Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan Announce Safe Learning Plan for 2020-21 School Year
Dave Bishop | Jul 30, 2020 AT 2:15 pm
Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan,
along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota
Department of Health (MDH), announced Minnesota’s
Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year.
districts and charter schools will begin in one of three models: in-person,
distance learning, or a hybrid model. Experts at the Departments of Health and
Education will partner with local school districts and charter schools to help
determine which learning model they should use to start the school year. The
decision-making process centers on the health, safety, and wellbeing of our
students, staff, and families by using the level of viral activity in the
surrounding county and other factors such as the district’s ability to meet
mitigation requirements. The learning model decision will be announced by the
local school district.
“We know that families, teachers, and students are juggling competing
concerns as we approach ‘back to school’ this fall,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “While some are eager
to be back in the classroom, others have very real concerns about health and
safety. That’s why the Safe Learning Plan sets the guidelines for how safely a
school can reopen, based on regional data and the expertise of public health
leaders and local administrators, while still allowing families, teachers, and
staff to make the decision to stay home.”
· Provide face coverings for every student, educator, and staff member;
· Deploy a comprehensive COVID testing plan for educators and staff members;
· Help cover operational costs, like cleaning supplies, transportation, technology needs, and Wi-Fi access;
· Boost student, family, and educator support, like digital navigation trainings, tutors, translation services, mental health support, and professional development.
“The health and safety of our students, educators, school staff, and families are our number one priority,” said Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. “This localized approach that is centered on the data and informed by a school’s ability to follow all the public health requirements, will help school districts and charter schools navigate this uncertain school year. MDE and MDH will be there supporting our schools every step of the way to help them make decisions that will prioritize the health and well-being of their school communities.”
On March 15, Governor Walz
issued Executive Order 20-02, directing the Commissioner of Education to
prepare to transition all Minnesota public schools to a distance learning model
that continued for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. This June, Minnesota public schools started
developing contingency plans for the 2020-21 school year, based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and public health guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health
(MDH) which they will implement this fall.
Executive Order 20-82 will have the full force and effect of law upon the approval of the Executive Council, which is made up of Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Ellison, Secretary of State Simon, and State Auditor Blaha.