Overview

When schools resume in the fall, they will look different. Here’s what you can expect: Schools will reopen with a continuum of options throughout the year including in-person, hybrid (in-person plus distance learning), and distance learning.

The Minnesota Department of Education has outlined three instructional models for the 2020-2021 school year. We anticipate moving in and out of these three models throughout the year in response to state direction and virus activity. In addition, the school district is offering an optional Distance Learning Academy for families who wish to commit to a full year of distance learning only.

Decison Framework

Please note: This information is subject to change throughout the school year as state guidance changes in response to virus activity. How do schools determine their safe learning model?

Early Childhood and Adult Basic Education students will receive separate information from their respective programs. 

Under each of the three models, you can expect:

Safety precautions

  • We will follow the guidelines from the MN Dept of Health and the MN Dept of Education.
    • Sometimes MDH and MDE require certain actions; sometimes they recommend certain actions.
      • If an action is required, you’ll see it being carried out in our schools.
      • If an action is recommended, you might see it in some places but not others.
    • Each school will designate a school-level COVID-19 coordinator and create a building-specific plan to implement state health and safety guidance.
    • All staff will be trained on COVID awareness and the proper use of cleaning materials.
    • Field trips will not be offered.
    • Visitors and volunteers will have limited access to buildings.

Teaching and learning/student support

  • In each subject area, teachers will focus on the most essential material for students to learn, creating a core foundation of instruction that is integrated into each of the three models to allow for more nimble transitions between models, responding to virus activity.

 

  • Attendance will be taken every day in each model.
  • Special education and English learner services will be provided. The delivery may look different, depending on the model, but services will be provided to all identified students.
  • All staff will give extra attention to children’s social-emotional learning needs and will work to rebuild relationships between and among students and staff.
  • School nurses and other support staff will provide services.
  • Every student, K through grade 12, will be issued a mobile device and will be expected to keep it accessible for potential pivots between models.
  • Technology support will continue; internet support and resources will be provided as necessary.
  • Child care availability will depend on the model.

 


 

In-person (all students, pre-K* through grade 12)

*Applies to students enrolled in the free half-day, every day pre-K programs at Birch Grove, Crest View, Edinbrook, Fair Oaks, Garden City, Palmer Lake, Park Brook, and ZanewoodOperational Checklist

Safety precautions

  • Classroom seating arrangements will be created according to state guidelines. For example, students will no longer be arranged in small groups. 

  • To reduce the concentration of students in cafeterias, additional spaces will be identified for students to eat lunch. Students will not eat in their classrooms.
  • Bus drop-off and pick-up times may be staggered by a few minutes in order to minimize groups of students at arrival and dismissal.
  • Per the governor’s executive order, face coverings will be required for staff and students in kindergarten through grade 12. **Exemptions will be allowed according to the governor’s order. Early childhood and pre-kindergarten students will be encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings.
  • Students are expected to wash hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day, especially before meals. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at each school.
  • School lunch will offer hot and cold options with safety practices in place, e.g., no self-service and limited use of high-touch areas such as keypads.
  • Schools will receive extra cleaning and disinfecting. You’ll see clear barriers in offices at the first point of contact, new signage, and areas that have been redesigned to promote social distancing.
  • Mechanical systems will be adjusted to increase outside air intake.
  • All staff, students and visitors will participate in a daily health screening (series of questions).

Teaching and learning; student support

  • Your child will have high-quality and engaging teacher-led instruction 5 days a week. 

  • The first few weeks will have a strong focus on building relationships, identifying learning gaps from last spring and summer, and helping students feel engaged and connected to their school.
  • To the greatest extent possible, instruction will look and feel like it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 


 

Hybrid (all students, pre-K* through grade 12)

Mix of in-person and distance learning with strict social distancing and capacity limits.

*Applies to students enrolled in the free half-day, every day pre-K programs at Birch Grove, Crest View, Edinbrook, Fair Oaks, Garden City, Palmer Lake, Park Brook, and ZanewoodOperational Checklist

Safety precautions

  • Classroom seating arrangements will be created according to state guidelines.
  • To reduce the concentration of students in cafeterias, additional spaces will be identified for students to eat lunch. Students will not eat in their classrooms.
  • Bus drop-off and pick-up times may be staggered by a few minutes in order to minimize groups of students at arrival and dismissal.
  • Per the governor’s executive order, face coverings will be required for staff and students in kindergarten through grade 12. **Exemptions will be allowed according to the governor’s order. Early childhood and pre-kindergarten students will be encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings.
  • Students are expected to wash hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day, especially before meals. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at each school.
  • School lunch will offer hot and cold options with safety practices in place, e.g., no self-service and limited use of high-touch areas such as keypads.
  • Schools will receive extra cleaning and disinfecting. You’ll see clear barriers in offices at the first point of contact, new signage, and areas that have been redesigned to promote social distancing.
  • Mechanical systems will be adjusted to increase outside air intake.
  • All staff, students and visitors will participate in a daily health screening (series of questions).

Teaching and learning; student support

  • School will be held 5 days a week with high-quality and engaging teacher-led instruction and/or support each day.
  • To reduce the number of students in the school building at any time, students will be assigned to either Group A or Group B.
    • Group A students will attend school in person on Mondays and Wednesdays, with teacher-facilitated remote learning on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    • Group B students will attend school in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with teacher-facilitated remote learning on Mondays and Wednesdays.
    • Every Friday, all students will participate in a remote learning day (attendance will be taken).
      • On remote learning days, students can expect some or all of the following: live online instruction by their teacher, independent work, online check-ins, and pre-recorded instruction and tutorials.
      • Teachers will use Fridays for lesson planning, collaboration, and creation of instructional content.
      • Fridays will also allow for thorough cleaning of buildings and the delivery of meals and materials.
    • Whenever possible, siblings will be assigned to the same group.

Distance Learning (all students, pre-K* through grade 12)

*Applies to students enrolled in the free half-day, every day pre-K programs at Birch Grove, Crest View, Edinbrook, Fair Oaks, Garden City, Palmer Lake, Park Brook, and Zanewood

Teaching and learning; student support

  • School will be held 5 days a week, with clearly articulated student schedules and teacher-directed remote learning every day.
  • Staff schedules, including regular office hours for secondary teachers, will be provided to all families.
  • Students will have full access to grade-level and subject content delivered through remote instruction.
    • Students can expect some or all of the following: live online instruction by their teacher, independent work, online check-ins, and pre-recorded instruction and tutorials.
  • Communication from school to home will be more streamlined than it was in spring 2020.

Distance Learning Academy (optional full-year choice for K-12 only)

Families who want the certainty of distance learning for the entire year with no movement between models may opt into a districtwide (K-12 only) Distance Learning Academy.

To register for the optional academy, a year-long commitment will be required so the district can staff it properly (including consideration of specific licensures), schedule students appropriately in courses, and coordinate transportation following MDE/MDH guidelines. Registrations are due by 9 p.m. Sunday, August 9.

At the elementary level, Distance Learning Academy instruction will be similar to the regular distance learning model. At the secondary level, the Distance Learning Academy will focus on core subjects/graduation requirements, i.e., advanced, AP and/or electives may not be available. Advanced course offerings will be based on student registrations in the program. After students are registered we will review the AP (Advanced Placement) and HP (high performance) choices students made last school year during course registration for this year. Based on the course enrollment numbers, we will determine whether we have sufficient enrollment to offer various advanced courses.

Special education and language learner services will continue to be provided to qualifying students.

This will be a districtwide program drawing from teachers across the school district; a student enrolled in one school may have teachers from another school. Students in grades K-5 will complete lessons in Seesaw and students in grades 6-12 will complete lessons in Schoology.

Learn more about the Distance Learning Academy.  Frequently Asked Questions