Several school districts in Minnesota have implemented various measures to minimize in-person learning once again.
In the face of a COVID spike and the coming of winter, some districts are opting to temporarily switch back to distance learning, while others are canceling classes or extending breaks.
On Monday the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District announced a transition to distance learning for “most students” that will last until at least Friday, Dec. 3.
The announcement claimed wearing masks, social distancing where possible, and improved ventilation have “helped,” yet it still admitted there is “evidence of transmission in some schools” and that increasing numbers of students and staff are getting COVID.
In-person learning is slated to return Monday, Dec. 6.
Shakopee Public Schools sent a letter to families last week announcing the cancellation of classes on Monday and Tuesday, which effectively gave students and staff an entire week’s worth of Thanksgiving break.
“The continuing increases in COVID-19 cases are […] impacting student and staff attendance, and have forced us to move three classrooms from in-person to distance learning. There are a handful of other classrooms in the district that are getting close to the threshold for being moved from in-person to distance learning,” the letter reads.
One school district, Osseo Area Schools, went so far as to extend its winter break by a full two weeks. The move will extend the school year until June 9, with high school seniors required to attend class until June 8.
“This school year has again been a year like no other. It’s taken some time for both students and staff to adjust back to school in this challenging environment. Everyone is tirelessly working to do their best,” the announcement reads.
“For the health and wellbeing of all, Osseo Area Schools is adding some time to winter break in order for everyone to re-energize. Winter break has been extended to a full two weeks and now includes Dec. 20, 21 and 22 as non school days. School will resume on Monday, Jan. 3 as originally planned.”
COVID cases in Minnesota have been steadily rising since late July. Roughly 60% of the adult population is said to be fully vaccinated.