Districts have been working on three scenarios, in person classes, distance learning, or a hybrid of the two. But Governor Walz says districts will make decisions locally based on the virus data and the district’s ability to meet mitigation requirements.
Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent David Law says the district had planned for that, but there is still a lot to digest in 111 pages of information from the state. One first step is communicating with parents.
Late Friday afternoon, the district announced all students would begin the year in a hybrid learning situation.
Friday morning, Law spoke to North Metro TV about the decision-making process.
“So parents, are you comfortable being in our building if its full capacity or half capacity. If you need child care, technology needs, we’ll be gathering that information and pulling that together,” said Law. “Then we’ll be matching all the staffing with student needs, and there’s a decision point later in August where we look at our counties date, then we say ‘OK, based on this data what can we do on the first day of school’ and then we’ll share that out with our parents.”
Since Anoka Hennepin Schools cross into Hennepin County, Law says the district will probably consider those separately. So Anoka County school openings would be based on COVID cases in Anoka county, not Hennepin.
Law says he knows it’s frustrating for parents who were expecting a definitive answer from the Governor.
“Our parents were expecting a decision so they know what’s going to happen on the first day of school. And now since the decision is a rolling decision based on county data that we won’t be able to pinpoint for a few weeks, I know parents are going to be frustrated saying ‘what’s really going to happen?’ And what’s really going to happen is we’re going to be responsive to the level of concern with the disease in our community, and offer school according to that data,” said Law.
Centennial Schools reached out to parents with a message saying Superintendent Brian Dietz and his staff are busy reviewing the state guidelines and local data to make decisions.
“We recognize the stress on our families who are experiencing the uncertainty about returning to school in September combined with the closure of our buildings in the spring. These are unprecedented times and we appreciate your support of learning, your partnership, and your patience,” according to a statement.
The plan schools start with in September may not be the plan they keep all year. State officials will work with district and health professionals to decide whether to make changes depending on the progression of the virus.