Since last week, our schools have been seeing an extremely high number of student and staff absences due to illness. With schools having as high as 25% of their staff members out, it is not possible to sustain ordinary, in-person operations for the short term. At present projections, our district runs a serious risk of basic services and student needs not being met in an in-person model. In order to address this short term significant downturn in available staff, all district schools will temporarily move to online learning in the days ahead. Middle and high school students will make the shift to online learning tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 11. Elementary schools will shift on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Elementary, middle and high schools will all return on Monday, Jan. 24. This news is understandably challenging for families and not one our district was hoping to make.
Middle and high schools will follow their regular daily schedule with class periods starting and ending at their regular times. Students will utilize their assigned Chromebook to access educational materials and assignments via Schoology and Google Meeting links. Teachers will offer live instruction during the regular school day.
Similar to middle and high school, elementary schools will follow their regular daily schedule as much as possible, with school start and end times remaining the same. Students will utilize their assigned technology device and Google, Schoology and/or Seesaw. Educational materials, assignments and meeting links will be posted on these technology platforms for each class. Teachers will offer some live instruction during the regular school day.
Students can come to school to participate in their classes and access the internet if they so choose. Parents/caregivers, please only use this option if it is absolutely necessary for your student to be supervised and/or access internet resources. There will not be in-person, teacher-led instruction provided at the school; the teacher-led instruction will be provided online only. Bus service will be offered to students needing to go to school. Parents/caregivers will need to fill out a form that will be added to the COVID-19 Hub tomorrow. Again, instruction will not be given at school, only space for students to complete their schoolwork.
Please know that social-emotional support is available for students. Parents/caregivers and/or students are asked to talk with their classroom teacher(s), counselor or administrator for details on how to access services during online learning.
A free meal bag will be available for curbside pick up during online learning days. Meals will consist of one breakfast and one lunch and be available for pick up between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. at district schools. Meals will generally follow the posted menu, but are subject to change. The meals are intended for enrolled Osseo Area Schools students participating in online learning and may be picked up by a student or an adult.
Kidstop and Four Star Express school age care will be closed during online learning.
High school co-curricular athletics and after-school activities will continue during online learning. Participants are asked to continue to follow COVID-19 health and safety measures.
I genuinely appreciate all that you and your family have been doing to support our schools and remain flexible during this challenging time. Please continue to be vigilant in mitigating COVID-19 in our communities. It is a very important step in getting our school operations closer to normal more quickly.