Governor Walz extended the distance learning period for Minnesota children last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it will now last through the end of the school year.
Distance learning has been in place since the end of March. School buildings have remained open for childcare, and meals have been provided for families either to be picked up or delivered via school bus or other school vehicles.
The announcement also outlined changes to help schools until June and the start of the summer vacation period. The governor’s ’s office also included provisions in this Education Executive Order to encourage and implement outreach and plans to support families and students during this dramatic change in educational delivery.
The announcement also will help districts expand internet access and technology access through their regional libraries and the civics test required in state law has been cancelled for this year’s seniors.
Specifically, the new Executive Order:
- Requires districts/charters to post distance learning plans and must include outreach opportunities
- Requires the Minnesota Departments of Education and Health to work together to identify programs that can be done in school safely and how home visits can be safely conducted
- School buses can use flashing lights and arms for meal and instructional material drop offs
- Civics tests are cancelled this year for seniors
- Fund transfer flexibilities are in place to help ease strained school districts budgets
- Regional library telecommunications aid can be used to pay internet and technology costs otherwise not covered by law
- Accounting provisions are made for special education expenditures and meals