Superintendent Brian Dietz of the Centennial District says dealing with the unknown is the hardest part.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen. We have to wait until late July to get an answer from the state,” Dietz said. “I think that’s always hard because you try to get the best plans in place but you feel like sometimes OK, we’re spending a lot of energy and this might not ever happen but we’ll be prepared for it.”
It means districts are preparing for 3 different options. One is in person learning for all students. A second is called ‘hybrid’ learning with strict social distance and capacity limits. A third is a return to distance learning only.
Dietz says distance learning went well under the circumstances. But he says there will be catch up work to do.
“We know there’s gaps all the way across the board, especially with our youngest learners. We’re really concerned about what they missed out on. So part of next year’s planning is also thinking about how do we get caught up at this point as well.”
Dietz says it’s likely the school year in Minnesota might start with one plan and switch to another if there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases. He knows which option students want to see.
“If you talk to a student I can tell you right now they want back, they want to be back full, and they want to be here because they want to have those relationships see their classmates and want to experience school,” Dietz said.
Parents and school districts will find out what the state decides by the end of July.