On Wednesday, Governor Walz released his plan aimed at getting more middle and high school students back in the classroom with a target of all schools offering some form of in-person learning by March 8th. The plan is not a major shift from current practice and sadly does nothing to incentivize local districts to reopen if they are currently in distance or hybrid learning.
Simply put, we need to safely reopen our schools as quickly as possible. Over the course of the last several months, it has become clear that the science and data show that we can do so safely. In fact, the Governor's own numbers indicate that transmission in schools for teachers is nearly zero.
The impact school closures are having on student mental health, social wellbeing, and academic achievement has been nothing short of devastating, and the Governor's choice to delay reopening schools until now is going to have long-term consequences, especially for at-risk students.
High level details from the Governor’s announcement include:
On February 22, Middle schools and high schools may begin either hybrid or in-person learning, if they are able to implement the additional mitigation strategies.
If a school with either a hybrid or in-person learning model sees five percent of students and staff sent home with influenza- or COVID-19-like illness within a single week, these schools are strongly encouraged to transition a more restrictive learning model.
Additional mitigation steps include:
Our students cannot afford to wait any longer, it’s time to get kids back in school.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great day,