Working to Return Students to Full In-Person Learning

Working to Return Students to Full In-Person Learning
Posted on 02/01/2021

We have learned a great deal since March of 2020, including our immense capacity for change and resiliency. We are taking what we have learned about safety protocols, mitigation strategies, and instructional practices and applying them as we prepare to bring our students back to full in-person learning on a rolling basis, individualized to each school/program, in February and March. The current status of each program, as well as the target date to move to full-person learning, can be found here. Due to the individualized approach of each school and program in Northeast Metro 916, parents will continue to receive more detailed information from their student's school regarding the return to in-person learning.

District administration has been working with each school and program since winter break to strategically bring back students to full in-person as quickly and safely as possible. As we work to bring students back to in-person learning, we are continuing to:

  • Follow the case rates and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) guidance to plan for full in-person learning. (Case rates are currently declining in our school district.)
  • Provide students/families with the choice of distance learning. Please contact your student’s school if you prefer that your student remain in Distance Learning rather than move your student to in-person learning.
  • Communicate specific details via the schools and programs and general updates and information via the Superintendent.
  • Consult directly with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) staff and data as we continue to plan and implement the return of students.
  • Implementation of additional safety mitigation strategies, such as
    • Saliva Testing at sites
    • Installing desk barriers for students
    • Providing and encouraging the use of Face Shields for staff and students in addition to face masks
    • Participating in the vaccination pilot program
    • Providing information about Covid testing and encouraging that students be tested as a precautionary and community health measure.
    • Encouraging staff, students and families who are eligible to vaccinate against Covid-19 as vaccinations become available.

We are hopeful that our students will be able to build their in-person learning to full time as quickly as possible, but also remind you that we may need to pause the progression of in-person learning due to a spread of the virus that may cause the closure of a classroom, childcare site or an entire school building. Taking preventative measures and continuing with our strong mitigation strategies will help us prevent these closures and keep us moving toward full in-person learning.

Covid Testing Resources for Families

On January 21, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) updated its COVID-19 testing recommendations, focused primarily on young Minnesotans returning to schools. Minnesota has an extensive statewide testing operation. You have several ways in which you can access no-barrier testing, including more than 20 community testing sites, a mail-order at-home test program, and clinics and hospitals across the state. Tests are free of cost.

To continue our progress to safely bring students back into their classrooms we hope you will consider the new MDH testing recommendations for students returning to classrooms. To support this recommendation, we are providing resources to help you find free, no-barrier testing. Please note that the testing is open to all students, regardless of whether they participate in sports or other activities.

Urgency Room:


Minnesota State Community Testing Centers