Robbinsdale Area Schools

Additional Information Regarding Plan for Learning Model Shift

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Somali: Guji badhanka ay ku qoran tahay "Ingiriis" dhinaca midig ee hoose ee shaashadda si aad tani ugu akhriso af Soomaali.

Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools Families,

Winter break has typically symbolized a time of year when we all look to disconnect, relax and enjoy time with our friends and families. We also typically refrain from sharing important communications with families. 

This year we have to stray away from past practices. We are asking families to make important decisions that will impact their students when we return from winter break and transition to a learning model shift. We acknowledge that this is a short window to respond and that families weren’t given as much notice as we typically allow. 

However, based on the updated guidance from Governor Tim Walz’s office we had to quickly establish deadlines that would allow us time to prepare for this learning model shift. 

Since Friday, I have heard from both staff and families. Many have shared their perspectives and have asked us to clarify some of the information we shared, or posed new questions. I assure you that we will continue to share information as well as answer questions during this transition.

This communication provides additional clarification on a number of topics. We also developed this FAQ information sheet to address frequently asked questions along with a learning model and communication timeline.

Secondary students (middle and high school)

Transition to In-Person Learning: Our tentative plan to shift secondary students to an in-person learning model on Jan. 26 will be dependent on the infectiousness and transmission risk among different ages. We must take into account COVID-19 case rates both locally and by county, and follow the five-step process outlined in the Safe Learning Plan. The regional team of health experts must also support the transition plan.

The governor's announcement last Wednesday applies to PreK and elementary students. School districts must continue to follow Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan when selecting a learning model to implement for secondary students. 

281 Distance Learning School: We plan to begin our 281 Distance Learning School for middle and high school students on Jan. 26 (the beginning of second semester) -- even if secondary students remain in distance learning due to local and county health data. This is to prevent disruption to students’ schedules.

Dec. 22 Deadline: We must know how many students will be enrolled in our distance learning option so we can ensure appropriate staffing. The deadline to register for (or opt out of) our 281 Distance Learning School is 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. This deadline is for all students.

PreK and elementary students

We are tentatively planning to transition our PreK through 5th grade students to in-person learning beginning next month. If we shift to full in-person learning students would be in school five days per week. If we shift to a hybrid model, students would be in school two days per week.

As a part of our process, the next step is that we will work through our Incident Command team to determine transition plans for both elementary and secondary schools and develop recommendations. Additional information regarding dates and learning model plans will be shared with families during the week of January 4.

I encourage you to review our FAQ sheet for additional information. We appreciate your ongoing partnership and feedback.


Dr. Stephanie Burrage
Interim Superintendent
Robbinsdale Area Schools

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