As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the Northland, Hermantown Middle School and Hermantown High School will be switching their learning model for all students.

In an e-mail sent to parents, Hermantown Superintendent Wayne Whitwam, announced the decision to switch exclusively to distance learning:

It’s with deep regret that we inform our families and staff of the need to shift to distance learning for grades 5-12 in Hermantown Community Schools. We have been working hard to keep our students in school this year and have done excellent work implementing precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our schools.

Despite our efforts, COVID rates have increased throughout the county and are in the midst of a rapid spike. This spike has led to large scale quarantine of students and staff and is crippling our ability to provide in-person schooling. We had sincerely hoped to keep our students in some form of learning in-person for as long as possible. Please know that we will monitor the situation closely and will consider a shift back to an in-person model as soon as we are reasonably able.

Whitman added that the rising case rate wasn't the only factor in the decision.  The rapid spike in cases, along with quarantine requirements for close contacts, has left the district facing several staff shortages.

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Students will shift to full distance learning beginning Monday, November 16 and that learning model will continue indefinitely.  Students and teachers will not be allowed back together until it is determined by health officials that it is safe to do so.