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Update on planning for 2020-21 school year

Update on planning for 2020-21 school year

St. Anthony-New Brighton families,

After the announcement on July 30 about what school districts will need to prepare in order to implement multiple learning models during the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to provide you with an update and additional clarity on how the beginning of the 2020-21 school year will look like at St. Anthony-New Brighton (SANB). The first day of hybrid learning (or distance learning if families choose this option) will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

As Gov. Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) shared July 30, school districts across the state will need to adhere to a Safe Learning Plan for 2020-21, choosing a learning model based upon the number of COVID-19 cases per 10,000 over a 14-day period, by a school district’s county of residence. As you are aware, SANB is located within both Hennepin and Ramsey counties. According to our current and projected numbers, we are planning to begin the 2020-21 school year in a hybrid learning model. Adjustments to the learning model will be made, as needed, especially if our school district is not able to maintain staffing. This means, even if our cases fluctuate up or down, we may need to implement distance learning for all students K-12 due to other factors.

Potential learning models

  1. 0-9 cases: In-person learning for all students.
  2. 10-19 cases: In-person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary (middle and high school) students.
  3. 20-29 cases: Hybrid learning for all students.
  4. 30-49 cases: Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary (middle and high school) students.
  5. 50 or more cases: Distance learning for all students.

We are currently in the third level (as noted above) which is hybrid learning for all students. This is based on current COVID-19 cases within the counties that SANB resides within. We are still giving families the option for full-time distance learning if they choose/need for health and medical reasons.

Hybrid learning will consist of a staggered in-person and distance learning model. This means there will be days where K-12 students will be meeting in-person at each building, and other days where distance learning will take place. 

Potential hybrid models
A hybrid model could range from students attending two days a week, one day a week, or even some students attending school in-person, while others do not. Hybrid learning could range from a modified hybrid model (less students in a building) to a more robust hybrid model with up to 25-50% of students in a building. Families will be receiving a separate email within the next few days that will include a Google Form survey regarding hybrid model options and preferences. 

Planning process status for the 2020-21 school year
Over the summer teams of stakeholders have been meeting, reviewing data, and developing ideas for how to best plan for distance and hybrid learning. These plans continue to be fine tuned. These plans will be presented to the School Board, with a goal to be reviewed and approved at their regular meeting on Aug 18.

After board approval, each school building will send messages to families with details on the hybrid and distancing learning models. This information will include things like technology needs, timing for the hybrid school day, along with details on full-time distance learning.

Community Services programming
St. Anthony Community Services will continue to send details to families regarding early childhood family education (ECFE) classes, all-day and half-day preschool, and Village Kids program options.

We are prepared and ready for the 2020-21 school year
We know that this is an extremely difficult and challenging time for our students and families. Even though COVID-19 has changed the way that we provide education and our students learn, we are ready for whatever comes our way. Our School Board, administration and staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality of education that you expect from SANB. We may not know what the future holds for the remainder of the school year during COVID-19— whether we are in hybrid, distance learning or in-person— we will be ready. 

Health and safety during hybrid learning
We want our kids and staff to learn and work in a safe, healthy environment. We will provide clean spaces for students and staff. We will do our best to maintain social distance among students and expect social distancing among staff. We are also simultaneously balancing both physical health and safety needs with emotional needs. Our students need social interaction with peers and teachers for overall mental health and wellness.

We are educators and want all of our children to have a positive experience this school year. Some of us are also parents. We understand COVID-19 may have taken a lot from us, but it’s what we are doing going forward to help shape our experiences. We know many are feeling anxious about what lies ahead— and we want to provide you with some consistency and structure. We may need to adjust as we go, and we will be flexible and gracious. We will have good moments and look for ways to celebrate the successes. 

Thank you for your continued understanding as we provide you with updates.
Please remember to reach out via phone/text or email. I am here to listen and support my community that I love so very much. 

Superintendent Dr. Renee Corneille

Additional resources
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) hotline at 651-201-5414
City of St. Anthony Village website
City of New Brighton website