An e-newsletter from Mounds View Public Schools
July 24, 2020
As you know, the state is currently contemplating how to safely reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year. In preparation for the state’s decision, I want to share with you what our planning looks like. In this reopening planning document you will find details related to each of the three scenarios as well as survey results from parents and eventually final results from staff and secondary students.
It’s important to note the four commitments that were made when developing our plans:
- SAFETY: The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority. Plans will reflect guidance from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education.
- EQUITY: Our commitment to equity means programs and services will be in place at all schools – regardless of the scenario – to ensure that race, gender, class and disability will not predict students’ success.
- FLEXIBILITY: We want to get back to doing what we do best – teaching and learning with students in person. However, plans will be developed to allow for a fluid response when moving between in-person and distance learning scenarios is necessary.
- FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Plans will consider what is fiscally responsible to our community considering the financial resources of the District.
While we have been required to develop plans for three scenarios, the highest level of interest has been around our plans for implementing a blended approach of distance learning and in-person learning. If the state requires school districts to implement a blended or hybrid approach, here’s what that will look like for Mounds View Public Schools:
In a blended learning scenario, the state will allow our schools to operate at 50% capacity with physical distancing. As a result, our plan will allow for half of the students in kindergarten through fifth grade to attend school in person on Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday. These students will participate in independent learning from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other half of the students will attend school in person on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday. These students will participate in independent learning from home on Mondays and Wednesdays. A sample calendar is provided in the reopening planning document.
Middle schools and high schools
Like the elementary students, in a blended learning scenario half of the middle school and high school students will attend school in person on Mondays and Wednesdays and will participate in independent learning from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other half of the students will attend school in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will participate in independent learning from home on Mondays and Wednesdays. Every Friday will be a “Learning Plus Day” offering students additional in-person or online enrichment or support based on their individual needs. A sample calendar is provided in the reopening planning document.
Parents who took our survey told us they would like the option to choose the scenario that best fits their family. Please know that distance learning will always be an option families can choose. However, we have been told we must be prepared to move between any of the three scenarios as directed by the state when local health conditions change. In preparation, we want to give families and staff as much time as possible to contemplate how these different approaches to in-person learning, blended learning and distance learning will affect their family, home and work schedules.
We expect to hear the state’s scenario decision in the coming days, and we will share that with you once we have that information. Afterwards, you will begin to receive regular communication this summer from your student’s school about how school will operate in September.
Although there are still many unknowns regarding the return to school this fall, I’m confident that we can model flexibility, positivity and resilience for our students. As always, all of us at Mounds View Public Schools appreciate your continued support and partnership in doing the best we can for our students, during these uncertain times.