June 29th Update

June 29th Update from Superintendent Almos
Posted on 06/29/2020

Dear Families,

I hope this message finds you enjoying your summer. As we look ahead and plan for the reopening of school on September 8, 2020, I want you to be aware of the timeline of events and the district’s planning efforts to have us prepared to welcome children back to school. COVID-19 will continue to affect our lives for the foreseeable future. On June 18th the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released their fall planning guidance for school leaders to use in planning the start of the school year. This guidance asks us to build three school models for the 2020-21 school year. They are as follows:

  • Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students (traditional school model). This scenario may be implemented assuming state COVID-19 metrics continue to stabilize and/or improve.
  • Scenario 2: Hybrid learning (some in person and some distance learning) with strict social distancing and capacity limits. In this scenario, students would attend school two days per week and distance learning three days per week with no more than 50% of students allowed on campus at any time.  This scenario may be implemented if COVID-19 metrics worsen at the local, regional, or statewide level.
  • Scenario 3: Distance learning only. This scenario may be implemented if local, regional, or statewide COVID-19 metrics worsen significantly enough to require the suspension of all in-person learning.

Please know, we want our students to return to 100% in-person learning as soon, and as safely, as possible. Schools are being asked to prepare all three models to be certain we are ready if COVID-19 metrics change and we need to shift between models throughout the school year.  Families will need to have back up plans in place if we are unable to return to a full-time in-person school setting. I ask that families start thinking about these plans now to be certain you are prepared. Furthermore, even if we are able to return to full-time in-person learning at the beginning of the school year, parents should be prepared if we are required to change models throughout the school year.

During the week of July 27th, Governor Walz will announce which scenario we are to use when opening school on September 8th. As of today, we are working through the guidance and putting together plans that we will be sharing with you soon. We have created a link on the school district website titled Reopening School Plan – Fall 2020 for everyone to stay up-to-date with our planning efforts. Our goal is to add specific information to this site beginning July 8 and continuing throughout the summer.

As a school system, we are facing a unique challenge to offer an education to our students like never before. We believe the best educational model for students is in-person teaching and learning every day of the school year. This may or may not be possible given the ongoing pandemic. Regardless of the model, we are required to use, we will work to serve our families in a quality manner.

Take care,

ANDREW M. ALMOS
Superintendent, East Central Public Schools
phone 320-245-6001 | twitter @almosandrew
aalmos@eastcentral.k12.mn.us | www.eastcentral.k12.mn.us

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