July 30 Update about Fall 2020:
We understand that you may be feeling anxious about what the start of a new school year will look like. Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is grateful for the guidance we received today from Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority. With the recent news reports of increased cases of COVID-19 in the United States and locally in Saint Paul, we want to ensure families that SPPS is working closely with city officials, MDE, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay well informed.
The leading recommendation is that SPPS will plan to start the school year in distance learning for all students.
We are seeking the approval of a resolution that will provide Superintendent Joe Gothard the powers to exercise the learning scenarios SPPS will implement during a pandemic. The resolution will shape how a successful 2020-21 reopening moves forward, including a presentation of information that will be shared during next week’s Committee of the Board meeting.
In the last few months, we have learned a lot about distance learning. We are calling our new version of distance learning, Distance Learning 2.0. Distance Learning 2.0 will be better this fall than what you experienced this spring. We will be providing more personalized experiences, more same time learning (synchronous), more time for students to collaborate with their peers and more support every step of the way. Our lessons will be designed in a similar way to create consistent experiences at individual schools and across the district.
Based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and MDE, and dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases in Ramsey County, SPPS will look at returning to a hybrid or in-person learning scenario later this fall.
There are still many details to be worked out in the coming weeks and we expect to have a final plan to share with our community in early August.
You are invited to Superintendent Gothard’s Town Hall Meeting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6, to learn more about our plans for reopening. Look for more details, and a link to watch the Town Hall meeting early next week.
Thank you for your patience and partnership as we work through the many complexities of planning for a safe return to learning this fall.
SPPS is proud to offer a 100% Distance Learning option for students PreK-12 who prefer the option of distance learning throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. This option is available regardless of the district decision to return to school in an in-person, hybrid or distance learning scenario.
Please leave your comments, questions and recommendations about fall planning in our new online forum. Staff will do their best to answer your questions as quickly as possible.
Back to School Planning News & Updates
Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is grateful for the guidance we received today from Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education. The leading recommendation is that SPPS will plan to start the school year in distance learning for all students.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has directed that masks or face coverings must be worn throughout Minnesota in all indoor public spaces - including school buildings. This new executive order will apply to all visitors, staff and students (kindergarten and older) starting on Saturday, July 25.
We expect to receive specific guidance about how public schools in Minnesota must operate on July 30.
SPPS Safe Learning Models
The Minnesota Department of Education has asked school districts to plan for fall based on these three models:
Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students
- Create as much space between students and teachers as is feasible during the day
- Not held strictly to enforcing 6 feet of social distancing during primary instructional time in the classroom
- Implemented if state COVID-19 metrics continue to stabilize and/or improve
Scenario 2: Hybrid model with strict social distancing and capacity limits
- Limit the overall number of people in school facilities and on transportation vehicles to 50% maximum occupancy
- Sufficient social distancing with at least 6 feet between people must occur at all times
- Contactless pick-up and/or delivery of meals and school materials for days that students and staff are not in the school building
- School-age care program for students of critical workers
- Implemented if COVID-19 metrics worsen at the local, regional or statewide level OR within individual school(s) if they experience clusters of cases within a classroom or the school
Scenario 3: Distance learning only
- Schools may be open to provide emergency childcare or other functions
- Implemented if local, regional or statewide COVID-19 metrics worsen significantly enough to require the suspension of in-person learning
In addition, SPPS will offer SPPS Virtual Learning school for any family who does not want their students to attend an in-person or hybrid schooling option for the 2020-2021 school year.
What is the Difference Between SPPS Virtual Learning School and Distance Learning 2.0?
SPPS is proud to offer a 100% Distance Learning option for students PreK-12 who prefer the option of distance learning throughout the entire school year.
This option, called SPPS Virtual Learning school, is available regardless of the district decision to return to school in an in-person, hybrid or distance learning scenario.
All students will receive:
- INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN MODEL - All students in grades PreK-2 will complete lessons in Seesaw and students in grades 3-12 will complete lessons in Schoology.
- EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES - All students can engage in extracurricular activities at their school of enrollment when/if extracurricular activities become available.
- STUDENT SUPPORTS - All students will continue to receive qualifying services such as special education, English language services, social work, and counseling.
- HEALTH AND SAFETY - Regardless of the educational environment programs will follow state and federal health and safety guidelines
According to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), a hybrid model will be implemented if and when COVID-19 metrics worsen at the local, regional or state level.
At SPPS, the hybrid schedule will split students into two groups, which each group in school two days per week and distance learning the other three days. Efforts will be made to place siblings on the same schedule. SPPS is working to develop distance learning support options for the days that students are not in school.
More details and background on why this hybrid schedule was chosen are available at spps.org/hybrid.
SPPS Virtual Learning School
Extracurricular Activities & Athletics
SPPS Meal Services
Curriculum and Instruction
Health and Safety
Cleaning & Disinfecting
Assumptions that Inform our Decision-Making
Reopen SPPS Work Groups