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RPS News

Update on the 2020-21 School Year

Dear families, staff and community,

Today, Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan, along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year.

Like all of you, we have been anxiously awaiting these back-to-school recommendations. Some of the highlights include:

  • School districts will use different learning models based on the current COVID-19 infection rate in their county (see details below).
  • As infection rates increase or decrease, schools will need to switch between different learning models throughout the year.
  • During hybrid and distance learning periods, when students are not receiving in-person instruction, districts will continue to provide care for school-age children age 12 and under who are children of critical workers on Tier I of the state critical worker list.

The learning model parameters are as follows:

  1. 0-9 COVID-19 cases per 10,000 
    - In-person learning for all students
  2. 10-19 COVID-19 cases per 10,000
    - In-person learning for elementary students
    - Hybrid learning for secondary students
  3. 20-29 COVID-19 cases per 10,000 
    - Hybrid learning for all students
  4. 30-49 COVID-19 cases per 10,000 
    - Hybrid learning for elementary students
    - Distance learning for secondary students
  5. 50+ COVID-19 cases per 10,000
    - Distance learning for all students

The current number of cases per 10,000 in Hennepin County is 20.93, which means that if we opened schools today, it would be #3 above; hybrid learning for all students. However, this number will likely change during the summer, so we do not yet know which model will apply in September when school starts. We will need to continuously monitor the infection rate and be ready to change plans as needed. 

Our team is currently reviewing the details of Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan and on Monday, August 3, we will be sending out family and staff surveys based on our draft plans and the state guidance. Most of the survey questions will focus on hybrid learning and which hybrid options work best for our families and staff. We are hoping to have a 100% completion rate for the survey, which will also provide us with information we need as it relates to enrollment, transportation, meals and other operational logistics.

We understand that there still isn’t clarity on exactly what school will look like this fall and that this is frustrating for many of us. I personally commit to regular communication with all of you as this evolves. I will also do everything I can to best meet the needs of all of our families and staff for the upcoming school year. 

We are in this together.


Superintendent Steven Unowsky

P.S. For more information on Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year, visit or see guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Read More

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Thanks to a recent change in the federal meal program, we will be able to provide free meals effective Monday, September 14.

Superintendent Unowsky stands next to the Spartan mascot.

This update containd details on the hybrid program, response plan for positive COVID-19 cases and school supply lists.

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