Hybrid Learning to Continue through Trimester One

SoWashCo Hybrid Learning Model Extended Through Trimester One
Posted on 10/02/2020

Hybrid Learning to Continue through Trimester OneThe South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Incident Command Team met on Friday, Oct. 2 to review the latest data related to COVID-19 in our community. After receiving input and reviewing the data, the superintendent determined that SoWashCo will continue in the hybrid learning model through trimester one. Extending the hybrid learning model through the first trimester will remove uncertainty for families and will allow district administrators to better identify trends over several weeks.

There are multiple factors reviewed to determine if a learning model should change. The data and information reviewed includes: 

Staff and student absence/illness rates

  • Absence rates for staff and students are reviewed to identify trends. The data includes absences for COVID-like symptoms, COVID-related symptoms or quarantines, and all other absences.

Staffing availability

  • Human Resources reviews available staffing and the ability to cover any absences. A staffing shortage is one of the most important factors in determining a learning model.

Success of the current learning model

  • Multiple perspectives about the current learning model are shared from team representatives that include public health officials from Washington County, district administrators, teachers union leaders, principals, students and parents.

Planning challenges

  • Much like preparing for the new school year, the team reviews planning challenges that must be overcome and considered before deciding to shift to another learning model. School bus transportation, adequate spacing in schools and distribution of meals are just some of the areas evaluated.

COVID-19 infection rates

  • The team also reviews the state’s formula that uses COVID-19 infection rates over 14 days to help determine a school district’s learning model. The latest COVID-19 rates for Washington County showed an increase to 14.37 as compared to last week’s 12.44.

 The Incident Command Team is a requirement for all Minnesota school districts to monitor and review COVID-19 infection rates and other factors. The purpose of the team is to advise the superintendent and provide input related to the considerations in making adjustments to the learning model. 

The Incident Command Team is scheduled to meet again on Oct. 30.