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Willmar elementary schools switching to hybrid model due to COVID-19

  • Updated

(Willmar MN-)  Before the start of the 2020-21 School Year, Willmar Schools Superintendent Jeff Holm said officials would have to be flexible to deal with potential changes in the education model depending on what happens with COVID-19. ...

...On Monday Holm announced because of high numbers of infections in the elementary grades, they are going to switch from in-person learning to a hybrid model beginning this coming Monday.   To help plan for the switch, there will be no classes Wednesday. 
Holm says since the start of the school year they have seen more than 30 cases associated with people in the district's 3 elementary schools, which has resulted in more than 430 students being sent home to Quarantine for 14 days.  Earlier this month they switched Roosevelt Elementary to a distance learning model because of coronavirus, and Roosevelt will remain that way until Thursday October 22nd. 
The hybrid model will be like the one used at Willmar Middle and Senator High School, with the student body divided into a group A and group B, with one group going to school Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other group going Thursdays and Fridays.  All students will distance learn on Wednesdays while the schools are cleaned.   Holm says at the Middle and Senior High level, there have only been 13 cases and far fewer students quarantined. 
Holm says they are aware of the "tremendous burden switching to the hybrid model will be for families, we also feel that the hybrid model can prevent us from having so many students and staff having to quarantine at a moment’s notice.  We also are seeing local evidence that it is more effective in controlling the spread of the virus among our staff and students. As always, the health and safety of our staff and students is our first priority."