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Video: Minnesota education leaders share three scenarios for school in the fall

Jun 17, 2020 05:38AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

There are three possible scenarios that schools are planning for in the fall, based on guidance from the MDE.  Photo: WDIO-TV

From WDIO-TV - June 16, 2020

We're at the start of summer. But education officials are already looking ahead to the fall, because of the complications of COVID-19.

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Education provided schools with three scenarios to help them plan for the 2020-2021 school year. They are:

  1. All students return to school buildings following CDC/MDH guidelines.
  2. Students return using a hybrid model (in-person/distance learning) following CDC/MDH guidelines.
  3. No students return, implement distance learning model.

According to the MDE, they will be announcing a decision about which model will be used by the week of July 27.

Districts across the Northland are preparing. In Proctor, they are sending out a survey to parents to guage how many kids would return in the fall. And if they don't feel comfortable, that's ok too.

"We are going to make this as enriching as possible," shared John Awsumb, principal at Bay View Elementary. "And it's important to remember this isn't school forever. This is temporary, even if it's for a semester or the full year."

The district is busy buying masks and face shields and thermometers.

Up the shore, the Lake Superior School District has three working groups focused on teaching/learning, opening safely, and mental health.

And on the Range, some brainstorming about what a hybrid model would look like. "What would a schedule look like? How would a classroom be spaced out?" Those are some questions that Dr. Reggie Engebritson said she and the principals are talking about.

She said they are hoping there isn't a one-size-fits all approach, if we aren't seeing big COVID numbers in our region.

Kids and parents we met at Piedmont Elementary hope the classrooms can reopen in the fall, in some way. Ella Jackson, who will enter third grade then, shared, "We want to do regular things we do in our classrooms. We want to go to gym, music, art, and computer lab."

The Department of Education is asking parents to take a survey about distance learning.

Superior's leaders are developing a COVID-19 education plan working with Douglas County health officials, based on guidelines from the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In a Facebook post, they said, "It is highly likely we are going to need to implement a combination/hybrid model fo reopening schools where students will be able to attend school on an abbreviated schedule and complete some learning at home."

To read the original article and see related stories, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.