Due to rising COVID-19 cases, ISD 196 to move high school students to distance learning, will allow sports

As COVID-19 cases rise in Dakota County, school district leaders in ISD 196, which covers Rosemount, Eagan, Apple Valley, and other cities in the south metro, have voted to move to distance learning.

At the same time, the school board voted to allow fall sports to continue, even with students sent home, and winter sports to begin practices and drills.

That motion was narrowly approved by 4-2, with some board members questioning whether it made sense to move forward with sports while not allowing students into class.

There were also questions on if sports would be allowed under state guidelines if the county's COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 were to move over 30 -- which school officials say could happen next week. Currently, the county is at 29.05, just under that threshold.

With rising cases, the district says they are also struggling to fill teacher, nurse, and bus driver absences. Last year, officials say they were able to fill nearly all teacher absences. This year, some days as many as 40 percent of absences are being filled by substitutes.

Along with the change, the board also approached switching two days leading up to the switch, November 9 and 10, to non-student days to allow teachers to prep.