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Update to families on fall planning for 2020-21 school year

Update to families on fall planning for 2020-21 school year

Dear St. Anthony-New Brighton families,

Gov. Walz announced today July 30, through his Stay Safe initiative that Minnesota school districts will be selecting a learning model for the upcoming school year opening, starting based on science and the following five goals from the Safe Learning Plan for 2020-21:

  1. Prioritizing the safety of students and staff.
  2. Prioritize in-person learning, especially for younger learners and those with most need.
  3. Recognize differences in potential spread among different ages.
  4. Support planning, while permitting flexibility for districts.
  5. Take into account disease prevalence at a local level.

The learning models include in-person, hybrid and distance learning, varying upon K-12 education level and COVID-19 cases by county. School districts will be basing their model throughout the year (until receiving further direction as we proceed through the school year from Gov. Walz) on the number of COVID-19 cases per 10,000 over a 14 day period, by the school district’s county of residence. School districts have been directed to review the bi-weekly case rate (over 14 days) by county of the school district’s residence. (View the data updated by MDH July 30, 2020). These data are the number of cases by county over 14 days per 10,000 people by date of when a person was tested. 

The following is how learning models will be determined:

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

The St. Anthony-New Brighton School District resides in both Hennepin and Ramsey counties. School districts in multiple counties are recommended to utilize data from the county with higher case numbers. For example, the data provided by MDH will continue to be updated and indicates Hennepin County at 20.93 cases per 10,000 residents. This indicates, St. Anthony-New Brighton would start the school year in hybrid learning for K-12 students and will provide distance learning as an option for families who prefer that learning model for their child. We will continue to monitor the data and adjust our learning model as needed. 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.

Important reminder: If the COVID-19 pandemic were to change in a significant way between now and the start of the 2020-21 school year, we may need to shift models, per the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

How school districts will determine which model is needed
In order for school districts to determine their safe learning model, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will use data from counties and share this information with public health experts to determine safe learning plans. School districts will work with public health officials to determine which model will be needed for their school community. This data and information will be continuously monitored by the MDH on a regular basis. Adjustments to the learning model will be made, as needed, especially if a school district is not able to maintain staffing in the current learning model.

We are prepared

  • Last spring during the 2019-20 school year we implemented emergency distance learning. We had less than eight days to shift from in-person school (which we have been doing in SANB for more than 55 years) to a completely online/virtual learning experience. 
  • Over the summer we have revamped our distance learning model and prepared for a hybrid approach after reviewing survey responses from students, parents/guardians and staff that were conducted three weeks and six weeks into emergency distance learning.

More information coming in the next few weeks
We will be providing additional guidance from the MDE as it becomes available, including early childhood education and preschool programming. Please know that we planned for the three scenarios of multiple learning models throughout the year. We have built each of these models to work in conjunction and seamlessly together.

In future communications we will be providing further details on emergency child care, meal planning, and specific information on how learning models will be implemented throughout the 2020-21 school year. 

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.

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