Update from Supt. Baumann: Planning for elementary return to in-person learning

Lakeville Area Schools Families,

On Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz announced updates to the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, with changes primarily to the elementary level. The updated state guidance continues to prioritize the needs of young students. 

Highlights of changes to the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan:

  • Elementary schools may return to hybrid or in-person learning as early as Jan. 18, if they are able to comply with new comprehensive health and safety measures. 
  • If moving from distance learning, elementary schools must phase-in students, bringing back a maximum of three grades at a time with at least two-weeks between each student group
  • Elementary school meals and specialist lessons must be held in the classroom or outside (weather permitting)
  • In an in-person model, three feet of physical distancing is strongly recommended for elementary students; six feet of physical distancing is strongly recommended for staff 
  • COVID-19 testing offered to school staff every other week in an in-person or hybrid model
  • Staff required to wear face masks and face shields at all times; students must wear face masks, even when engaging in indoor physical activity like gym and indoor recess
  • Winter athletics and activities may resume in-person practices only as early as Jan. 4

We are currently reviewing the latest guidance and are actively planning to return our elementary students to in-person learning. As per that guidance, Lakeville Area Schools will remain in Distance Learning through at least mid-January while we determine our operational readiness, consult with our Regional Support Team, and develop a transition timeline that will work for the needs of our school district. We will continue to provide you with regular updates and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

I know this time of year is often filled with gatherings of families and friends. There is much to celebrate as we ring in a new year, including vaccinations on the horizon. I encourage everyone to celebrate safely by continuing to follow COVID-19 health and safety measures. Our ability to return all of our students to in-person learning still depends on our collective ability to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in our community. 

As always, but especially this year, I’m wishing you and your family a safe and healthy Winter Break and a Happy New Year!

Michael Baumann, Superintendent

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