Update: August 4, 2020
Our team at Spring Lake Parks Schools took a few days to review new guidance, data and decision-making tools provided July 30, 2020 in Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. A decision for how Spring Lake Park Schools will begin the school year, in alignment with the state’s plan, will be made by August 14.
Currently, following the state’s direction to use Anoka County 14-day COVID-19 infection rate data and trend information, we anticipate beginning the school year in a Modified Campus Schedule (Hybrid) model for grades K-12. We will review this data weekly as well as a variety of other health and safety factors and make adjustments to learning models throughout the year as needed. These are dynamic times and our approach to school must be dynamic as well.
“In our planning, we have explored creative ways to use space and time. We have also looked at different ways of aligning staff with students and ways to support students and the family members who support them,” says Jeff Ronneberg, superintendent. “I’m confident we will continue to improve how we do school – whether students are at school in person, learning from a distance, or some combination of the two.”
Learning models and health and safety measures
Throughout the summer, we’ve been planning for three models – Open Campus (in-person), Modified Campus Schedules (hybrid) and Extended Flexible Learning (distance learning).
EXTENDED FLEXIBLE LEARNING (distance learning)
School buildings are not able to open due to required health and safety mitigation strategies, or students remain remote by family choice.
- Option for students at all grade levels; families commit for at least one trimester with return to in-person learning dependent on a variety of factors
- All students may flex to this model should public health conditions require it
- Real-time and on-demand learning formats with a greater emphasis on live instruction, and small group learning
MODIFIED CAMPUS SCHEDULES (hybrid)
School buildings are able to open with modifications that limit the number of people in school spaces, provide for physical distancing, follow recommended health and safety guidelines and use a combination of in-person and online teaching and learning.
- Minimum of 2 days and up to 5 days a week in-person at school. Increasing the number of in-person days depends on how many families choose distance learning and family transportation needs.
- Smaller classroom groupings and physical spaces at 50% capacity or less
- Students interacting with a limited number of peers and teaching staff throughout the day
- Students will be divided into two groups; each group will come to school for in-person learning 2 days a week. Additional in-person days will be personalized to student needs
- 3 days a week of extended flexible learning (distance learning)
- To support flexibility in the time, place, and pace of learning, all courses will be built out online for 24/7 access
OPEN CAMPUS (in-person)
School buildings are able to open following health and safety guidance.
5 days a week in-person at school following health and safety guidelines for in-person learning
Download a 1-page overview of the 2020-2021 Learning Models.
For any in-person learning, we will follow health and safety guidance provided to us by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include expectations for students and staff around face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene and cleaning protocols. It also includes school operations guidance such as building traffic and schedules and meal plans. See a 1-page overview of key Health and Safety Measures.
Information needed from families
Families with students in the district are being asked to commit to a few critical things for the fall. On Tuesday, August 4, families will receive direct links for each student in their household asking them to submit decisions on:
- Full-time distance learning: If families choose full-time distance learning for their student, they will be choosing distance learning through at least the first trimester. At that point, school staff will assess any requests to return to in-person learning based on building capacity, transportation, staffing and other factors.
- Transportation requirements
These elements are critical to understand how many in-person days the district will be able to offer in a modified campus schedule (hybrid) model given space and transportation constraints.
“None of us has ever begun a new school year in a pandemic, and we’ve certainly never been asked to design a model for learning that dynamically responds to county level infection rates,” says Jeff. “We’re thankful for the support of our community and the patience and partnership of our families as we all figure out how to continue learning safely as a new school year begins.”
The latest and evolving information about the 2020-2021 school year is available at: SpringLakeParkSchools.org/Plan2020.