The St. Anthony-New Brighton School District is switching to e-learning for three weeks, saying an increase in coronavirus cases is causing too many absences among teachers and bus drivers.
The district said Wednesday that Thursday will be the last regular day of school this month.
There will be no school on Friday to prepare for the change. On Mondays, students will stay home and start completing their homework when it is convenient for them.
School buildings will reopen from Tuesday, but students are asked to stay home if possible, and there will be no live instruction.
“Students can work on asynchronous online learning at school. Please understand that, depending on the staff, multiple classes of students can be combined and located in a large space, such as the cafeteria. Students will work independently on their asynchronous online learning assignments at school and they will not receive direct instruction from teachersThe district told families.
The district, which has about 1,750 students in three schools, said it recorded 32 new cases of coronavirus in four days this year, up from an average of eight cases per week in November.
The move to online learning “gives time for staff and students, who test positive and who are not feeling well, to isolate themselves as COVID-19 continues to spread in our community,” said declared the district.
Distance education will continue until the end of the first semester on January 28.
School sports and other activities will continue as planned.
District superintendents in St. Paul and Minneapolis said this week that they intend to keep their districts open as usual, but that individual classes and schools may close in response to coronavirus outbreaks.
The Robbinsdale District announced on Tuesday that a middle and high school will switch to distance education until January 17, as an increase in coronavirus cases causes a staff shortage.