Distance learning among recommendations listed in message to St. Paul Public School District

Teachers in the St. Paul Public School District are asking district leaders to come up with a plan as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.

A news release sent out Tuesday morning quoted Leah VanDassor, the president of the St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE), as saying the "current situation is unsustainable," and the district doesn’t "have enough bus drivers to get children to and from school." In addition, she said "many staff are out sick, quarantining, or caring for family members, and there aren’t enough substitutes to fill in."

The SPFE has recommended the district take multiple steps as a response to the rising number of cases, including the creation of a metric that would temporarily move classes online for individual schools, provide KN95 and surgical masks for staff and students, as well as PCR tests for all staff.

In addition, the recommendations include maintaining a 10-day isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 or require two negative antigen tests in order to return to school or work.

The message with the recommendations was sent to members of the St. Paul Public School District Board on Monday. CLICK HERE to read the full message.

Multiple districts in Minnesota are moving online due to the number of positive test results and symptomatic cases among students and staff.

Starting Monday, Fridley Public Schools temporarily moved to blended learning and will last the next few weeks. In addition, Osseso Area Schools said its students would also move to distance learning, saying middle and high school students would make the switch Tuesday, Jan. 11, while elementary students would follow on Jan. 12. District officials said they plan to have all students return to in-person learning on Jan. 24.

Meanwhile, students at Armstrong High School and Sandburg Middle School in the Robbinsdale Area School District will be using distance learning until Jan. 18. Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools also announced distance learning would take place for students this week. Students at North High School began distance learning last Friday and will continue this Friday. Meanwhile, Tartan High School students will continue distance learning through Friday.

Tuesday morning, the Minnesota Department of Health reported another 29,487 positive COVID-19 cases and 38 new deaths. Keep in mind, those figures are from data for the remainder of Friday, Saturday, Sunday and as of 4 a.m. Monday.