Dear Osseo Area Schools families:
I know you’re all anxiously awaiting details of our school district’s plan to return to school this fall. Our staff and administration feel the same – we are counting the hours until we receive specific direction from the state (sometime next week) regarding how we’ll be permitted to start the new school year.
As we continue to wait for that direction, I want to share information regarding what we know as of today.
Face coverings now required in school facilities
First, Governor Tim Walz’s order this afternoon means that starting July 25, all students (kindergarten and older) and staff will be required to wear face coverings in all school facilities, including school buses, as long as the directive is in place. Please note that the governor’s executive order allows for specific exceptions. All students and staff will be requested to bring their own masks, but the district will provide masks if children or staff don’t have one or forgot to bring it.
Planning is well underway for three possible scenarios
A district-level team is developing plans for each of the three return-to-school models outlined by the Minnesota Dept. of Education. The state has been clear that we can expect to move among all three models throughout the year, according to the course of the coronavirus in our state and communities. We might begin the year in one model and then pivot mid-year to another, depending on the virus activity. For that reason, our planning requires a solid foundation among all three models, allowing us to be as nimble as possible as we transition from one model to another.
The three scenarios are:
- In-person learning for all students
- Hybrid of in-person and distance learning with strict social distancing and capacity limits (e.g., two days per week of in-person and three days of remote learning)
- Distance learning only
All Minnesota school districts are also required to provide a full distance learning option for those who prefer distance learning for the full year, instead of having their child attend under any in-person/hybrid model.
Please start thinking about two choices you’ll be asked to make in the next few weeks:
- Knowing that it would be a full-year commitment, will you want to enroll your child in the year-long distance learning option for those who do not want their child to attend any type of in-person learning?
- Will your high school student (grades 9-12 only) need transportation? In order to help staff plan for bus capacity, high school students will be required to sign up for bus transportation this year.
You’ll receive instructions on both of the above choices after we receive direction from the state sometime next week.
Get a preview of our plans
At the July 21 school board meeting, members of the district-level planning team shared high-level overviews of the planning to date. I invite you to watch that presentation. While there are many questions yet to resolve, our plans are coming together and we will be #279ReadytoRestart under any of the three possible models.
What’s next? When can you expect more information?
After we receive state direction sometime during the week of July 27, I will send more detailed information to you. Please be sure your contact information is correct in ParentVUE. If you are not receiving emails or phone calls sent through our broadcast system, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your student’s name, your phone number and email address so staff can troubleshoot.
Thank you for your support of Osseo Area Schools.