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Duluth Public Schools Planning Changes Focus to Elementary Hybrid/Middle & High School Distance Learning

The shift will help accommodate state-mandated emergency childcare services and further focus resources on robust enhanced distance learning instruction

   During a special meeting held August 24, the Duluth School Board and community received a planning update for the beginning of the school year.

   The Board supported adjusting the planning model to elementary hybrid/middle & high school distance learning for the first quarter. Elementary families can opt for full-time distance learning for their students instead of hybrid. Distance learning will remain in place for secondary students for the first quarter.

   The decision was made in part to accommodate state mandated emergency childcare services and to focus more resources toward robust distance learning services for all students. 

   During the meeting, Superintendent John Magas detailed efforts to find a solution to providing state mandated emergency childcare services under a hybrid/hybrid model. According to current projections, the district will have over a thousand students eligible for emergency childcare services.  

   “We investigated a wide variety of options for additional space, including rental of facilities and purchase of portable classrooms, they aren’t viable for the start of school,” said Magas.  “Moving to a hybrid/distance model provides the necessary space along with the staffing that will be needed.” 

   “This step also allows us to further focus on the quality of instruction and support for enhanced distance learning,” said Magas.  “Our staff are working diligently to provide a safe, engaging education for all, whether in our buildings or learning from home.”

   Magas presented updated COVID 19 numbers from St. Louis County which show numbers rising in the city of Duluth. He said the district will continue to monitor local COVID level updates and be prepared to switch models should numbers significantly increase or decrease. Magas noted that both families and educators are eager to see children able to go back to school in person. 

   “We continue to encourage everyone in our Duluth community to work together to decrease COVID numbers so all children have an opportunity to go to school in person, full time,” said Magas. “We need to be flexible for whatever situation may arise.  I cannot say enough how much we appreciate the flexibility and patience of our staff and families.” 

   The Superintendent said they will continue to share regular updates and staff and families in preparation for the new school year.

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