What will fall look like for Minnesota students?

Many parents across the state are still wondering, what will fall look like for students?

The official answer from the state to public and charter schools is expected to come the week of July 27 at the latest.

Some of the largest districts in the state are firming up their plans so they’re ready when that information is announced - and there hasn’t been much down time for administrators.

“Every week there’s dozens of hours of meetings of fall planning,” said David Law, Superintendent of Anoka-Hennepin Schools.

Back in June, state officials laid out three scenarios to get ready for, including in-person learning, a hybrid model, or distance learning only.

“We’ve been really focusing on the hybrid scenario because it’s the most challenging. In a hybrid model, school buildings would be at 50% capacity,” Superintendent Law said, adding that the plan would mean dividing students into two groups.

“We are thinking of, truly, every other day kids would be in school - one day and home the next day, still connected to their teachers and working but in person every other day,” he said.

While a majority of parents tell him they want their children back in school full time, Law says there’s more to factor into the equation.

“Our average sub is probably over 60 years. Our bus drivers are in their 50s and 60s, so it’s not just the kids in the building, it’s the people who work with them we have to consider too.”

Meanwhile, St. Paul Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard said administrators are still in the planning process.

“We did receive word yesterday that it’s likely we may receive further guidance next week a little bit earlier, which I think would be helpful for everyone,” he said. “We’ll use the data that we have in front of us to make the best decisions.”

Gothard added that he knows larger districts will have additional challenges, as well.

“We have to be prepared to be flexible knowing each week, each month - each day for that matter - could look very different across our district.”

The districts are also looking at how they can limit students’ movement as much as possible – which is easier an elementary school where everyone can stay in one class. But, if the middle and high school students have to switch classes throughout the day, they will have to possibly wear masks or make plans to limit students in the hallways.