Anoka-Hennepin schools move students online as more teachers become infected

The Anoka-Hennepin School District has decided to transition its elementary students from a hybrid model to online learning.

Image by Julia M Cameron
Image by Julia M Cameron

The Anoka-Hennepin School District is moving more of its students online as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Minnesota. 

After moving its middle and high school students online Nov. 4, the Anoka-Hennepin School District has decided to transition its elementary students from a hybrid model to online learning as more and more teachers are unable to show up in person. 

“It is the goal of the district to have students in school for in-person learning as conditions allow. The number of COVID-19 cases for district employees and school bus contractors along with the surging number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community led to the decision to move to distance learning at the elementary level,” Anoka-Hennepin communications director Jim Skelly told Alpha News.

“District planning teams are finalizing dates and preparing information to be shared with details as soon as they are available, most likely by the end of the week,” said Skelly.

The district moved its middle and high school students online after COVID-19 rates reached 30 cases per 10,000 people, in accordance with the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan. The plan recommends moving elementary online when cases reach 50 per 10,000 people countywide. The latest data show that roughly 9 students and 86 staff were infected with COVID-19 in Anoka-Hennepin. 

The district also points out on its site that “the majority” of infections do not contribute to official case numbers, since many people do not get tested when they are infected.

“It’s understood that learning model transitions can be stressful and time is needed to help families make preparations,” the district said in a press release. “While many districts are considering this transition within the next three weeks, the decision on a date for the transition has not been made and will be communicated to families with as much advance notice as possible. Details on special education, child care, meals and any other programming shifts will be shared at that time. Every effort will be made to make this change go as smoothly as possible.”