Governor Walz announced his administration’s long-awaited plan for getting kids back to school this fall.
The Safe Learning plan provides very detailed guidance for school administrators and parents to help figure out the complex problem of whether kids should be back in classrooms, or continue with distance learning, or whether schools should take a combined approach.
Governor Walz calls the plan a “localized, data-driven approach” where school leaders can make decisions based on what is happening in their county with regard to the number of COVID cases and the rate of spread in their local community.
The plan also distinguishes between younger kids and older ones, and takes into account what health officials have learned about how the virus spreads within different age groups.
Overall… state leaders say the guidance emphasizes flexibility for ALL families.
“This has been an incredibly emotional and difficult time for all of us, and as the governor and I are in positions of elected leadership; first and foremost were parents and I’m a mom,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “My daughter has asthma we talk to her doctor about what is best for her in order to make that decision and we talked about developmentally what does she need in this moment. And every family is going to have to have those hard conversations but necessary conversations about weighing the risks.”
The Safe Learning Plan offers what experts call “informed flexibility”. Still, all public schools are required to offer a distance learning option.
“So we’re not saying that we have all the answers for individual families, but folks should be thoughtful and think about what is best for their child, and for their family. And that they have those choices, that was really important to us. That if parents decide, that if they really don’t want to send their child back, they have that option. Because we know how overwhelming this can be.” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan.
Details of the Safe Learning Plan can be found here.