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Update on Fall School Start


Fall 2020 Reopening

Greetings New York Mills Families,

Throughout the past few weeks, many questions have been raised regarding the school start plan for the New York Mills Public School.  Following the guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education earlier this summer, we have been preparing for three possible scenarios to start school this fall—in person, hybrid learning or distant learning.  School staff, administration, department supervisors, along with the school board have been consistently meeting to work through specific issues and concerns and to make plans for the fall re-opening of our school under each option.  While we do not know which model Governor Tim Walz will go with, we do know that his decision will be made during the last week of July. Following his decision, New York Mills Public School will fine tune our plans.

The Minnesota Department Education has outlined the following three scenarios for the fall for which we are preparing:

Scenario 1:  In-Person Learning for all Students

  • All students attend school in-person with students and staff distanced as much as feasible during the day, but not held to the strict 6 feet of social distancing during primary instructional time. Other precautions such as health screenings, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizer in all classrooms, no large-group assemblies, and increased cleaning protocols will be observed in this scenario. With the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, we can expect that all students will need to be in a face covering while in the school building. 

Scenario 2: Hybrid Learning Model with Strict Social Distancing

  • Schools must limit the overall number of people in school facilities and on busses to 50% of maximum capacity and provide for social distancing. This plan will include a combination of onsite learning and distance learning for various groups within the school. With the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, we can expect that all students will need to be in a face covering while in the school building.

Scenario 3: Distance Learning Only

  • The school building would be closed to the public and students will be learning from home. A limited number of students and employees will be allowed in the buildings.

Please keep in mind that there are a lot of details that still need to be worked out in the above scenarios and that much planning still needs to take place.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this uncertain time.  We continue to work through the high volume of demanding and changing information.  The current level of uncertainty with this pandemic makes it necessary to remain flexible, while also maintaining a commitment to doing what is best for the education, safety and well-being of our students. As new information is received from the Minnesota Department of Education, we will continue to update our plans.  We will also be sending out a parent survey in the near future with a few questions about returning to school that will help us prepare for the start of school this fall.

Please feel free to contact me at the District Office if you have any questions.

Blaine Novak