Commissioner signals no immediate plan to advise middle and high school return to in-person

It could be some time before state leaders advise middle and high school students on the possible return to in-person learning full time.

The Senate Education Committee met Monday night to discuss returning to the classroom.

On Monday, pre-k and kindergarten students filed into Minneapolis classrooms with new safety measures in place. But, for older students, the potential for a return to in-person learning doesn’t look promising, at least not very soon.

"It’s been a priority from the beginning to find safe and healthy ways of bringing students in person to learn when they can," said Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Ricker. 

In a senate committee hearing, Commissioner Ricker was asked about the possibility of bringing middle and high school students back as well, with Ricker indicating there are currently no plans for that.

"It’s been our charge certainly from the beginning, and you have my commitment that it continues to be what we think about at the Department of Education, as well as what we think about in partnership with our colleagues at the Department of Health," Ricker said.

The state gave elementary schools the green light to re-open Jan. 18, but middle and high schools were left with the state’s original plan, which weighs case counts in every county.

Now, state officials say they are heavily considering newer guidance from the CDC that says returning to school is safe with the proper precautions.