Minnesota Considers Three Scenarios for Back to School

The Minnesota Department of Education is weighing three different scenarios for what back to school could look like for students this fall. The guidance is intended to help schools already planning about the next school year prepare for possible contingencies. The three scenarios are:

  • All students return to school
  • Students return to school under a hybrid model (a mix of in-school and distance learning)
  • No students return to school, only distance learning

The MDE in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Governor’s office will announce which model of educational delivery will be in the “best interest” of the health and safety of students and staff by the week of July 27.

Schools have been allowed to reopen for summer learning opportunities using a hybrid model, which the Department of Education previously stated “could serve as a pilot for full implementation in the fall, if needed.”

But educators have voiced concern over continuing to keep students out of the classroom, stating a reliance on distance learning is “making their students fall behind in their classwork.”

In addition, concerned parents have shared with the Center other limitations, such as the inability to teach young children how to read over Zoom or how to hold a pencil correctly. And under a hybrid model, should students only be in classrooms part-time, it is not clear where they would be expected to go on the other days if their parents are back to work and nobody is home.

It is clear much is still to be figured out before fall 2020.