St Paul (KMHL) – On Wednesday Governor Tim Walz announced that starting on Monday, all middle and high school students can return to classrooms for hybrid or in-person learning. The governor says he expects all schools in the state to offer some form of in-person learning by March 8.
“It’s time for students to be back in the classroom,” Walz said in a statement. “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.”
Walz said the plan does not outpace recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, but he does feel the state is better prepared for reopening schools than many other parts of the country.
Districts that have already implemented hybrid or in-person learning models can continue. Additionally, those that have already planned to transition can continue with those plans. For families who don’t feel comfortable sending a student back to the classroom, distance learning will still be an option.
As of right now nearly 25% of teachers in Minnesota have been vaccinated, the governor’s office said. Educators were included in the state’s vaccine rollout weeks ago, along with childcare workers and Minnesotans ages 65 and older. Next week, teachers will have access to 18,000 doses, significantly more than the allotments in recent weeks.