Robbinsdale Area Schools

Smart Start

Safely Coming Back to School

As always, the health and safety of our students, staff and families are our number one priority. Our decisions are guided by the Minnesota Department of Education in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health.

Every decision we make is guided by our values:

  • Health and safety of students, staff and families

  • Focus on social-emotional needs 

  • Equity, fairness and inclusion

  • Meeting the diverse needs of students and staff

  • Continuity of instruction which is based on State standards

  • Unified District Vision and Equity policy as guiding documents

Because of the evolving nature of COVID-19 and the on-going efforts to create and maintain a safe learning environment for Robbinsdale Area Schools students, updates to this page will be made frequently. The District will share important information with families in the event a shift in learning models occurs. Additional communication would follow from the school regarding school-specific information. We will continue to review county data twice per month (on the 15th and 30th) to continue our review of 14-day data cycles.

Smart Start Considerations

Considerations for our Smart Start include: 

  • Safety
  • Equity
  • Achievement
  • Staff, student, parent/guardian feedback
  • Social/emotional
  • Operations
  • Instruction
  • Technology

Learning Model Transition Timeline

Calendar graphic showing the month of January 2021 and first week of February 2021 and learning model transition dates

Smart Start 2020-2021 Learning Models

These models will be implemented based on guidance from local health officials and other considering factors. As the school year progresses, and if there is a shift to a model other than Distance Learning PLUS, families will be able to opt-in to continue in a distance learning model known as 281 Distance Learning School.

HIGH COVID-19 Transmission Rate in the Community
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Distance Learning PLUS

Students Learn at Home, and Engage in Personal Learning with Unified Supports

Students will engage in classes and conduct learning remotely. Learning includes direct teacher instruction and independent student work, with a combination of virtual meetings, interactive class sessions and pre-recorded videos. The components of instruction will include the academic content and social-emotional curriculum.

Transmission Rate in the Community
computer with person on screen and building behind it icon

Hybrid Learning

Students Learn at Home and In School

Students will rotate attendance so no more than 50% of the school population is in the building on any given school day. Depending on the daily schedule, some students will learn in-person and others will engage in Distance Learning PLUS. 

LOW COVID-19 Transmission Rate in the Community
building icon

In-Person Learning

Students Learn In School

Students will learn in a traditional, at-school learning experience with additional safety measures implemented based on guidance from health officials. Per safety guidelines, students are grouped together with the same staff throughout the day; all day for elementary students and as much as possible for older students.

Family Choice Learning Options

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281 Distance Learning School

K-12 Grade Students May Choose to Learn at Home Full-Time

This remote learning option (K-12 students) is for families who do not want their students to attend in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Families must register for this option. The registration deadline for 281 Distance Learning School for secondary students is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

robbinsdale virtual academy logo with background photo of child smiling

Robbinsdale Virtual Academy

9th and 10th Grade Students

Robbinsdale Virtual Academy (RVA) is an online school for high school students. RVA offers a fully online curriculum, with courses which were developed to be taught online. Students do not meet in a physical classroom at a specific time, and gives students the flexibility to design their own high school experience. 

Online courses offer the same challenge in a different format. The amount of time and work will be equal to traditional, in-person courses. Courses include:

  • Videos, readings, assignments, quizzes and tests in Schoology
  • Online discussions, interactive class sessions and projects
  • Weekly reflection and goal-setting
  • Daily access to subject licensed teachers for support in assignments
  • More than 20 courses are available for Fall 2020
  • PSEO Options

Students have the option to stay enrolled at their current school as the district moves between learning models throughout the school year.

K-12 Grade Students

Schools are starting the year in the Distance Learning PLUS model, and may move fluidly between in-person classes and distance learning throughout the year (depending on COVID-19 transmission rates among other factors).

If you'd like to your student to follow the district's movement between learning models, no action is needed.

Recent Updates

robbinsdale area schools logo

Please read for important updates about welcoming middle and high school students back to in-person, in-school learning. Earlier this week we met with our regional support team to discuss and review our plan to bring students back in hybrid learning. 

Screenshot from webinar showing district administration and guest speakers from MDE and MDH

Dr. Heather Mueller, MDE Deputy Commissioner, and Dan Huff, MDH Assistant Commissioner, reviewed COVID-19 health data and mitigation strategies along with Minnesota's Safe Learning Plan in order to address staff questions.

Custodial engineer cleans a classroom sink.

All families are encouraged to watch this in-depth video which reviews cleaning and safety procedures, COVID-19 protocols, as well as answers frequently asked questions. Spanish and Somali versions are also posted.

Additional Information