by Heidi L. Everett
St. Cloud Area School District will return students enrolled in preschool, elementary and alternative programs to hybrid learning on Tuesday, Jan. 19, following the Monday holiday.
“Our staff has been doing an amazing job ensuring students are learning and growing throughout this distance learning period, and we are excited to resume more in-person instruction soon,” said Anna Wilhite, principal at Kennedy Community School.
At this time, the schedule is:
Students in pre-school will attend school in-person two days a week following the same A/B rotation previously assigned.
Students in grades K-2 will attend school in-person Monday-Thursday and learn from home on Fridays.
Students in grades 3-5 will attend school in-person two days a week following the same A/B rotation previously assigned and learn from home on Fridays.
Students enrolled in special education alternative programs (e.g., REC, Riverwoods) will attend school in-person Monday-Thursday and learn from home on Fridays.
“We are excited to be welcoming our K-5 students back and providing in-person education again to our youngest learners,” Wilhite said.
Delaying the return to hybrid learning until Jan. 19 provides the best opportunity to predictably staff schools following the holiday break, the District noted in a press release. The Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health recommend districts allow for an incubation period after winter break since many students and staff may be required to quarantine following holiday gatherings and exposures.
The plan is to begin the transition of all pre-K-5 students to full in-person learning at the start of the third trimester on March 8, Wilhite said. At that time, Kennedy also will welcome back its students in grades six through eight.
Based on current data, students throughout the district in grades 6-12 will remain in distance learning until spring break. Secondary schools must use the original parameters outlined by the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health. These parameters include analysis of county health data, local health data, impact on school community and operational challenges.
Middle school and high school Activities will resume Jan. 4, 2021 following the Governor’s announcement and Minnesota State High School League’s recommendation.
Social distancing and health and safety protocols will be in effect and followed.
All students begin instruction again in the distance learning model on Jan. 4.