The Anoka-Hennepin School District announced Friday that elementary students will move to full distance learning on Monday, November 30. Classes are also canceled for the two days leading up to Thanksgiving break, November 23 & 24, to give teachers some time to prepare.
Superintendent David Law says it comes down to the numbers. As COVID-19 cases have spiked in Anoka County, keeping in-person classes fully staffed has become increasing difficult. Positive cases among employees and students as reported on the Anoka-Hennepin COVID-19 dashboard topped out last week at 86.14 positive cases among staff per 10,000 employees. Not shown on the data tracker is the additional students and staff who may not test positive for COVID-19 but have to quarantine due to exposure. Law says more than 300 staff members were unable to provide in-person instruction this week alone due to quarantine requirements.
Meanwhile, an advisory committee was formed within the school district, which will continue to analyze localized data. Superintendent Law says they will explore ways to return students safely back to classrooms as soon as possible. It could occur in phases based on need. Some high need special education students will remain in the hybrid learning format for now. Coming soon, could be voluntary in-person support for individual middle and high school students that struggle the most. It's also possible younger grades could return to elementary schools before their classmates in the upper elementary grades.