Bemidji Middle and High Schools Switching To Virtual Learning
Bemidji Area Schools is shifting to distance learning for grades six through 12 starting after Thanksgiving.
The last day of hybrid learning will be Friday, November 20th. After Thanksgiving break, students will begin using the distance learning model. The school week will return to five days of learning while Wednesdays will resume being an instructional day. The middle and high schools will develop a plan to distribute textbooks and materials to each student so that each student will have what they need to learn remotely.
There will be no change for elementary schools at this time. They will continue operating with in-person model, but will begin preparing for a possible switch to distance learning after the New Year. A final determination regarding the instructional model for pre-school and elementary students when schools resume will be made no later than Wednesday, December 30th.
Superintendent Tim Lutz says the decision allows the district to be proactive because although COVID-19 cases are increasing in the Lakeland viewing area, the district has not seen community spread within schools. Lutz says it has become more difficult to find teachers and substitutes to operate school. Dr. David Wilcox, Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota VP Medical Officer, states “you can make the argument that schools are the safest place for children to be.”
As of Monday, the district had three staff members who are currently isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test result. There are also 20 staff members currently in quarantine due to being in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. There are also 13 staff members who are in quarantine due to experiencing symptoms or waiting for a test result.
Destiny Wiggins also contributed to this report.