School districts announce in-person learning plans for students in January

Within hours of announcing schools could bring elementary schoolers back into buildings in January for in-person learning, districts starting acting.

In the Anoka Hennepin School District, the largest in the state, that means getting the necessary face shields teachers must wear along with their masks in the classroom.

Walz announces new elementary school plans starting in January

"We’re actually going to do a face shield tryout here in the next week and a half. We’re going to sample a couple of face shields and let staff members choose which of these makes the most sense," Superintendent David Law said.

Plexiglass dividers will be ordered for every elementary classroom that can’t maintain a six-foot distance between teacher and student, as per the order.

And technology upgrades are also in the works.

The district is one of two in the metro to install ionization systems in all its buildings.

"It’s better than cleaning your classroom you know every three hours, as we’re told, it cleans every surface of disease frequently by recycling air," Law explains.

Pre-kindergarten through second-grade students will head back to classrooms in the district on Jan. 19, 2021, with third through fifth-graders to follow on Feb. 1.

Special education students are expected to return in January as well, and the district will start offering in-school supports for older students in January.

"I don’t know if that’ll be 100 seats per school or 200 seats, but spots for 6 through 12 students to get on-site support," Law said.

Some parents shared their thoughts online, one stating, "I think this is a good start."

A mom of a senior asking, "When do our older kids get to return to a classroom?"

"I anticipate another brief after the holiday break about our secondary sites," Law explained.

Minnesota school leaders discuss plans to return to in-person learning

Osseo-Maple Grove schools have announced a similar plan.

In St. Cloud, elementary students will return to classrooms in a hybrid model starting January 19, 2021.

Minnetonka expects to update families on Friday.

Others like Edina, Minneapolis and South Washington County schools plan to provide updates over winter break.