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 draft planning looks like. In order for us to finalize plans, we need a sense of what families are thinking about. Please take a moment to review the following information and complete the Fall 2020 Parent Survey located at the end of this letter by July 30, 2020. Once the governor announces plans for schools on Thursday and ISD 108 has analyzed the survey results, Central’s finalized plan will be communicated to you.
It’s important to note the three 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
● 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 hybrid approach of distance learning and in-person learning. If the state requires school districts to implement a hybrid approach, here’s what that will look like for Central Public Schools:
In a hybrid learning scenario, the state will allow our schools to operate at 50% classroom capacity with physical distancing. Because of our low class size and room size, our plan will allow all students in kindergarten through fifth grade to attend school in person on Monday through Friday. In order for this to be possible, we NEED some families to volunteer to drive their children, or carpool, to school. If we do not get enough families to drive their own children, we would have to look at an every-other-day model for elementary school. Please fill out the survey and indicate whether you are willing to transport in this scenario.
Middle schools and high schools
In a hybrid learning scenario, half of the middle school and high school students will attend school in person on Mondays and Wednesdays and will participate in online synchronous 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 online synchronous learning from home on Mondays and Wednesdays.
One way to describe this is an “ABAB” schedule. In this scenario, each group would alternate coming to school every-other Friday. When students are engaged in online synchronous learning at home, they will log-in to class and follow their typical schedule from home. The district has invested in a device for all
students so they have live interaction with their teachers and peers. An everyday option is not possible for students in 6-12 grade because of the health requirements by the state. It was considered.
Central Schools developed our Parent Survey to get an idea of what you plan to do as a family. Please know that distance learning (online everyday) 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, hybrid 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 Central Public Schools appreciate your continued support and partnership in doing the best we can for our students, during these uncertain times.