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Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has announced it will shift to online learning at the end of this week as the district battles a COVID-related staffing shortage.

MPS announced the decision Wednesday afternoon in a news release, saying online learning will start Friday, Jan. 14. In-person learning will pick up again on Monday, Jan. 31. 

Related: Omicron surge: MN preparing for 'something we've never seen before'

The district provided some more details to parents in an email blast, citing a "significant reduction in staff available to work in person due to COVID-19."

"The current surge in COVID-19 challenges the ability to operate schools and provide transportation at full capacity, but MPS remains committed to providing consistent learning for students," the email says.

Later, it describes online learning as "a crisis response" to the current staffing issues.

MPS is only the latest school district in the state to move to online learning. Other schools that have made recent similar announcements include:

Minneapolis Public Schools students should bring devices home Thursday in advance of the temporary switch to online, according to the email. However, school buildings will still be open for online learning if a family cannot keep a student at home during this two-week period, the email says. Buses will still pick up and drop off kids as needed.

Related: MN child care providers will no longer need to quarantine kids, staff exposed to COVID

Schools will continue to offer breakfast and lunch as well. Families can pick up the bagged meals each day. 

In-person after-school programs are canceled and Minneapolis Kids will not be open. Varsity athletics will continue, but JV and middle school sports will be shut down for the online learning period.

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