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RPS News

Transitioning to Distance Learning for Grades 6-12

Dear Richfield Students, Families, Staff and Community,

As you know, the COVID-19 case numbers have continued to rise locally, nationally and across the globe. The current case rate in Hennepin County is now 34.25 per 10,000 and, in the city of Richfield, it is around 42. When we started school in September, it was 15.10. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have been working hard to ensure a safe learning and working environment for students and staff. Because of our proactive measures, the infection rate within RPS has remained low (see details on our COVID-19 web page). However, we cannot ignore these trends. 

Secondary Students (Grades 6-12)

Following the guidance from Governor Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), we are making the difficult decision to close our secondary hybrid program and transition to full distance learning after Friday, November 20, for students in grades 6-12. This program change includes all activities and athletics until at least January 4. We believe that the transition to full distance learning for our secondary students is the right decision at this time, and it is something we have been prepared for since last summer.

Families with students at Richfield Middle School, Richfield High School and Richfield College Experience Program will receive additional information about school meal distribution, on-site Wi-Fi, student and family support services, how this affects activities and athletics, modification to advisory (AIR Pods), and special education support services. 

We know that this transition will pose challenges for many families and we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher and/or our student support team. We are here to help—now and into the future.

Elementary Students (Grades PK-5)

For pre-kindergarten through grade 5, we are monitoring school case rates closely and it is likely that we will transition our elementary grades to full distance learning at some point, although nothing has been decided yet. 

For students who have been participating in the hybrid program this fall, we know that a transition like this may cause increased confusion. Our teachers and support staff are prepared to work with and support students should we move to full distance learning. We also know that this could cause stress on families who will now need to find child care or make other arrangements to accommodate distance learning. Please know that our entire staff is here to support you. How this would impact families is a large part of our decision-making process for if/when we transition to full distance learning for our elementary students.

Please continue to be safe and follow all recommended CDC guidelines for protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. We are all in this together, and the sooner we can lower infection rates in our community, the sooner we can all come back together. Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Be sure you always wear a mask when you are with friends and/or out in public.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not an option.
  • Stay home when you are not feeling well. Play it safe and help keep your friends and family safe. Even colds and flu are contagious. 

Best wishes and stay safe,

Superintendent Steven Unowsky


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