MN Schools Allowed to Reopen for Summer

According to new guidelines released by the Minnesota Department of Education, school districts and charter schools can reopen this summer to provide summer school, day camps and district-based child care for students while adhering to public health guidance.

Schools can either use a hybrid model to offer summer learning opportunities—blending some in-person instruction with distance learning—or continue summer learning through distance learning.

If schools provide summer programming using the hybrid approach, they will be required to put students on “alternating schedules of being in the school building, while maintaining social distancing, and doing distance learning from home.” The staff to student ratio is suggested at 1 to 6, with a maximum of 1 to 9 staff/student ratio so no more than 10 people are in a room at the same time.

The guidelines recommend schools start the hybrid approach in late-June, but they are allowed to begin as early as the end of each district’s traditional school year. Students participating in the summer learning programs should also continue receiving meals.

We have not heard from state officials on what the start of the 2020 school year will look like, but the Department of Education did state the hybrid model for summer learning “could serve as a pilot for full implementation in the fall, if needed.”

Should the hybrid model be implemented for the regular school year, there is concern students will not be properly served and educational performance will suffer. The Center will continue monitoring the state’s plan for reopening schools this fall as it becomes available.