Some school districts in Minnesota are making the decision to push back the start of the 2020-21 school year to give staff more time to prepare amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools at its Aug. 24 board meeting pushed the first day of school back to Sept. 15, while the week of Sept. 8 will be an orientation week for all students.
Elementary students will start the year with hybrid learning, while middle and high school students will start with distance learning and switch to a hybrid learning plan on Sept. 28. That being said, any student can opt for all distance learning.
Wayzata Public Schools also pushed back the first day of school.
On Aug. 10, the Wayzata School Board authorized the delay of the first day of school if it was deemed necessary, and in a letter to the school community on Aug. 19, the district said they've pushed the first day of school from Sept. 8 to Monday, Sept. 14 for all pre-K-12 students.
Wayzata Superintendent Chace Anderson said doing this will give staff "much-needed additional preparation time" so they can deliver the "highest-quality instruction within the new learning models." Starting school a week later will also give principals, teachers and staff more time to prepare to students' arrival and provide for student orientation time that couldn't be held in the spring and summer.
Changing the start of the school year means some professional development days that students had off from school will be instructional days, Anderson said.
Meanwhile, some other districts have pushed back the start of hybrid learning and will start the school year with all distance learning. That includes the Moundsview School District, which announced the change on Aug. 20.