This message is to alert you that, given current and projected COVID rates, distance learning at elementary and secondary levels will continue through at least the end of first semester on January 21, 2021.
While in distance learning, the district will continue to provide bagged breakfast/lunches for pickup Monday through Friday when school is in session. Emergency Tier 1 childcare and KEY Zone services will continue. The extension of distance learning does not impact the Governor’s athletics and activities pause, which is scheduled through December 18. The district will await further guidance on athletics and activities from the governor’s office and other state officials.
We’re making the decision to extend distance learning and sharing that decision with families and staff now, rather than wait until the last minute. This will allow students, families and staff the certainty that they need as well as the time to plan. We regret the challenges that this will cause, but must continue to take action to help avoid deeper COVID spread within our schools and community.
In addition to a sharp, rapid rise in local COVID rates, our district has seen a recent increase in students and staff testing positive as well as those in quarantine. District administration consulted with the Minnesota Department of Education and local health officials who recommended a shift to distance learning.
Duluth is one of many other districts locally and across the state that have had to shift to full distance learning as infection rates increase. The district will continue to closely monitor COVID rates and consult with local and state health officials. We are partnering with the city and neighboring districts and communities to encourage preventative measures, including mask wearing and social distancing. We all want our students back in school safely as soon as possible and our collective efforts can help make that a reality.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through the pandemic together.