Minneapolis Public Schools to bring middle, high students back in April

Distance learning will continue be offered to those who want it.

Minneapolis Public Schools has announced that in-person learning for middle and high school students will resume in April.

Gov. Tim Walz has loosened COVID-19 restrictions to allow middle and high schools to resume in-person classes starting this week, and said his administration would "expect" all school districts to offer some form of in-person learning by Mar. 8.

But Minneapolis is taking more time before bringing students back, with students in Grades 9-12 and Transition Plus – including those receiving Special Education services and specialized programming – resuming on Monday, Apr. 12.

All students in Grades 6-8 will resume in-person learning a week later on Apr. 19.

Families who prefer to keep their children in distance learning can continue to do so.

The announcement comes a day after another Twin Cities school district, Osseo Public Schools, announced it too would wait until April to resume in-person teaching.

Osseo schools has announced it will return to in-person instruction for Grades 6-12 Monday through Thursday starting Tuesday, Apr. 6, with Fridays remaining distance learning days.

A Pew Research Survey released on Wednesday found that 59% of Americans would prefer to wait until all teachers have been vaccinated before school resumes for in-person learning, with the number who would prefer this higher among Black, Hispanic, and Asian communities, and those on lower and middle incomes.

The same survey highlighted concerns among parents about children falling behind in their education due to the lack of in-person teaching.

As of mid-February, Minnesota had vaccinated around 25 percent of educators in the state, and they are among those prioritized for vaccines. 

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health launched a campaign to encourage parents to get their school-going children tested for COVID-19 every two weeks, in an effort to limit COVID-19 spread in schools. You can read about that here.

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