On Nov. 3, Head of School Bryn Roberts released a statement to SPA students and families declaring that all Middle and Upper School classes will return to full-time distance learning on the 16th.
Using current local data, Roberts laid out why SPA’s administration has decided to close campus: “The Safe Learning Plan recommends that schools consider moving to Distance Learning for Middle and Upper Schools when the 14-day case rate hits 30. The state issues a report every Thursday and last week Ramsey County recorded a case rate of 31.03 and Hennepin County a rate of 28.88. The number for considering a shift in the Lower School to Distance Learning is a case rate of 50.”
In the past few weeks, Minnesota has continued to see spike after spike in COVID-19 cases, creating a great cause for concern not only in public health but in allocated resources for clinics and hospitals, too.
With all these factors in mind, the administration has officially decided that middle and upper school will revert to full-time distance learning on Nov. 16 and will remain in that step of the Safe Learning Plan until at least Jan. 19, 2021. This extended time after Winter Break in January is in order to provide equity to students and families who may decide to travel over the holidays so that everyone can return the hybrid model at the same time.
As well as the extended end date, Thanksgiving Break this year is extended, with no school on Nov. 23-34. These days will be used by faculty and staff to develop and transition their curriculum.
“These are difficult decisions, and we want to give you the time and information to plan for this next phase of schooling at SPA,” wrote Roberts. “Division-specific details will be shared by the Middle and Upper School Principals in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please stay safe, and know that we will do all we can to support your student and your family as we work together to navigate the challenges of living with the coronavirus.”