At the School Board meeting last night I shared that Lakeville Area Schools is actively planning to return secondary students to hybrid learning. I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting information on when and how middle and high school students will come back to the classrooms. I empathize with the seniors who are missing iconic parts of their final year, sixth and ninth graders missing the typical introduction to their first years of middle and high school, and students all across the secondary spectrum who miss seeing their peers and teachers in person.
Our Safe Learning Plan for middle and high school students will be aligned to state guidance based upon COVID-19 county case rate, which means meeting a threshold of 30 cases per 10,000 residents or less. Case rates have been declining steadily over the past several weeks. The most recent data shows Dakota County at case rates of 53.01 and Scott County at 48.61. The downward trend indicates a possible safe return by mid to late next month.
Below is the proposed transition timeline. The final timeline is dependent on a number of factors including case rates continuing the trend we are seeing as well as approval by our COVID-19 Regional Support Team of county and state health officials. This Regional Support Team must approve the timeline before it can become official. I must again stress that this timeline is tentative and could change.
Tentative transition timeline for secondary schools to return to hybrid learning, pending approval by our Regional Support Team and based upon COVID-19 case counts rates:
- Monday, Feb. 15 – Presidents’ Day. EML Inservice day. No school for all students as previously planned.
- Thursday, Feb. 18 and Friday, Feb. 19 – Middle school and high school staff transition prep days. No school for middle school and high school students.
- Monday, Feb. 22 – Middle school, Grade 9 and Grade 12 students return to a hybrid learning schedule.
- Monday, March 8 – Grade 10 and Grade 11 high school students return to a hybrid learning schedule.
Hybrid cohort schedules will be shared soon.
The District’s COVID-19 transition team will continue to meet weekly to make plans for returning secondary students to school buildings and will continue to assess the situation with our Regional Support Team.
Per the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, families who want their child enrolled in a full-time distance learning option, may still opt for this option at any time. High School students would participate in distance learning through their high school. Middle School students would participate in distance learning through LinK12 Lakeville online school. More information will be shared with families to request a change to full-time distance learning in the coming weeks.
It has been wonderful to see our elementary staff and students back in our classrooms this week. Our elementary staff have done an exceptional job implementing new guidance and welcoming back our K-2 students. We are anxious to welcome back grades 3-5 next, followed by our middle and high school students. I know these transitions continue to be difficult for everyone and that there are still many questions about specifics of the plan that are lingering. I will be communicating more details of the plan over the next few weeks as they are finalized. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to return our students to the classroom safely.