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SoWashCo to Continue in Hybrid Model

SoWashCo to Continue in Hybrid Learning Model
Posted on 09/25/2020
The South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Incident Command Team met on Friday, Sept. 25 to review the latest data related to COVID-19 in our community. The purpose of the team is to advise the superintendent and provide input related to the considerations in making adjustments to the learning model. After receiving input and reviewing the data, the superintendent determined that the school district will continue in the hybrid learning model.

One of the considerations is a review of the state’s previously announced 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 a large decrease in cases to 12.40. The state’s formula shows that SoWashCo could shift elementary (K-5) to in-person learning and keep secondary (6-12) in a hybrid learning model. It’s important to note that the data covers Aug. 30 to Sept. 12 and does not yet include rates from a full week of school.

The SoWashCo Incident Command Team also reviewed districtwide staff and student absence rates, staff and student illness rates, staffing availability and the success of the current learning model. Staffing shortages and logistics for shifting to a different learning model continue to be concerns shared by the team.

SoWashCo is also monitoring trends in absences and illnesses for each school. Families and staff should be prepared for the potential of closures due to staffing shortages or illness at their school. If a single school is closed, students and staff will shift to distance learning for the required time. In each case, families and staff will be provided with as much notice as possible while balancing health and safety requirements.

The Incident Command Team is a requirement for all Minnesota school districts to monitor and review COVID-19 infection rates and challenges. The team includes health officials from Washington County, district administrators, teachers union leaders, principals, student and family representatives.

The Incident Command Team is set to meet again on Oct. 2.