Governor Tim Walz unveiled his administration’s plan for school districts reopening in the fall at a Thursday news conference. The plan allows for quite a bit of local control for school districts to determine if they should bring students back to classrooms, continue distance learning, or use a hybrid model with both. At least one area school superintendent has announced in which direction they’ll be going.
Yellow Medicine East Superintendent Rich Schneider said parents in their district made it clear what their preference is:
“It was clear when we reviewed things and did some surveys of our parents and staff that the majority of people wanted to come back in person,” said Schneider. “So that will be our pursuit and our recommendation to do that. So I will make a recommendation to the board next August 10th at our board meeting, that we come back to in person instuction with our staff. We’ve got a lot of safety protocols we have to follow. But we will intend to do that.”
The governor’s plan provides guidance for districts on selecting a learning model for school openings, based on the number of active COVID-19 cases per 10,000 in the school’s county over the past 14 days. For example, if a county has between 0-9 active COVID cases in the past two weeks, there can be in-person learning for all students. Counties with 50 or more cases need to have distance learning for all students.