Minneapolis Public Schools has decided that beginning Jan. 13 through Jan. 27 there will be remote instruction due to the recent outbreak of COVID 19 cases. Students are encouraged to stay home, although they are still allowed to take online lessons, receive tutoring, covid test kits and school meals. It was stated in an email sent to students and families that the decision to go online was largely due to the growing number of staff absences and more transportation difficulties due to the pandemic.
Although there is not much information on what the online classes will look like and they will probably vary from teacher to teacher, it is obvious that they will remain similar to the same class schedule in person. Attendance will be taken daily and teachers will remain in the building to teach and provide academic support to students who need it.
The schedule for Friday January 13 was somewhat different from what classes starting on the 18th should look like. Staff continue to adapt to online learning and are taking steps to modify lesson plans to accommodate virtual learning.
One thing that will remain the same is that the sport will continue to be practiced. After-school after-school activities will no longer meet in person, although it will vary by activity whether or not they meet virtually.
In the weeks leading up to the decision to go back online, there were overwhelming numbers of absent students and teachers. Students noticed that in many classes there were half to the majority of students absent, much of it due to covid and covid exposures.
This decision to close public schools in Minneapolis is not alone in trying to manage the overwhelming number of covid cases, especially of the omicron variant that has taken the world by storm in a matter of weeks.
In Minnesota alone, as of January 14, 11,560 new cases have been reported by the MN Department of Health. In the United States, as of January 13, according to the New York Times, there were more than 800,000 new cases, by far the most reported cases of covid since the start of the pandemic. New restrictions will require customers to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and other establishments from January 19.
Although there isn’t much information yet on what the next two weeks will look like, students are recommended to check their email and google classrooms regularly for updates on how teachers will manage the program.