District 191 moves to distance learning due to COVID-19; other districts making adjustments | KSTP.com

District 191 moves to distance learning due to COVID-19; other districts making adjustments

Jessica Miles
Updated: November 23, 2021 06:11 PM
Created: November 23, 2021 05:55 PM

As Thanksgiving break nears, COVID-19 case counts in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District are going up, according to the school district, and it's forcing a change in learning.

"Last week we saw almost 500 students that were out due to the impact of COVID-19, which was very high," Superintendent Theresa Battle said. "Compared to Oct. 24, it was 221 students."

On Wednesday, all students who would normally be learning inside their classrooms will be learning virtually.

Thanksgiving break is Thursday and Friday, the online learning will continue all next week with the hope being students would be back in their classrooms learning in person on Dec. 6.

"We’re all COVID exhausted, but we have to continue to protect, and keep health and safety in mind," Battle said.

Staci Blix is a parent in the district with a son in high school and two daughters in middle school.

"My daughters, the one has been in quarantine once due to a COVID exposure, the other one is currently just back for her first day after her second quarantine due to exposure this year, so she’s been in school three days in the last four weeks due to exposure," Blix said

She said a close contact requires a 10-day quarantine, maybe eight if you test and get a negative result. But she appreciates the transition.

"As a parent I kind of feel relieved I’m hoping we can maybe avoid another quarantine if we spend some time out of the school," she said.

But many others were voicing there concerns.

One person wrote, "Why are we doing this to our kids!? They are already behind!"

"Keep the kids in school," another stated.

And yet another writing, "And here we go again."

The district says at least 60% of its high schoolers are vaccinated, and about 40% of its middle schoolers.

The superintendent is hoping those numbers go up with another vaccination clinic next week.

"It has been a challenging start to the school year and none of us expected to continue our response to COVID at this high level of intensity," Battle said.

District 191 is not alone. South Washington County had some classes in distance learning last week, Shakopee Public Schools canceled classes Monday and Tuesday leading up to the holiday break due to COVID, and Osseo-Maple Grove is already extending its Christmas break, adding three more days off before the holiday due to difficulties impacted by COVID-19 this year.

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