On Thursday, October 29, the Minnesota Department of Health released its latest county data. The official case rate (number of cases per 10,000 people) for Dakota County is at 29.05 and Scott County is at 29.15. After assessing our internal data and based on yesterday’s State update, I am not announcing a shift in learning models this week. We remain in the Hybrid Model.
It is important to remember that official state data is delayed by two weeks. Additionally, the data that we are tracking projects that next week’s official numbers from MDH will exceed the case rate threshold of 30, which under the state’s guidelines, would indicate we need to shift secondary students to distance learning. Elementary students would remain in a hybrid model. After reaching a new threshold, the state allows school districts to monitor two data cycles from MDH to verify a trend in data before we absolutely must make the necessary shifts to our learning model. We want to give families and staff enough time to prepare for a potential learning model shift, and this allowance by the state makes that possible.
While official case rates are a key indicator that informs our model, this is not the only metric that determines a shift in model, nor is it the only metric the district is monitoring closely. We continue to track availability of substitute staff, overall case and quarantine counts in our schools and other operational data.
I will continue to closely monitor these metrics in consultation with MDE and MDH, and I will communicate with you again next week on Friday after the official MDH case rates are released. In the meantime, please make a plan for your family to be prepared to move to distance learning. Here are some resources that may be helpful:
Thank you for your continued understanding and support through this difficult school year.