Cougar Connection

An Update from your Mankato East Administration Team

February 19, 2021

Return to Full In-Person Learning

Dear Students and Families,

We are happy to announce that, based upon updated health and safety guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health, Mankato Area Public Schools has determined that it is safe to return to in-person learning. This means that all students who have opted into the hybrid learning plan will now attend school 4 days per week beginning on Thursday, February 25.


Monday, February 22, 2021 No School, Teacher Preparation Day

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 No School, Teacher Preparation Day

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 Distance Learning Day for ALL students

Thursday, February 25, 2021 Return to In-Person Learning. All previous Group A & B Students.

Friday, February 26, 2021 In-Person Learning

How does this change student groups?

Due to continued MDH and MDE regulations, we can not offer flexible scheduling at this time. Students will be coded as either ‘in-person’ or ‘distance only’.

Students who have opted for the hybrid model will attend school in-person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. There will no longer be hybrid groups A or B. All hybrid students are now considered ‘in-person’ students. Students who are coded as in-person will be expected to attend all four days of the week.

Students who have opted for the distance learning model will remain in distance learning. Distance Learning students are not required to return to in-person learning. The decision to remain distance learning or return to in-person is an individual family choice.

If a student was previously listed as a distance learner, the option to move to in-person learning will be based upon a student’s individual schedule and the classroom capacity in each of their selected courses. We continue to follow MDH and MDE guidelines on social distancing, now set to 3 feet spacing for high school students.

I liked the way things were! What now?

We know that the hybrid schedule worked well for some of our students and families. Given the need to continue contact tracing and manage numbers, students who were previously enrolled in the hybrid model in either Group A or B will not have the option to continue a 2 day a week in-person schedule.

We understand that many students have been enjoying the flexibility of this model that allowed them to work or care for siblings. Unfortunately, we can no longer accommodate this level of flexibility. Any hybrid student who does not want to attend 4 days a week has the option to move to fully distance learning.

Schedule and Attendance

We will follow the current bell schedule (below) for all students. Teachers will provide the opportunity for all students to engage in learning synchronously.

Distance-only students will be invited to participate in synchronous Google Meets and/or stay up to date in their Moodle courses in order to meet attendance requirements. Distance-only students will return to marking their own participation in Infinite Campus (more information on this to come). Teachers will also have access to marking distance students' participation.

In-person students will be expected to attend M, T, Th, F in order to meet attendance requirements. Teachers will be taking attendance each hour. Automatic notifications will be sent if students are unexcused from school.

All parents/guardians should continue to call in if their student is unable to attend school in person or online.

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Wednesday will remain a Distance Only day for all students. Teachers will provide asynchronous opportunities for all students on Wednesdays. Students will have the option to schedule individual or small group Meets with their teachers.

On Wednesdays, all students will mark their participation in Infinite Campus. Teachers will also have access to mark participation. Students will need to mark their online participation on Wednesdays in order to meet attendance requirements.

What if I want to switch models?

As we make this change, we will use the current learning model data in Infinite Campus. We assume that all students who opted into the hybrid model will return to school for the full in-person model. Students and families will have the option to switch to fully distance learning.

We will also assume that students and families who have opted for distance learning will continue with this model. If you wish to make a change, the option to return will be dependent upon whether there are enough open seats in each classroom as listed on your schedule. We are still required to follow guidelines and social distancing of 3 feet. This does limit capacity in some classrooms.

If you are a distance-only student and wish to remain as a distance-only student, you do not need to contact the school.

Any changes to the learning model will need to be made by contacting your grade-level Assistant Principal by Tuesday, February 23, 2021.


We will host online conferences on March 1, 2021. Parents will be able to sign up for a short virtual conference with their student's teachers between the hours of 4 and 8 pm. More information and a sign-up link will be coming soon. Please watch your email for more information.