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Three Scenarios Considered for Minnesota Schools This Fall

Three Scenarios Considered for Minnesota Schools This Fall
Posted on 06/19/2020
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South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) appreciates and understands the anxiety for families and staff who wish to know how school will look in the fall. The answer is: we just don’t know yet. Ultimately, the decision on whether students will, or will not, return to school depends on the status of the spread of COVID-19 and the directives from the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released its guidance for school districts to create plans based on three scenarios for fall 2020. 

  • SCENARIO 1 In-Person: Students will learn at school with social distancing in place as much as possible. 
  • SCENARIO 2 Hybrid: Students will learn through a combination of distance learning at home and at school with strict social distancing measures in place. School buildings will be limited to 50 percent capacity of students and staff at any one time.
  • SCENARIO 3 Distance Learning: Students will learn at home through distance learning.

MDE will announce the fall 2020 scenario that all school districts will follow by the week of July 27. 

Because we don’t know which scenario the state will choose, it’s important for parents to prepare for all three possibilities. Schools, or a whole district, may need to shift between educational models during the middle of the school year. For example, if MDE directs all schools to hybrid learning (scenario 2), but there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 limited to one school, that school may be forced to shift to distance learning (scenario 3). Due to this uncertainty, families may wish to consider child care options and plan for an at-home schedule that resembles a regular school day. 

Since early June, SoWashCo Schools have been planning for each scenario with five main focus areas.

  • Health and Safety
  • Mental Health and Social-Emotional Well-being
  • System Logistics
  • Teaching and Learning Practices
  • Adult Learning and Professional Development

The planning teams for each focus area will help identify how to handle large class activities, athletics, meal service, school bus transportation, passing time in the hallways and many other system-wide logistics. The comprehensive plans will be designed to follow all health guidelines from the state and will respond to the needs of our students. 

SoWashCo Schools appreciates your patience as we continue our planning to ensure the health and safety of students and staff this fall. We will post regular updates about our progress at sowashco.org/fall2020. Thank you for supporting South Washington County Schools.