After starting the 2020-21 school year with full-time distance learning, Mounds View Public Schools is preparing to bring students back to school, at least part-time, on Monday, Sept. 21. 

Superintendent Chris Lennox announced the decision in a district-wide memo to students and families Friday, Sept. 11. 

“As you know, a few weeks ago, we made the decision to delay in-person learning and open schools using the distance learning model so that we could use the extra time to address health and safety concerns,” Lennox wrote. “During that time, we've worked to ensure that our schools are ready, that safety protocols are in place, and that our staff, students and families can feel confident to safely return to schools.”

Throughout the next week, all students will continue with distance learning. Friday, Sept. 18, will be a “transition day” for incoming sixth- and ninth-graders to help them get accustomed to the schools without other students in attendance. Starting Monday, Sept. 21, families who have chosen the blended learning model should plan for their students to attend school in the cohort groups already announced: students in Group 1 will attend Mondays and Wednesdays, and students in Group 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those who have chosen distance learning will continue in that model.

Lennox thanked Mounds View students and families for their patience and flexibility over the last several weeks and months.

“Many of you are making significant sacrifices in your work, home and personal lives to accommodate your children's school experience,” he wrote. “We recognize that the 2020-21 school year is not and will not be perfect in any way. On behalf of our staff, I want you to know that we recognize your sacrifice, and we appreciate your partnership.”

If COVID-19 case counts in Ramsey County exceed 30 cases per 10,000 people, schools will move back to full-time distance learning. The most recent data available shows 19.35 cases per 10,000 people Aug. 16-29, up slightly from 18.73 Aug. 9-Aug. 22. Data is updated every Thursday and can be found online at health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/stats/wschool.pdf.

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