On Thursday, July 30, Governor Walz announced his MN Safe Learning Plan that gives flexibility to school districts, based on health data. The Governor’s recommendations on which learning model schools can offer in the 2020-2021 school year is based on the number of COVID-19 cases per 10,000 over 14-days in any county.
Our administration is working on what the Governor’s announcement means for ISD 110. Leading up to today’s decision, we have been building the framework for one of three scenarios: In-Person Learning; Hybrid Model; Distance Learning.
The Governor’s recommendations allow districts to fluctuate between these models, depending on health data.
We want everyone to know that we are working on how the Governor's announcement will impact ISD 110 and we will be offering additional information tomorrow, Friday, July 31. Then, we will spend next week doing a planning deep dive and share more detailed plans on Friday, August 7th.
There are many complexities and requirements from the state that will need to be followed as we make decisions on how ISD 110 will deliver the best education possible in the safest environment in this new, fluid, model. Please be patient as we work out details. We understand that this decision impacts every student and every family in multiple ways. Know that the best interests of all students, staff and families are at the center of our planning.
We are ONE10!
Superintendent, Waconia Public Schools
The big question this summer for everyone—parents, students, teachers, staff, and administration—is what will the fall look like when the 2020–2021 school year begins? As of now, there are actually three answers. The State of Minnesota, along with the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health, have instructed school districts across the state to prepare for three different scenarios, all dependent on what the pandemic is doing come fall. The state will let districts know their decision in the last week of July. We understand that not knowing is stressful on everyone. In the meantime, we will be working during the month of July planning for one of the following three scenarios.
Students come back to school as they would any other fall. That’s about the only thing that would be the same. There are a lot of requirements and recommendations that we need to follow on how to conduct school during this pandemic. Such as, maintaining social distancing, classroom layouts, masks, lunch protocols, the list goes on. There are several issues that we would have to work through as we don’t have the physical space to keep everyone far enough apart and we don’t have the staff to meet the student to teacher ratio expectation.
State officials are considering requiring schools to implement a hybrid model where students “take turns” at being in school. There would be a combination of in-person instruction and distance learning. Details of exactly how that would look are being developed. This would be a totally different experience for everyone. Myself along with numerous superintendents have shared with the state how much stress this model would put on everyone. The plan requires hybrid lesson plans, needs to consider parent work commitments, have totally revamped bus schedules/routes, have a plan to get lunch to students who are at home for the day, ensure that every student has the proper technology, and have a totally new grading system. Probably one of the biggest challenges to figure out is how do teachers simultaneously conduct in-person instruction and provide a robust distance learning program for students who are at home. This scenario also has huge financial impacts.
In this scenario, we would continue distance learning full time, just like we did in the spring. Even though we are extremely proud of how everyone came together and rallied to make distance learning work, we also know that it was not ideal for everyone. Moving to this model for the start of the year brings with it a whole new set of considerations, including: developing initial relationships with students; creation of more permanent lesson plans; developing a remote lunch program and grading systems; daycare issues; technology distribution and maintenance, and more.
State officials have said that they will let us know their decision at the end of July regarding which scenario we will be implementing in the fall. Until then, we will work on plans throughout the month of July as if each scenario will be the one. We will be asking parents, students and staff for input so that all have a voice in plan development. As you can see, each scenario brings with it a whole different set of plans, challenges, and protocols. Whatever plan is chosen, ISD ONE10 is committed to making the educational experience the best it can be for every student. We will be communicating our plans once the state makes a decision.
Summer School Distance Learning Plan Click Here