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March 23, 2020 5:30PM:

Free School-Age Child Care Available to Children of Emergency Responders, Health Professionals 

Free Breakfast & Lunch Available to Duluth Students 

What’s Going to Happen After March 27?
   At some point this week, school districts will receive guidance from the State of Minnesota as to whether schools will re-open or remain closed to students after March 27.  This includes guidance regarding when distance learning would commence and how childcare services and free breakfast and lunch would continue. We’ll share information as soon as it’s available. 

Reducing Employees In Buildings
   This week ISD 709 is reducing the number of employees coming into school buildings and offices by identifying employees who are able to do their assigned work remotely during the short-term closure.  This will ultimately help slow the spread of illness in our community.
   School districts are included as essential services in the Governor’s Executive Order, including providing meals, childcare, and distance learning.
   This means many employees will continue to physically come into work. We know how hard this may be for some as we hear messages urging people to stay home. These employees are doing vital work, supporting Duluth’s ability to respond to the situation, keeping healthcare workers and first responders on the job, providing food for children., keeping buildings clean. Their presence is vital and much appreciated by our community.

District Teachers and Staff Prepare Plans for Distance Learning 
   Groups of technology staff have prepared Chromebook laptops for teachers so they can begin communicating and collaborating with each other digitally.     
   Curriculum specialists, principals and teachers are working together to develop plans - this includes for students receiving special education services.  
   Teachers are reaching out to students to understand the best way to communicate and to help make them aware of available services. More information will be shared in the near future. Should the state extend the school closure order, students and families will be notified on what to watch for through a variety of communication channels.  

State Direction and Guidance
   Over time the Governor and the State may issue additional or different directives regarding actions such as shelter-in-place and quarantines. We expect they will include instructions and guidance for schools to follow.  Information will be shared with families as it becomes available.