Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz closes public schools for rest of academic year

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that public schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Students will continue to participate in distancing learning as they have been doing since Walz closed schools on March 18. 

“I just want you to know that these decisions being made, they break our heart," Walz said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. 

Walz specifically addressed the Class of 2020, who has seen their senior year completely upended by the impacts of the global pandemic.

“You will not be defined by staying home and missing proms and missing graduations, you will be defined by understanding how interconnected our world is and what it means to come together to try to solve hard problems," Walz said. 

Regarding summer school, Walz said he has directed the state's educaiton commissioner to create guidance for distance learning during the summer and a possible hybrid model of distance learning and in-school learning. 

Walz had previously ordered school buildings to close until at least May 4. Several states, including Wisconsin, have also shuttered their schools for the rest of the academic year.