Parent Communication Sent July 30, 2020
Dear Parents/ Guardians,
Today, we learned from MDE and Governor Walz the parameters and rules for the return to school. They have created a localized approach using county-by-county metrics for the appropriate school setting dependent on COVID-19 pandemic case data.
The primary guidance focuses on the model of learning permitted as determined by a two week measure of COVID-19 cases. More details on that guidance can be found here.
As of today, school districts in Scott County have a rate of 20.99. Here is a link to this data: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/stats/wschool.pdf. Please note, we will receive updated data as we move closer to the start of the school year that may move our district to a different learning model category.
Since June, as directed by the Minnesota Department of Education, numerous teams composed of teachers, principals, and district personnel have been preparing for three school scenarios: In-person, Hybrid and Distance learning. Each of the three forms of learning could be used in response to various conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now referring to this as Shakopee School-IHD, and it is one of the two options students can select for this school year.
In an effort to better serve those students who desire to learn only in an online format this school year, our teams also created an option called Shakopee Online. Shakopee Online, available to students in grades K-12, is the second of two options available to students for this school year.
The Governor’s announcement and directives given today by the Minnesota Department of Education are setting up the parameters and rules for school district operation this school year. These rules and parameters are greatly influenced by the Minnesota Department of Health. We are sharing a great deal of information today about our plans for the school year, especially the two learning options-- Shakopee School IHD or Shakopee Online-- with staff, and with students and their parents. It will take additional time to absorb the details of the directives given by the Governor and MDE, so please be aware that some details of our plans remain to be finalized or could change to comply with these directives.
Today, we are asking parents and students to make a program choice and pick either Shakopee School-IHD or Shakopee Online for each student for this school year. Shakopee School-IHD is designed to change in relation to pandemic conditions and students are assigned to their regular schools. The Shakopee Online program is designed to accommodate students and families who do not want to return on site to their school and attend school only online. The choice of either option is for the entire 2020-21 school year. A separate choice can be made for individual students within a family or household.
The deadline for making this program choice is 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5. The quick turn around to collect this information for each student allows us to schedule, staff, and finalize plans for each of our students to start the year.
Shakopee School - IHD
The ‘IHD’ in Shakopee- IHD stands for:
I = In-person learning
H = Hybrid learning
D = Distance learning
The term IHD is used to indicate this program may shift from one type of learning to another in response to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in Shakopee School- HD will attend their regular schools when the conditions allow for Hybrid or In-person learning. Students in Shakopee School-IHD will work from home when the pandemic conditions dictate we are in Distance learning. It is likely a student may shift from one form to another form of learning throughout the school year.
- When in the ‘H’, Hybrid part of Shakopee School-IHD, strict guidelines for health and safety will be followed each day to keep all students safe including social distancing, wearing face masks, modified class schedules and lunch periods to limit contact, changes in hallway travel routes, increased fresh air exchange, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, plexiglass barriers, and more.
- Students will:
- Rotate between attending school and distance learning every other day on an A-Day/B-Day rotation. The A/B rotation will be based on household so all children within a family will be placed on the same schedule.
- Elementary schools will begin one hour later than their normal start times to allow for condensed scheduling. This also minimizes the number of student transitions throughout the day.
- Specialists (media, art, music and physical education) will provide instruction for students on distance learning days.
- The Middle School schedule has been altered from a seven period day to a four period day, or block schedule. This change reduces the amount of student movement by having fewer transitions within the day. It also reduces the number of different groups of students and the number of courses to manage at one time from seven to four. The schedule change will also make it easier for students to move between the different formats (I, H, and D) of instruction in response to pandemic conditions.
- Kindergarten students will attend on site every day.
- Some students in need of intervention, receiving English Learner (EL) services, or receiving Special Education services may attend additional days on site.
- In alignment with our current understanding of the rules as set by MDE and MDH, most classrooms in our district will support no more than 16 students at any one time while in Hybrid.
- When in the ‘D’, Distance learning 2.0 part of Shakopee- IHD, students will work from home.
- Students will now receive daily, live interaction with their teacher and classmates.
- Additional synchronous (live) learning sessions may be offered to students who are English Learners, Special Education, or unique learners who may need more support to be successful in a distance learning environment.
- If the rules set by the Governor and MDE allow, there may be opportunities for unique learners to participate on site in a limited fashion while in Distance format.
- A move to the ‘I’, In-person learning, would be a return to all students on site every day. Dependent on the state of the pandemic, certain health and safety cautions may be modified, others may remain in place.
- In an effort to best serve students choosing Shakopee Online, will offer students an opportunity to participate online only for the 2020-21 school year.
- Shakopee Online will seek to have as many staff as possible dedicated solely to providing services in this program.
- Many courses will be taught by Shakopee teachers who will shift from their previous assignments to serving in Shakopee Online.
- Live instruction with interactive feedback will be employed whenever possible.
- Course offerings will be robust, but will not necessarily match those available at school.
- Students choosing Shakopee Online can expect to engage in interesting, rigorous coursework with timely feedback and assistance from teachers.
- Students will be able to personalize work time to fit individual needs.
- Support services (Special Education, 504 supports, EL) will be available to students in this program.
Making the choice
Today you will be asked to choose either Shakopee School-IHD or Shakopee Online for each child in your family. A different choice can be made for each child. If you choose Shakopee-IHD, you will also be asked to respond with your intentions for bus transportation and child care interest. Please make your selection(s) by 4pm on August 5.
You may submit your choice(s) in one of two ways – EITHER by Parent Portal in Infinite Campus OR via a Google form.
Infinite Campus Parent Portal: Log into the portal, update annual contact information, and then complete program choice questions. Instructions-1 page
Google Form: Click the link, access the form, and answer the questions. A separate form submission is required for each student.
Links to supporting information
- Program choice videos ~3 minutes each: English Spanish Russian Somali
- Instructions on how to log-into IC Parent Portal - 1 page
Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and partnership as we work together to have a successful school year for all our students. I can promise you that the district is working diligently to plan and execute these plans in the best way possible while keeping the safety of our students and staff our number one priority. We all want our students to be back at school and we can’t wait for the day we are all back together again. For now, we will do the best we can to learn together and we will be stronger working together.