Shakopee elementary schools will move to distance learning on Nov. 30

Shakopee public elementary schools will switch to full-time distance learning beginning Nov. 30, Superintendent Mike Redmond announced at Monday night’s Shakopee School Board meeting.

Redmond announced last week that Shakopee’s secondary schools would switch from hybrid learning to distance learning starting Nov. 20.

The timeline for elementary students (kindergarten through fifth grade) switching from hybrid to distance is as follows:

  • Friday, Nov. 20: Last day of hybrid learning
  • Monday Nov. 23 – Tuesday Nov. 24: No school for grades K-5 (transition planning time for staff)
  • Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 25-27: No school for students because of Thanksgiving break
  • Monday, Nov. 30: Begin distance learning for grades K-5

From the beginning of the school year on Sept. 8 through the end of last week, staff and students have reported 80 confirmed covid-19 cases, Redmond told the Shakopee School Board at its Monday meeting.

Last week, 19 new cases were reported among staff and students across the district.

“Last week we saw an uptick there,” Redmond said. “That’s part of that (statewide) trend upwards.”

Data courtesy Shakopee Public Schools

The decision to switch to full-time distance learning for Shakopee students comes after the Minnesota Department of Health released its Nov. 5 update on the number of covid-19 cases per 10,000 residents of Scott County. The most recent official two-week data set available is from Oct. 11-24, in which Scott County averaged 37.32 covid cases per 10,000 residents, up from 29.15 the weeks of Oct. 4-17.

MDE recommends full-time distance learning for secondary students in counties with more than 30 cases per 10,000 residents, and full-time distance learning for elementary students in counties with more than 50 cases per 10,000 cases.

Shakopee school administrators monitor the unofficial case count per 10,000 residents by dividing the number of Scott County cases for two weeks divided by 149,013, which is the county population. According to this formula, Scott County is sitting at about 84 cases per 10,000 people for the last 14 days.

Redmond told the school board “it is very unlikely we will transition back to hybrid learning from distance learning prior to the first of the year” due to the holiday breaks in December.

In order for the district to switch back to the hybrid model from full-time distance, administrators will look for the case count per 10,000 people to stabilize.

“Moving from one form of learning model to another form of learning model necessitates making significant adjustments to the ways we provide our services,” Redmond’s Powerpoint presentation read. “Making these adjustments requires time for planning and for implementation, and do not lend themselves to a pattern of moving ‘back and forth’ between the models each time the number of cases moves in a different direction.”

Redmond also said it’s possible the learning model could change sooner than projected if the covid-19 case count worsens dramatically. The district will release more information about the switch from hybrid to distance learning on Tuesday.

For information on food service for children ages 0-18, regardless of their enrollment in the school district, click here.

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