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SPPS Clarifies Misleading Pioneer Press Story

Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is disappointed with the factually inaccurate reporting and misleading headline for the story published in the Pioneer Press on July 21 about the district’s fall planning.

The inaccurate reporting causes additional anxiety for our families and staff in what are already challenging times. With that in mind, SPPS wants to clarify and correct the record.

The Pioneer Press’ story falsely gave the impression that SPPS is implementing a hybrid model of learning (some in-person learning, some distance learning) for the new school year. That is not correct. SPPS is thoughtfully planning for all three scenarios: in-person instruction, distance learning, or a combination of the two (hybrid) during the upcoming school year.

The story also falsely gave the impression that in a hybrid model, students would only receive instruction two days a week. That is not correct. Regardless of the model implemented this fall, students will receive five days of academic instruction per the normal school calendar.

The decisions for what this fall will look like very much depend on what public health and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) guidelines are in place to inform decisions about building access.

While we wait for direction from MDE, SPPS is considering several scenarios and planning how we can best meet both the academic and social and emotional needs of our students as we head into a new school year.

SPPS will make a decision about reopening this fall with a focus on the health and safety of our students and staff.

Information, plans and schedules are subject to change based on the guidance we receive next week from MDE, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saint Paul.

The fall planning presentation made to the Board of Education on Tuesday, July 21, is available to watch online. The Superintendent’s introduction begins at the 18:40 mark of the video.

For more details about SPPS’ planning for education this coming school year, please visit spps.org/reopen2020.