The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District is preparing to bring elementary students back to school next month.
Superintendent Theresa Battle announced plans for a "staggered" return to full-time learning for the district's youngest learners in response to new state guidance.
The change reflects a growing understanding that younger children are least impacted by COVID-19, ongoing concern about the academic, social and emotional losses for students during distance learning, and the belief that our schools are the safest, most predictable space for many students to be, according to a district news release.
The district's timeline to resume in-person learning for elementary students is as follows:
- Jan. 27-28: No school for Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 2. All other grades continue with distance learning. These days will be used to prepare for students to return on Feb. 1.
- Jan. 29: No school for all students. This is a planned day for professional development and for teachers to complete Semester 1 report cards.
- Feb. 1: Students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 2 will begin full-time, in-person learning, five days per week.
- Feb. 11-12: No school for Grades 3-5. These days will be used to prepare for students to return on Feb. 15.
- Feb. 15: Students in Grades 3-5 will begin full-time, in-person learning, five days per week.
The changes do not affect middle or high schools at this time, the district announced, adding learning models for secondary students will be more closely tied to virus case levels in the community.
"Our school district leaders, principals, program leaders, and staff are working hard to plan a safe return to school for our youngest students," Battle said in a statement on the district's website. "I believe in our ability to make that happen, and I’m excited about the benefits for our students and families."