Robbinsdale Area Schools

2020/2021 School Year Update

2020/2021 School Year Update


Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools Families and Staff,

Thank you for your continued partnership and support as we work to finalize our Smart Start 2020-2021 plan. We miss our students - our goal is for our students to return to in-person learning as soon as possible.

Safety and health considerations continue to be our top priority. The decision to determine what learning model to implement is not solely based on Hennepin County COVID-19 numbers. The following factors were also considered when selecting the model to begin the school year:

  • Consultation with the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health and county health officials. 

  • Feedback from students, staff and families during our planning process.

  • Review of staffing, to ensure adequate staffing levels.

  • Review of data from our local communities. This includes cities in which our students and staff live, as staff returning to work is also a consideration.

While we will begin our school year in a Distance Learning PLUS model, we will continue to prepare for hybrid or in-person learning. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the District's plan may shift throughout the year. As we continue to work with our principals and staff, we would like to share the following updates.

Pre-K up to 8th Grade Hybrid Learning 

  • Pre-K up to 8th grade students in hybrid learning, up to 50% building capacity.

  • In a hybrid model, in-person learning will take place up to 2 days per week, depending on building capacity.

  • Students would follow an AA | BB schedule.

  • The AA Group will attend in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays, and participate in distance learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

  • The BB Group will participate in distance learning on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and attend in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays.

  • Wednesdays will be utilized as a cleaning day to ensure the safety of students and staff.

  • Principals and staff will continue to develop details specific to their building.

  • Specific AA | BB schedules will be shared before we move to hybrid learning.

High School Hybrid Learning 

  • High school students in hybrid learning, up to 30% building capacity. 

  • In a hybrid model, in-person learning will take place up to 1-4 days per week, depending on building capacity. 

  • Principals and staff will continue to develop details specific to their building.

Transportation Opt-Out

For families who prefer to not have their student(s) take the school bus to or from school if the district is in hybrid or in-person learning, there is the option to opt-out of transportation services for the 2020-2021 school year. Opting out is completely voluntary. 

Choosing to opt-out assists us in optimizing travel time on bus routes; allows for more consistent and efficient transportation service; and assists in planning for various learning models. Families who choose to opt-out will be responsible for ensuring their student(s) are transported to and from school on school days.

If you choose to opt-out of bus transportation, please complete the Transportation Opt-Out Form by Monday, August 31, 2020.

281 Distance Learning School Update

The 281 Distance Learning School registration deadline has been extended through Friday, October 9, 2020 to give families adequate time to review learning models and make the decision which best meets their needs.

As we begin our Smart Start school year in Distance Learning PLUS, students will be assigned to their home school, with their assigned teacher(s). In the event of a shift to an in-person learning model (such as hybrid learning), and families prefer to register for 281 Distance Learning School, your student(s) teacher(s) may change. 

County COVID-19 Data Review/Learning Model Review

We will review four cycles of 14-day health data (August 1-14, August 15-30, September 1-14 and September 15-30) as well as consult with our designated health official to make a determination on the possibility to implement a model shift. Families will be notified if we continue in Distance Learning PLUS or shift to an in-person model (such as hybrid learning). We will continue to review county data twice per month (on the 15th and 30th) to continue our review of 14-day data cycles.

Continued Feedback

  • Families have the option to submit questions or feedback through our Let’s Talk platform.

  • Parent/guardian virtual FAQ meetings with school principals will be taking place the week of August 24. We welcome our families to participate in these meetings as we work to meet the needs of our students and families during this uncertain time. Your student(s) principal will share details on how to participate.

Thank you for your patience as we work to implement our Smart Start plan. You can find additional information including an overview of our safe learning models, frequently asked questions and important dates on our website. We will continue to provide timely updates, and appreciate your continued support and partnership. 


Stephanie Burrage, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent 

Robbinsdale Area Schools