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District Announces January Learning Model Change

On Tuesday, December 22, ISD 318 Superintendent Matt Grose delivered an early holiday gift to parents. Kids would be returning to buildings on January 11. “Our goal has always been to have as many students return to our buildings as was safely possible. The announcement from Governor Walz last week has helped us to lay the ground work to implement a less restrictive learning model,” said Superintendent Grose.

ISD 318 put a temporary distance reset in place on November 23 due to severe staffing shortages in their schools. The intention was to have a two-week reset, but the district was forced to extend distance learning due to increased staff illness and quarantines. “We have been able to reduce the number of staff who are out by 60% over the last three weeks,” said Superintendent Grose. “When we return from winter break on January 4, we will be able to see where staffing levels are at and hopefully have students return the following week.”

On January 4, students at the in-town elementary schools will return to the hybrid and in-person learning models and Bigfork elementary will return to in-person learning. The district will continue to have a shortened Wednesday schedule every day while in a hybrid model.

On January 11, the district plans to have all of elementary students return to in-person learning and middle and high school students return to the hybrid model. “Of course, our plan relies on community members to help keep cases down,” said Superintendent Grose.

There will be no school on Friday, January 8 as the district prepares to make the transition back to in-person and hybrid learning. The district has also arranged for a consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to help plan for a return to in-person learning for all students second semester.

“I am so grateful to our staff and to the community for helping us get closer to have our students back in-person. We will take a deliberate approach in doing so, provide the protections necessary, and slow down if needed so we can do this right,” said Superintendent Grose