Minnesota elementary schools can open January 18 for in-person instruction
December 17, 2020
All elementary schools in Minnesota will be allowed to open for hybrid or in-person instruction as soon as Jan. 18, if they are able to follow a newly expanded list of COVID-19 safety protocols.
The Wednesday announcement from Gov. Tim Walz marks a major shift in the state's guidelines for public schools during the pandemic, which had previously pushed most districts to distance learning as COVID-19 spread widely. Middle and high schools will still be subject to the state's original school reopening rules, and many that have moved to online learning will likely have to stay there until local virus cases drop significantly.
Walz called the change for elementary schools a "monumental move" that was prompted by a deepening understanding of where and how the virus is circulating, the ways to minimize its spread - and a growing concern about the academic, social and emotional losses for kids and families when school buildings are closed. New safety rules will include the mandatory mask and face-shield wearing by school staff and the option for staff members to get COVID-19 tests at school every two weeks.