10 Things To Do in Duluth in the Summer
20 Minneapolis Wading Pools Open July 4, 2020
Minnesota Back to School? The 2020-2021 School Year Plan


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10 Things To Do in Duluth in the Summer

Raise your hand if you’re more than ready for a road trip this summer! A venture to Duluth often tops our list when we want to escape town for the weekend. While we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to fit this Top 10 list into your own weekend plans, it sure will be fun to try!

– 10 Things To Do in Duluth in the Summer –

1) Explore Canal Park

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20 Minneapolis Wading Pools Open July 4, 2020

June 30, 2020 Update: Minneapolis Beaches opened June 6th and lifeguards were added shortly after. 20 Minneapolis Wading Pools will open July 4, 2020. See the list below. Water Parks and Webber Natural Pool are still closed for the summer.

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Minnesota Back to School? The 2020-2021 School Year Plan

The question every parent wants an answer to is: “Will Minnesota go back to school in the fall of 2020?” We want to know, too. We are setting up this place to keep track of the latest information. As we all know, Minnesota schools moved to distance learning in March of 2020 and finished out the school year with that model. It appears that the writers of Family Fun Twin Cities have been in the minority of families who flourished under this model. Part of this is due to the fact that we all have a full time at-home parent. In fact, Gianna was already homeschooling some of her kids.

The department of education was able to allow some Minnesota students back into the classroom in May with a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning for summer school. This summer programming is likely a test model for Minnesota back-to-school scenario #2 below.

Will Minnesota Go Back to School this Year?

Nobody really knows. Currently, families are asked to be prepared for one of three plans for the the coming school year. In short, maybe kids will go back to school; maybe they won’t; maybe it will be something in between. A decision on the back to school plan is expected by the last week of July and will likely be one of these three scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students
  • Scenario 2: Hybrid learning with strict social distancing and capacity limits
  • Scenario 3: Distance learning only

In mid-June, the Department of Health released a 16-page planning guide that all public and charter schools must follow when creating their plan for return to school in the fall. 

My take, after reading the guidelines for schools is that the schools really want to get back to business in the fall. The second and third scenarios are more likely to be implemented on a case by case basis. I believe we can be optimistic about Minnesota getting back to school in the fall, but we should still prepare for the other two scenarios.

What Will The Back to School Scenario’s Look Like?

Scenario 1 – Minnesota Return to School In-Person For All Students

Under this scenario, all Minnesota children would return to their physical school buildings with plans in place for distancing. The schools will have models in place for creating as much space between students and teachers as is feasible during the day, but won’t be required to enforce a 6 foot space among grade school students. They would still be required to follow COVID-19 Prevention guidelines, including:

  • Accommodation for staff, students and families at higher risk
  • Allowing for physical distance of at least 6 feet whenever possible
    • Rearrange desks
    • Modify programs
  • Minimizing and creating consistency in staffing, volunteers and children participants, to limit interaction and minimize exposure – 10 to 25 for indoor activities, and keeping these groups together from day to day/
    • Limit visitors and volunteers
    • Go virtual for guests when possible
    • Virtual or phone parent/teacher conferences
  • Attempt to limit the mixing of different groups
    • Stagger arrival and departure. (This will be interesting, because siblings would need to leave together, so it can’t be by class)
    • Stagger meal times for classes, cleaning between groups.
    • Stagger recess or offer distanced play areas for different groups
    • Use different entry points for different groups when possible
  • Have back-up staffing plans ready so teachers/staff can leave due to illness if necessary
  • Hold as many activities as possible out doors
    • Serve meals outdoor when weather allows
  • Cancellation of any activities that can’t adhere to social distancing
  • Remove areas where staff / students tend to congregate
    • Exercise caution with use of drinking fountains. Encourage filling water bottles instead of drinking straight from the fountain when possible.
  • Reduce the number of children on buses and spreading them out to allow distance.
  • Avoid community supplies
    • Encourage kids to bring home lunches when possible
    • Don’t allow sharing of water bottles, food and other items
  • Promote healthy etiquette
    • Face coverings for staff members and for kids who can reliably handle this themselves (so probably not kindergartners)
    • Teach and reinforce frequent hand washing and have hand sanitizer available
    • Teach the importance of not touching faces
    • Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
    • Daily health checks and parent education for monitoring symptoms
    • Encourage daily temperature checks at home

Meals outside when possible?

Scenario 2 –  Hybrid Minnesota Back to School Plan With Capacity Limits

This scenario will be used in any school or district where COVID-19 metrics have worsened or are worsening or for specific schools with clusters of cases. Under this plan, schools would limit the overall number of people in the school building or on buses to 50% maximum occupancy. It would still require the social distancing protocols above but also require the 6 foot separation at all times, reducing occupancy by more than 50% if necessary to maintain this distance. Schools would also be required to have plans in place for contactless pick-up/delivery of materials and meals for any students at home. School-age care would be provided for critical workers.

Scenario 3: Distance Learning Only.

This plan could be statewide or just in areas where COVID-19 metrics have worsened significantly enough to require the suspension of in-person learning. This would be similar to what we all experienced this past spring, but hopefully with new insights from that forced experiment. Should this scenario happen, Gianna has gathered information for helping parents to make the best of the situation.

Minnesota Back to School

Click here for more information.

More Information Coming

As we get closer to the school year — late July/early August — we will receive more information from the Department of Education on topics including:

  • School supply lists
  • Transportation
  • No-cost school meals
  • Resources for you and your family

We will keep updating as new information comes in. In the meantime, if you have an opinion on the coming school year, it is time to share it with the Department of Education. Tell them about your distance learning experiences this spring. Complete this survey by July 6th.

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