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Gr. 6-12 to shift to distance learning effective Nov. 9

Dear Osseo Area Schools families:

I’m writing to inform you that this morning, the ISD 279 School Board approved my recommendation to move all secondary students (gr. 6-12) from the hybrid model into full distance learning, effective Monday, Nov. 9. This change is being made because both county and local virus case rates have risen to a level where a more restrictive learning model is needed. According to the parameters outlined in the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, the increased virus activity places our district in the Elementary-Hybrid/Secondary-Distance Learning model.

What does this mean for students in grades 6-12?

The move to full distance learning means that students in grades 6-12 who are currently in the hybrid model will move to 100% remote learning effective Nov. 9; there will be no in-person learning days for secondary students in this model. However, we will provide some in-person individual supports for students with most significant needs.

This change does not affect students in the Distance Learning Academy, who are already engaged in 100% remote learning.

What does this mean for early childhood, pre-kindergarten and elementary students?

This change does not affect students younger than grade 6. In accordance with the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, they will remain in the hybrid learning model, with part-time in-person and part-time distance learning days.

Will high school activities/athletics be affected?

For now, activities and sports will not be affected. New guidance received just this week from the Minnesota Dept. of Education allows school districts to conduct full distance learning and maintain activities/athletics as long as district leaders determine that there is no substantial, uncontrolled community spread among activities participants and athletes. Therefore, at this time, we are continuing with high school activities and athletics. However, if we find substantial transmission within these programs, we will pause them for at least two weeks, following state guidance.

How will secondary students access the free meals program?

Similarly to how meals were provided during the first two weeks of the school year, secondary students/families can pick up daily meals at designated locations. Secondary student families will receive more information about meal distribution next week.

Our motto for this year: Expect Change.

I want to assure you that I am in touch with officials from the Minnesota Dept. of Health, the Minnesota Dept. of Education and Hennepin Public Health every week to ensure that we have accurate data and the most current guidance. The new guidance received this week allows us to give more weight to local case rate data, and our local data is concerning. Our goal every day is to help reduce virus transmission, so we will continue our rigorous health and safety precautions while we closely monitor cases among our students and staff.

You can help

· Conduct the daily health screening before sending your child to school or to sports/activities.

· Wear a face covering, follow social distancing, and avoid large group gatherings.

· Keep your children home if they are ill.

About the video streaming quality this morning

We are aware that the quality of the videostream this morning was unacceptable, and we are addressing this immediately with the videostreaming service we use. We also record meetings separately for posting to YouTube; you’ll find a clean/clear copy of the meeting on our YouTube channel.

Thank you for recognizing that we are doing the best we can in an ever-changing environment with evolving state guidance. We have created an entirely new education system this year in extremely challenging circumstances, and we sincerely appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate this new reality.

Supt. Cory McIntyre

Superintendent Cory McIntyre