Robbinsdale School District Plans Switch to Hybrid for Pre-K, Elementary Students
The Robbinsdale School District has announced plans to switch to a hybrid learning model for prekindergarten and elementary school students. The shift will occur in phases starting with pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade students on Nov. 16.
In a letter to families, Robbinsdale school interim Superintendent Stephanie Burrage says the decision to switch was based on a change in Hennepin County COVID-19 case numbers.
“There have been no easy decisions this year,” said Burrage in the letter. “One moment, our plans are moving forward – and the next day (or even next hour) we have new information to process, and our plans must pivot.”
She added, “We will continue to listen to your feedback and welcome it any time as we move forward in our decision making.”
Transition Will Occur in Phases
District officials say a shift to hybrid learning for pre-K through fifth-grade students will occur in shifts to ensure a smooth transition. Families also have the option to remain in distance learning, which starts Nov. 16. The phased-in start dates are as follows:
- Monday, Nov. 16: pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade students, and center-based special education students
- Monday, Nov. 30: second and third-grade students
- Monday, Dec. 7: fourth and fifth-grade students
Students will remain in distance learning the week of Nov. 9 until their hybrid learning start date. Due to the number of students registered for distance learning, district officials say they are able to increase student capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Those families who choose hybrid learning will follow an AA/BB model, which means students will attend school in person two days a week and have distance learning the other three days. Wednesday will be distance learning for all students.
“Plans Could Change”
Burrage says the district continues to work with local health experts and review the latest COVID-19 data, noting that “plans could change.”
The 14-day COVID-19 case rate in Hennepin County, which Robbinsdale Area Schools use for guidance, has increased in recent weeks. The most recent rate is 25.25 cases per 10,000 people in Hennepin County. According to Minnesota Department of Health guidance, that would still be in the hybrid learning range for all students.
However, middle and high school students, as well as fifth grade at FAIR School Crystal, will remain in distance learning through the first semester. Burrage says the district continues to work on transition plans for those students as well.
“We continue to plan to transition middle and high school students on Tuesday, Jan. 26, based on the model that aligns with COVID county data,” Burrage said.
There is no school next week for pre-K and elementary students, and students receiving center-based special education services. The break will allow staff to prepare for the switch. Principals will also hold virtual question-and-answer meetings next week with elementary school families.