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What could hybrid learning look like?

Shakopee Public School officials say the hybrid learning model is the "most likely" way the school year will begin.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. — Of the three scenarios laid out by the Minnesota Department of Education for how K-12 schools could operate in the fall, Shakopee Public School officials say the hybrid learning model is the "most likely" way the academic year will begin. 

"The district is most likely to begin the year in the hybrid learning model. The next most likely possibility is the district would enter the year in the distance learning model. It does not seem likely the district will be able to start the school year in the full in-person learning model," reads a district planning document shared with the school board Monday night.

The district cited the "state of the state" in its assessment, pointing to an increase in COVID-19 cases across some parts of the state and Minnesota's current reopening guidelines.

"As a state, we're currently in phase three in terms of our state's reopening," said Shakopee Superintendent Mike Redmond. "So for [the district], unless we were to move to phase four and things would change dramatically, we don't see where in-person is a real viable option."

The hybrid model is a mixture of in-person and distance learning. In the planning document shared Monday, the district laid out the basics for how it envisions the model working in Shakopee Public Schools. 

K-12 students would be divided evenly into "A" and "B" groups, alternating between in-person learning one day and distance learning the next. Siblings and students who live in the same household would be assigned the same letter day.

Teachers would be in school all five days.

"If they see every kid once every two days at a minimum, they can kind of organize a two day learning block, where one day is in-person [learning] and one day is remote and figure out the best way to do that," Redmond said. 

Redmond said they're still working through what would happen if a teacher or student contracted the virus. Options, he said, could include a switch to distance learning in some capacity for the 14 day quarantine period.

The district is also working with the River Valley YMCA on a potential childcare program for parents who need someone to watch their kids on distance learning days. 

"[It would be] a brand new program, which would be school-aged childcare operating during typical school hours for kids in a hybrid model on days where they're at home and need a place to go, or even if we were to shift to distance learning," Redmond said.

The planning document says the district also is considering a plan in which certain students, including kindergartners, those with special needs, and English Learners (EL students), would attend in-person school full-time. 

Redmond said if the hybrid model is chosen, under his district's plan, parents would be able to opt to keep their kids in full-time distance learning.

The state has said a decision on school guidance will come by the week of July 27. 

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