Safe Learning Plan

DOWNLOAD: SoWashCo Safe Learning Plan

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has set thresholds for schools to reopen safely. The state’s fall school plan is based on a formula that uses COVID-19 infection rates over 14 days in our county (Washington County). Under this plan, school districts have some flexibility in selecting the scenario that works best for their community – in-person learning at school, distance learning at home or hybrid learning which is typically seen as a combination of both. The district, individual schools or even classrooms may need to shift to a different learning scenario throughout the school year to address challenges related to COVID-19.

Example of the state’s formula for schools to reopen safely: The bi-weekly case rate for Washington County from July 5-18 shows a 14.84 case rate, resulting in the recommendation of in-person learning for elementary students and hybrid learning for secondary students.*

 On Aug. 13, the school board directed the superintendent to begin the school year in a hybrid learning model and to begin considering the MDE Safe Learning Plan on Sept. 11. 

Number of cases per 10,000 over 14 days, by county of residence

Recommended Learning Model


In-person learning for all students


In-person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary students


Hybrid learning for all students


Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary students


Distance learning for all students

In-person Learning Overview

All students will learn at school with social distancing in place as much as possible. in-person

  • All students will learn at school
  • Social distancing as much as possible
  • Face covering policy and guidelines for students/staff
  • Personal protective equipment for students/staff
  • Routines for hygiene education and practices
  • Daily cleaning as usual, with frequent cleaning for high touch surfaces during the day (shared responsibility)
  • COVID-19 program coordinator at each school
  • Limit nonessential visitors
  • Discontinue large gatherings that do not allow for social distancing
  • Monitor for illness and exclude those with symptoms
Please note: All families may choose distance learning as an option regardless of the learning scenario.

Distance Learning Overview

Students will learn at home through distance learning with instruction that is consistent with learning prior to COVID-19.Distance Learning

  • Instruction will be consistent with learning prior to COVID-19
  • Grades and cumulative grade points averages (GPA) will apply
  • Daily attendance is required

Students will learn at home and complete assignments in one of the following ways:

  • Remote Learning: Learning activities are posted in SeeSaw and Schoology or may be an extension of in-person learning. Students will check and complete assignments and interact with teachers on their own schedule.
  • Real-Time Learning: Students may be asked to login at a specific time to interact with their teacher and classmates through a live video platform. Students who cannot participate on a schedule will not be penalized as long as they complete their assignments. Please note: real-time distance learning during hybrid learning will be less frequent

Hybrid Learning

 Students will learn through a combination of distance learning at home and in-person learning at school. Hybrid learning is the most complicated scenario due to scheduling, transportation and logistics. Hybrid Learning

  • Students will learn through a combination of distance learning at home and in-person learning at school
  • School buildings will be limited to 50% capacity
  • Bus transportation will be limited to 50% capacity
  • Social distancing of six feet at all times
  • Students and staff will wear masks per the state’s guideline
  • Sufficient staffing levels to meet requirements of the model

K-12 Scheduling

  • All students in grades K-12 will be divided into two groups by family to reduce class size
  • Student group A (across grade levels by household)
  • Student group B (across grade levels by household)

Each week, students in both groups will participate in a combination of in-person learning and distance learning (with a district-issued mobile device) by alternating between days
Hybrid distance learning will allow for opportunities to have real-time learning through a live virtual classroom and learning activities both on and off a device.

Example Weekly Schedule (scheduled days may change due to holidays or no school days)

  • Mon/Wed: Student Group A attends school in-person. Student Group B at home for distance learning.
  • Tue/Thu: Student Group B attends school in-person. Student Group A at home for distance learning.
  • Flexible Instruction Day - All students will learn on Fridays through one, or more, of the following ways:
    • Additional in-person learning opportunities (exams, labs, individual and small group learning)
    • Additional distance learning opportunities (either real-time learning or remote learning)
    • Advisory class










Flexible instruction day

Middle and High Schools (6-12)

The typical six-period day will be split into a three-period day.

  • For example:
    • First half of Trimester One: Students will take periods 1-3 classes in Sept. and Oct.
    • Second half of Trimester One: Students will take periods 4-6 classes in Oct. and Nov.


Please note: Due to the complexities of the hybrid model, families will not be able to choose or change the day their child is scheduled for in-person or distance learning. Schedules will be assigned for all households in the district. For example, one family will receive either an A schedule or a B schedule for all students in their household regardless of grade level.

DOWNLOAD: SoWashCo Safe Learning Plan