The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has released a survey that will be used to help decide if and how the public school system will restart in the fall.
In May, Governor Tim Walz ordered the closure of his state’s schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While the closures were initially described as a temporary measure, they ended up dragging on through the end of the academic year as schools transition to an online-only model. Now, the MDE wants parents’ feedback regarding how students preformed while learning online.
“This survey is one important factor in our planning around fall,” says the MDE Chair, Mary Ricker.
The brief survey asks respondents whether or not they would chose to send students back to school in the fall, and if they would prefer full or part time classroom attendance. It also gives Minnesota parents an opportunity to explain what they feel went well or what didn’t work while school was conducted remotely.
Over 100,000 Minnesotans have filled out the survey so far, but the MDE says that parents can still give feedback about remote learning until June 30.
The state will annonce by the week of July 27 whether or not public schools will be allowed to reopen and under what conditions a potential reopening will occur. Presently, the MDE says it’s considering three possible options for reopening schools:
- Schools will reopen and class will be held in person.
- Schools will implement “hybrid learning with struct social distancing and capacity limits.”
- School will continue to be held online.
The “hybrid learning” scenario dictates that schools operate at no more than 50% capacity to facilitate social distancing while the remaining half of students attend class virtually, per Twin Cities Magazine.
Even under the first scenario, schools will be required to implement a slew of health related precautions including a “strong recommendation” that students and staff wear masks and that children are discouraged from using playground equipment during recess, per Health Department guidelines.