District administrators move towards remote learning model

Mia DiLorenzo, head staff writer

On Monday, Nov. 9, the Edina High School administration released a statement announcing the district’s intention to operate in a fully distant learning model. The email cited organizational constraints, stating that “stress on school operations have become unsustainable, and [EHS’] ability to maintain mitigation protocols is being compromised.” 

This district-wide email follows an increase in COVID cases around the state of Minnesota, largely concentrated within Hennepin County and the Twin Cities metro area. As a result, Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order discouraging teachers from managing both in-person and online classes, which the EHS model depends on. The district noted an increase in absences over the past few weeks from both students and teachers, most notably at the high school.

Moving forward, the Edina School Board is holding an Emergency Work Session tomorrow at 5 p.m.—Edina residents can watch the meeting virtually from the school board website or review the meeting materials at noon tomorrow. EHS administrators stated that they will be introducing a plan to operate on a full-time distance learning model, though the official decision relies on school board discussion.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, primary schools are allowed to remain open when cases are between 30-50 per 10,000, though secondary schools (middle and high) must remain closed. As of Oct. 14, the Hennepin County cases per 10,000 were 34.25—surpassing the threshold set by the Minnesota Department of Health. The district will also be discussing the middle and elementary school models at the board meeting, as stated by the district email.

As of Nov. 10, grades 3-12 will be fully distant for the foreseeable future. A school board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12 will determine the K-2 schedule and potential hybrid model. Secondary school students will have Nov. 16 and 17 off, with Wednesday Nov. 18 acting as a flex/EVA support day. Distance learning is set to begin on Thursday, Nov. 19 for all middle and high school students.