Important Learning Model Planning Update February 5, 2021Tou Thao
Last evening the School Board approved a recommendation to plan for the return of Grade K-5 elementary school students to a 4-day hybrid learning model effective Wednesday, March 3rd. This recommendation includes the return of Grade 6-8 middle school students to the same 4-day hybrid learning model on Monday, March 15th. This 4-day hybrid model means Cohorts A and B will be combined and on-site together Monday – Thursday for in-person learning. Finally, Grades K-8 will plan to return to a 5-day in-person learning model on Tuesday, April 6th. Fridays in March will accommodate planning, cleaning and other duties. Fridays in April through the end of the year will be early release days for the same. A distance Learning model for Grade K-8 students will continue to be offered.
This return plan took into account the feedback and input we received from parents, staff, and students, and the consultation and support we received from public education and health experts. We believe it is a safe, successful, and sustainable plan that recognizes the situation remains fluid and uncertain, so our ongoing planning must remain flexible and responsive as well. To that end, we continue to monitor new viral strains in partnership with the MDH and will reassess our return planning at the March School Board meeting.
This week, we enjoyed the return of our elementary students to on-site learning to support their growth and development, and look forward to our middle school students joining them on-site in a phased return to in-person learning. Below is a return timeline and important planning considerations, including a final opportunity to request a learning model change for the remainder of the year, which will be considered based on program capacities and medical concerns. Some parents’ preference to return to on-site learning depended on class sizes and teacher changes. Please see the planning considerations below and understand this is a very complex and interconnected process, so we expect families who have been in the 2-day hybrid model to remain in the 4-day hybrid and 5-day in-person models for the remainder of the school year to ensure success and sustainability.
If you would like to request a learning model change, please contact: Ms. Yanet Moreno, firstname.lastname@example.org (Richfield Campus) or Ms. Joanie Jeffrey, email@example.com (Bloomington Campus) no later than February 12th.
Monday-Tuesday, March 1-2: K-8 Planning Days (No School)
Wednesday, March 3: Grade K-5 start 4-day Hybrid Model (Monday – Thursday)
Friday March 5: Grade K-8 At-Home Learning, Planning & Cleaning Day (same as current Friday Flex Days)
Friday, March 12: Grade K-8 Grading Day and Cleaning Day (same per school calendar)
Monday, March 15: Grade 6-8 Start 4-day Hybrid Model (Monday – Thursday)
Friday, March 19: Grade K-8 At-Home Learning, Planning & Cleaning Day (same as current Friday Flex Days)
Friday, March 26: Grade K-8 Planning Day and Cleaning Day (No School)
Monday, April 5: Grade K-8 Planning Day (No School)
Tuesday, April 6: Elementary and Middle School Start 5-Day In-Person Model with Fridays as Early-release Days (school day end time to be determined)
1. Successfully implement and sustain a gradual transition to in-person learning with new and proven health and safety mitigations in place
2. Continue semi-monthly saliva testing of on-site staff and educator vaccinations with approximately 50% of staff receiving their first dose with the next week
3. Reconfigure classrooms and purchase additional furniture to ensure the recommended three-feet of physical distancing between students
4. Keep classes to a maximum of 25-28 students, with a few exceptions of approximately 30 students where additional measures will be in place, and limit teacher changes if possible
5. Prioritize the value of safe in-person learning with low transmission among children and in school settings along with a declining trend in case rates
6. Continue to leverage internal and short-call substitutes and reduced quarantine periods when possible to maintain critical staff levels
7. Monitor viral activity and remain flexible and responsive in planning and implementation to ensure safety, sustainability, and success
This month, we celebrate the many accomplishments and countless contributions black and indigenous people of color have made to communities, countries, and democracies all over the world. Dr. Martin Luther King reminds us that individuals have not started living until they can rise above the narrow confines of their individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. This has perhaps never been truer than it is now. We appreciate the individual efforts and sacrifices of our teachers and staff, parents and students, administration and board on behalf or our whole school community.