The Duluth School Board held a special meeting on Monday, August 24, where they supported adjusting how students will learn during the first quarter of the 2020 school year.

It was decided that for the first quarter, Duluth Public Schools will have hybrid learning for grades K-5 and distance learning for grades 6-12.

Superintendent John Magas says that while families and educators are eager to see students going back to school in person, rising COVID-19 cases in St. Louis County are cause for concern. The district will continue to monitor local COVID level updates and make adjustments in the learning plan as needed.

He also detailed efforts to find a solution to providing state mandated emergency childcare services under a hybrid/hybrid model. According to current projections, the district will have over a thousand students eligible for emergency childcare services.

“We investigated a wide variety of options for additional space, including rental of facilities and purchase of portable classrooms, they aren’t viable for the start of school,” said Magas.  “Moving to a hybrid/distance model provides the necessary space along with the staffing that will be needed.”

“This step also allows us to further focus on the quality of instruction and support for enhanced distance learning,” said Magas.  “Our staff are working diligently to provide a safe, engaging education for all, whether in our buildings or learning from home.”

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The ultimate goal is that the community will work together and follow the mask ordinance, along with other recommendations from health experts, which then leads to a decline in Northland COVID-19 cases and the return of students into classrooms.