ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Area School District has officially announced their plan for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

At Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Superintendent Willie Jett presented the plan for students to return to schools using a hybrid learning model.

What we'd love is for all of our students to be back in school, but what we'd love to do and reality are two different things. Some families want all of our students back in school every day. Some families are apprehensive about their children returning to school, and some have life-threatening conditions that absolutely prevent their return to school at all. Our staff have similar feelings.

Kindergarten through second-grade students will attend in-person classes Monday through Thursday. Grades three through twelve will attend in-person classes two days per week on an A/B schedule at 50 percent capacity.

All students will also be participating in a learn from home day on Fridays where there will be no new material, but more opportunities for additional individual and small group interaction.

Sylvia Huff is the Executive Director of Research Evaluation, Assessment, and Enrollment. She says the plan will address concerns regarding academic rigor, engagement, connectedness, and social-emotional learning.

The main concerns that we heard expressed from a parent and student perspective were really the desire for more opportunities for synchronous learning.

Students with health concerns will have the option to participate in the Distance Learning Academy which is expected to be more structured and rigorous than last spring's distance learning attempts.

Other changes will be coming to schools including increased cleaning protocols, adjusted hours and class schedules, as well as installation of hand sanitizer stations, use of personal protective equipment, and shutting down of drinking fountains.

Jett says the situation is fluid and the district will be reevaluating county-level data every two weeks. They will also be seeking additional input from families and staff members at the end of each trimester.

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