Citing a significant rise in COVID-19 cases across the city, Minneapolis Public Schools has decided to suspend after-school tutoring and other in-person services now being provided to about 250 students at six schools.
The move announced Monday also puts on hold until further notice any additional efforts to bring more children back to school, Superintendent Ed Graff said.
“This is really a difficult time in our community and certainly a difficult time to be a parent or student or educator in Minneapolis,” he said. His district, as well as St. Paul’s, has been in distance learning mode since the start of the pandemic, although St. Paul has brought back some special-education students on a part-time basis.
Minneapolis opted to “dial back” the in-person help to the 250 students after the city crossed a threshold of 50-plus COVID cases per 10,000 people. The children could return if the cases drop below that mark, but then only after a waiting period of about a month, officials say.
In the meantime, the school district will continue to provide some in-person mental-health supports to students, said Dirk Tedmon, a district spokesman.
Minneapolis has a five-phase plan to move from distance learning to daily in-person instruction, and has been in phase two, which does not yet include a hybrid of in-person and online instruction.
The district said previously it had hoped to shift into some hybrid instruction as early as Monday.
“Phase two is where we’re going to be for some time,” Graff said.