Planning for fall
Posted by Forest Lake Area Schools on 6/25/2020
I hope you are enjoying the early days of summer and finding ways to enjoy our beautiful community with your friends and family.
I know many of you are anxious to know plans for the start of the school year. It’s too soon to know exactly how things will look this fall, but we are actively making plans over the summer. Last week, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provided guidance for school districts as we plan for next school year.
While there are no easy answers, I want to assure you that our district is working toward solutions that meet the needs of both students and families. Our staff have many years of experience and expertise in understanding student needs and helping each student learn.
At the end of the school year we surveyed families and asked you to share some of your thoughts with us about this fall. We appreciate your willingness to share those thoughts and opinions and we will be using that feedback as we plan for the upcoming school year.
Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, the state has asked us to prepare for three possible scenarios so that we will be fully prepared for the start of the school year. These three scenarios include:
Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students
Students return to school for in-person learning while following state guidelines for student and staff safety.
Scenario 2: Hybrid learning with strict social distancing and capacity limits
This scenario will include a hybrid of in-person learning and distance learning.
Scenario 3: Distance learning only
Learning will take place in a distance learning format similar to this past spring.
For each of these scenarios, we will be planning for the following important elements:
- Student and Family Support
- Educator Support and Professional Learning
We have already begun planning for each of these three scenarios. According to MDE, we will receive direction by July 27th on which of these scenarios should be used for a safe start to the school year. Detailed planning for each of these scenarios is important as we might need to move back and forth from one scenario to another throughout the school year. I will provide frequent updates for families as we plan for this upcoming school year. MDE is seeking feedback from families regarding their experience with distance learning this past spring. The link to this survey can be found here.
We understand that there will be some families who have health related concerns with returning to in-person learning and that there will be a need for high-impact learning opportunities for students who are not able to return to school. As we develop plans for the fall, we will be making accommodations to meet the needs of all students.
During these uncertain times, I am confident that we will serve the learning needs of our students with the high quality instruction and programming that you have come to expect from us. While learning may look different, the same exceptional educators will be engaging your student in learning and making real and lasting connections.
Thank you for the trust you place in Forest Lake Area Schools. We are committed to our vision: Excellence for Every Student Every Day!