Duluth Schools to shift to elementary distance learning, pause athletics | www.WDIO.com

Duluth Schools to shift to elementary distance learning, pause athletics

Duluth Schools to shift to elementary distance learning, pause athletics

Updated: November 10, 2020 05:03 PM

The Duluth Public School district has announced plans to shift to distance learning for elementary students and pause athletics starting next week as new cases of coronavirus continue to rise in the community.

The changes will be in effect through Dec. 13. In-person support for secondary students and other activities will also be put on pause.

The pause on in-person athletics and activities will begin Wednesday, Nov. 18, and the switch to full distance learning for elementary students will begin on Thursday, Nov. 19. Middle and high school students were already in full distance learning.

In a letter to families on Tuesday, Superintendent John Magas said the district has seen a recent rise in students and staff testing positive as well as those in quarantine.

"We regret the challenges that this will cause to students and families, but must do so to help avoid deeper spread within our schools and community," Magas wrote.

Magas said the district is making the move after consulting with the Minnesota Department of Education and local health officials. He said they were announcing the move more than a week in advance to five families and staff time to plan and prepare.

Though the district is tentatively planning to return to its previous model on Dec. 14, Magas acknowledged that the date may change.

"The Department of Health has indicated if the numbers do not improve, distance learning through January 8 may be necessary due to continued high rates of community spread and holiday exposures," Magas said.

The district advised parents that elementary students should bring home any personal items they may need for distance learning. Teachers will communicate new schedules to families.

The district will continue to provide bagged breakfasts and lunches for pickup on school days, and Emergency Tier 1 childcare and KEY Zone services will continue.

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