Springfield Public Schools set to begin distance learning
Last Tuesday, November 17 Superintendent Keith Kottke informed the community that Springfield School District will be transitioning to distance learning, starting November 30, for two weeks (Nov 30-Dec 11). They continued the rest of last week with in-person learning.
The transition to distance learning is due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the county.
“This week we have been impacted by more cases. These are contributed to family to student spread, family to staff spread, or student place of employment spread. All of these have placed stress on the daily operation of our school. Staffing is one of our greatest challenges as we face staff shortages due to illness, close contacts, and daycare closings,” said Kottke in a letter to the parents.
Both Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24, were not instructional days for students.
“These will be used as transitional planning days for staff,” stated Kottke. “ I wanted to give families as much fore notice to help with communications with students. School staff will be involved with planning and school age care will not be provided on these two days. At this time, we are planning on providing meals on these two days. A meal schedule and drop off points will be communicated.”
Kottke continued, “The plan is to hit the reset button and use the Thanksgiving break to our advantage. We will use the two weeks after Thanksgiving to monitor the effects before we make a determination for the rest of December. We are in effect taking a step backward so we can move forward. Public Health is predicting a spike after Thanksgiving that will be as substantial if not more than what we realized after Halloween.”
Regular bussing will not be provided during the distance learning time period. They will articulate plans for SPED students with the greatest needs to come to school to receive their services.
As per Minnesota Department of Education guidelines, after school activities at this time will continue. This may change.
More information will come from your school. Please expect principals and teaching staff to articulate school schedules.
The governor may announce soon changes that will deviate from this plan. They will keep students and parents informed.
“Our families and school staff have put a great deal of energy towards following measures that have allowed us to maintain in-person learning since the beginning of the school year. The decision to move to this learning plan is a heavy one as it negatively impacts families and student learning. However, seems to be quite necessary to try and get school back to square one as soon as possible,” said Kottke.
He concluded the letter saying, “ Your ongoing support is appreciated. Hopefully, these changes will be short-lived and we will be back to In-Person Learning soon.”