School administrators are using guidance announced last week by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz that bases reopening decisions on new COVID-19 case rates per county.
Superintendents of Osseo and Anoka-Hennepin schools announced on Friday that they are recommending the hybrid model, a combination of in-person and distance learning. Officials with Robbinsdale Area Schools, meanwhile, figuring out their course of action.
“We want kids safe, that’s clear,” said Stephanie Burrage, interim Superintendent for the Robbinsdale School District. “That has been our message across the board. We want to make sure that our students are safe and our staff members are safe as well. There are some nuances as we look at our most vulnerable population.”
Robbinsdale officials say they are going to make a decision next week. This will be based on data, surveys, conversations and feedback from families, students, teachers and the board of education.
“When we surveyed our families it really was a 30-30-30 (percent) split,” Burrage said. “30 for in person, 30 for hybrid and a 30 for we want to wait and see where things are at. We want to make sure we literally hear from our families.”
Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent: “Best we can do”
Anoka-Hennepin came out with its blueprint immediately after Governor Tim Walz unveiled his Safe Learning Plan on Thursday. Minnesota’s largest district, which includes two counties, chose the hybrid option.
Students will be in class two days a week and the other three days they will be distance learning.
“This is the best we can do right now when we can’t be full capacity,” said Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent David Law. “We want to meet the needs of our parents who want their kids in school. This is the best we can do. We might find that more kids are going distance learning because of medical concerns and we can pull some more into school full-time. We night get to that spot but this is a good solution for the scenario we are in right now.”
Meanwhile, the Wayzata School District has not made a decision yet. The Wayzata superintendent expects to present a recommendation on Thursday to the school board.