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Staff Update on In-Person Learning for Secondary Schools - March 3, 2021

Dear Secondary Staff:

As we shared last week, SPPS is planning to begin in-person learning for all 6-12th grade students who want it starting Wednesday, April 14. Monday and Tuesday, April 12-13, will be planning days for staff. As promised, we have some additional details about what this transition will look like at our secondary schools.

School Schedule

Starting April 14, students learning in-person will be at school for 4.5 hours Monday-Thursday, with 2 hours of schoolwork to be completed at home. Fridays will be distance learning days for all students, which may include office hours and check-ins with teachers in addition to independent work time. School leaders will work with staff to develop schedules.

Monday-Thursday In Person Schedule

  • 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - All grades at 6-8 schools and Washington Technology Magnet
  • 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. - Grades 6-8 at PreK-8 schools
  • 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. - All grades at 6-12 and 9-12 schools
  • 2 hours of independent distance learning - All 6-12th grade students at all schools

Friday: Distance learning for all 6-12th grade students

Note: To support a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), Federal III special education programs will follow their regular full-time school schedule five days a week. 

In Person vs. Virtual Learning

6-12th grade students who want to stay in full-time virtual learning for the remainder of the school year are asked to sign up by Thursday, March 11. Families that previously enrolled their secondary students in the Virtual Learning School or opted out of in-person support must fill out this form if their student wants to remain in virtual learning.

In order to provide the best educational experience with the least disruption for students, staff and families, every effort will be made to ensure secondary students will continue learning with their current teachers whether they are learning in person or virtually. The below chart gives an overview of what each option will look like:

In person vs virtual learning chart

Unlike elementary, there is not a separate Virtual Learning School for secondary students. Students will remain in their current schools with their current classes and teachers to the extent possible. All students who do not sign up for virtual learning will be scheduled for in-person learning when we begin April 14.

Health and Safety Measures

For in person learning, SPPS will continue to follow all of the health and safety measures as described in the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, SPPS COVID-19 Employee Workplace Manual and SPPS COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines. This includes:

In accordance with the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan, students must maintain 6 feet of physical distance from one another whenever possible; when 6 feet is not possible, a minimum of 3 feet between students will be maintained.

Accommodation Requests

Human Resources Consultants will work with site leadership to assess staffing needs. ADA and Executive Order accommodation requests will be reviewed following the established process.

For more information, please visit and look for additional communication from SPPS and your school leaders over the next several weeks. Thank you for all you do.