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Some schools collecting more input before decision

Updated: July 31, 2020 06:08 PM

More now about the Safe Learning Plan that's been put together by the state of Minnesota.

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It includes information about masks. The state will provide one cloth face covering for each student and staff, plus three disposable ones per student, and face shields for licensed teachers.

The state has a contract with a lab to make sure testing is available to all teachers. 

There will be a regional support team assigned to each school. School age care must be provided to critical workers even during a distance-learning only scenario.

The MN Department of Health Commissioner, Jan Malcolm, said, "We know there are going to be cases in the schools. We need to be able to control them."

If there is an outbreak in a classroom, there could be the opportunity to have that classroom do temporary distance learning, while the rest of the school may be able to continue in the building.

She acknowledged that social distancing in a classroom will be recommended, but they know it may not be possible to stay six feet away from eachother.

Proctor plans on getting more input from their families and staff before making the final decision. One idea is to have the youngest kids, K-2nd grade, attend each day, with the older kids going every other day.

Some factors they are looking at include ventilation, age of buildings, and age of faculty and staff, besides the county's rate of cases.

"We don't have the luxury of hindsight. We have a couple of months of distance learning to look back on. If we fast forward to this time next year, hopefully we're looking back and saying maybe we were too cautious. But we don't want to look back and say we weren't cautious enough," shared Tim Rohweder, principal of Proctor High School.

He shared they plan on having professional development in August, to help staff prepare for whichever scenario they have to work with. There is a special school board meeting on Monday, and Superintendent John Engelking said they plan to have a decision made by August 11th.

Duluth Edison Charter schools are also asking for people to share which model they feel best about.

The state said all districts must provide an equitable distance learning plan for families who don't feel safe having their kids return. 

For more info about the Safe Learning Plan: https://www.mn.gov/covid19/assets/safe-learning-plan_tcm1148-442202.pdf

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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