Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Gov. Tim Walz: All middle, high schools can reopen for in-person or hybrid learning from Monday

All schools will be expected to offer in-person classes by March 8.
Author:

Gov. Tim Walz has revealed his administration's latest loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, which will allow more middle and high school students to return to in-person instruction.

Walz released the details of his plan shortly after 10 a.m., ahead of his address to Minnesotans at noon.

It says that beginning Monday, Feb. 22, "all middle and high school students can return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning."

What's more, Walz says he expects all schools in the state to offer students "some form of in-person learning by March 8," but also says families uncomfortable with sending their kids to school must still be offered distance learning options.

"Districts and charter schools that are already operating in-person or hybrid learning or have publicly announced a plan to transition to in-person or hybrid learning may continue with their plans," the announcement added. 

The state is still encouraging students and families returning for in-person learning to get a COVID-19 test every two weeks. And to help support contact tracing if there's an exposure, middle and high schools must document lunchroom seating daily.

"It’s time for students to be back in the classroom,” Gov. Walz said.

"We aren’t out of the woods, but our relentless progress with vaccines and Minnesotans’ vigilance has put us closer than ever to the end of this pandemic. Our progress means we can get more students safely back into classrooms. As a parent and former teacher, I know how critical this step is for the economic security, well-being, and mental health of our kids and their families."

Prior to January, the decision on whether to offer in-person learning was left to school districts, but linked to COVID-19 rates in their local areas, with the state reserving the right to halt in-person learning if schools stayed open despite high local COVID levels.

But in January, this changed as Walz announced elementary schools would be allowed to reopen to in-person learning, coming after a reduction in COVID levels from the peak in late November.

Since then, more than 686,000 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 240,027 receiving two. Teachers and school employees have been among the workers prioritized for vaccines.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Minnesota's positivity rate for COVID-19 is now below the 5% rate the CDC suggests is necessary for the reopening of the economy, though there remains concern about another spike caused by the more contagious U.K. variant B1117, which is present in Minnesota.

Walz also announced that starting next week, more than 18,000 vaccine doses will be made available to educators at state vaccine sites, which is a "significant weekly increase."

As of Feb. 16, 28% of school buildings in Minnesota are doing in-person learning, the Minnesota Department of Education's website shows. Ten percent are doing hybrid learning model, 15% are doing distance learning and 48% are doing some combination of the three. 

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

Related

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz to announce middle, high school reopening plans

The governor will address Minnesotans at noon.

classroom

5 things to know about Minnesota's new in-person school guidance

Walz hopes all districts offer in-person learning for all grades by March 8.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

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

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

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

All elementary schools can move to in-person learning under new Walz order

Schools can switch to in-person learning on Jan. 18 regardless of county COVID-19 rates, so long as they implement all required mitigation measures.

school, students

Gov. Walz set to make schools announcement in press conference

He's expected to announce that in-person classes won't resume this year.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Watch live: Gov. Walz announces guidance for 2020-21 school year

He is expected to announce that school districts will have control over reopening plans.