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Prior Lake High School is pictured.

Schools within the Prior Lake-Savage Area School District will remain in the distance learning model until at least Jan. 1.

A Dec. 3 email from Superintendent Teri Staloch to parents stated that due to the latest COVID-19 case rates the district had decided to continue with distance learning for grades K-12 through winter break, which runs from Dec. 23 to Jan. 1.

“During today’s weekly meeting with Scott County Public Health officials, we learned that COVID-19 case-rates continue to rise in our county and are at the highest levels we have seen to date at 190.20 cases per 10,000 residents for Nov. 8-21. This is up from 172.14 cases reported for the time period Nov. 1-14,” the email reads.

The district will continue to follow the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan and consult with Scott County Public Health Officials.

A learning model update will be provided to the PLSAS school board at its Dec. 14 meeting and staff and families will be updated on the learning model process and the plan for students to return to learning on Jan. 4, once winter break has concluded.

“While we continue to provide the best educational experience possible in distance learning, it is our desire at PLSAS to get back to in-person/hybrid learning as soon as we can safely and logistically do so,” Staloch said in the email.

The decision to continue education in the distance learning model comes just four days after all students within the district officially switched from the in-person/hybrid model to entirely distance learning. In mid November, the MN Safe Learning Plan recommended that schools in Scott County begin the shift to distance learning based on COVID-19 data. By Nov. 30, all K-12 students within the PLSAS district had shifted to remote learning.

The district encourages families to notify their child’s school if they have tested positive for COVID-19 as PLSAS continues to track lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and staff. District staff are also reporting positive results and direct exposure to their supervisors for the district’s local data.

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