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Tri-County to start with in-person learning this fall

Ryan Bergeron

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tri-County School, along with schools across the entire state, left their school buildings for what proved to be the final day of in-person instruction of the 2019-20 school year on March 17, 2020.

The Tri-County School will open their doors back up this fall for in-person instruction, following guidance set forth in the state’s “Safe Learning Plan for 2020-21”, announced by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan on July 30.

The Tri-County School board passed the in-person learning model, as it is currently written, to start the year, but didn’t pass the actual model or plans during an August 6 special meeting via Zoom. Tri-County Superintendent Ryan Baron discussed his district’s in-person model.

Under the state’s safety plan, Minnesota schools will operate under one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model. Minnesota Department of Health and Education experts will partner with schools to decide on the best learning model for them to each begin under this fall. Viral activity in the county and the school’s ability to meet mitigation requirements will factor into the model each school goes with, according to a press release about the plan’s announcement from Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan.

To help districts determine the learning model used, the state provided recommended options based on the county’s 14-day case rate level per 10,000 people. To host in-person learning for all students, the state is recommending that schools fall in the 0 to less than 10 cases per 10,000 over 14 days by county of residence.

According to numbers provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, Kittson County sat at 2.31 cases per 10,000 between July 12 and July 25. As a whole, the county has three confirmed cases— the least of any county in the state, as of August 10.

To see the complete story read the August 13 issue of the North Star News in print or online.

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