Upcoming Learning Model Transition Recap
ISD 728 Staff, Families and Students,
As we move closer to our date to transition students to different learning models amid this latest surge in the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to provide definitive communication about what will happen in the next several days.
Kindergarten and Elementary Grades
In accordance with the Governor's mandate and directions from MDH, MDE, and County Public Health Departments, our school district will move into a Hybrid Model for elementary students who are currently being served in the face-to-face model beginning Monday, November 16, 2020. Written differently, if your elementary child is currently enrolled and coming to school every day, Monday through Friday, he/she will begin the Hybrid Model the week of November 16, 2020.
We are planning for elementary students to return to a face-to-face model on March 8, 2021 if the data supports it. March 8, 2021 is the beginning of Trimester 3. The primary reason for this length of time is because public health officials and representatives from the Department of Health have indicated that the number of positive cases will continue to increase and are unlikely to trend below the required threshold throughout this time period.
ISD 728 will monitor COVID-19 levels throughout our communities, and, if an early return would be warranted, that would be discussed by leadership, the ISD 728 School Board and our state partners from MDE and MDH. Bringing our students back to school will always be a priority for us.
Secondary (Middle and High School) Grades
Due to numerous local data factors related to COVID-19, and in particular the inability to maintain acceptable staffing levels in our buildings, the time also has come to move our middle school and high school students into the distance learning model. The district is well-prepared to begin implementing full distance learning for students in Grades 6-12 on Monday, November 16, 2020.
While there can be no specific timeline to return to a hybrid or in person model due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the data and availability of staffing daily. Distance learning will remain in place for middle and high school students at least through the first semester, which ends January 28, 2021.
Transition and Planning Days
We are committed to continuing to provide a high-quality education for all of our students when we transition into the new learning models. Therefore, there will be NO SCHOOL for ALL STUDENTS (Kindergarten through Grade 12 - including our distance learning students) on November 11, 12, and 13, 2020. These days will provide time for important planning and preparation, which includes teacher collaboration and instructional planning, making changes inside the classrooms and buildings to meet the social distancing requirements, adjusting transportation schedules, adding signage in schools, adjusting lunchroom procedures and food service, etc. We know this is inconvenient for families and appreciate your understanding and flexibility.
Students participating in our Early Childhood programs (ECFE, ECSE and Preschool) will attend school as they typically do, even on November 11 and 12, 2020. Early Childhood students will still not have school on November 13, 2020.
District leaders have been and will continue to be in close consultation with local public health officials and the Minnesota Departments of Health and Education to track multiple data points regarding the latest COVID-19 outbreaks within ISD 728 and its surrounding communities. Meanwhile, we have also been navigating the uncertainty of changing education models - in this case from face-to-face to hybrid for our elementary students and from hybrid to distance learning for our secondary students.
For additional information, please check the District’s website. If you have any questions, contact the District through our discussion feature, Let’s Chat, where you can request information on learning models, transportation, food service and more.