Secondary students in Duluth Public Schools could return to in-person classes two days a week under a proposed updated hybrid learning model. According to a release from the district, the Duluth School Board received an update on Feb. 4 on planning for secondary hybrid in-person learning.

Under this plan, middle and high school students would have regularly scheduled in-person learning opportunities twice a week in the morning for three classes a day. Families could also choose to remain in full distance learning.

The district is required by Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education guidelines to have a rolling start process, meaning that students would be brought back in gradually.

Under the proposed plan, the week of March 1 would include three transition days: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Students would receive a lighter learning module and have access to teachers on Monday and Friday.

During the week of March 8, sixth, ninth and 12th graders would start hybrid learning.

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The next week, March 15, seventh, eighth, 10th and 11th graders would be phased in.

The implementation of a hybrid model is a prerequisite for full in-person instruction, according to Superintendent John Magas. Schools must have a 14-day case rate of under 30 new cases in order to implement a hybrid model for secondary students. As of Jan. 10-23, the 14-day case rate for the Duluth area is 38.

Magas said he was proud of the work done to prepare the proposed hybrid plan.

“We learned a lot over the past nearly six months, from our own experience with elementary in-person and from other districts,” said Magas. “I’m proud of our principals, teacher leaders and departments for adjusting our plans to serve the needs of all learners, distance or hybrid, and ensure the safety and wellness of students and staff."

The full return-to-learn plan can be found at isd709.org/fall-planning-2020.