Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota schools grapple with shifts in COVID-19 cases


September 29, 2020

David Joles – Star Tribune

A kindergartner at Harvest Best Academy, a charter school in Minneapolis, ate an apple from her protective desk during lunchtime earlier in September.

School officials across the state are wrestling with one of the thorniest questions in pandemic-era education - at what point should they close classrooms in favor of distance learning to slow the spread of COVID-19?

Despite state guidelines to help school districts decide whether or when to switch to hybrid or full-time remote learning models, the recommendations are nonbinding, leaving it to district administrators to make the final call amid ever-shifting medical science and fluctuating daily COVID-19 case counts.

"It puts schools in a bind," said Dr. Beth Thielen, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. "As things are changing very rapidly, they are having to adjust course very rapidly, and I don't envy them that task of having to change their education plans for every few weeks, based on where things are."


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