Committee recommends face-to-face classes for MPS students

Minot school board must still approve proposed plan

Students would head back to school in a face-to-face classroom setting on Aug. 27 under a draft plan released Monday evening by a Minot Public Schools committee.

Under the plan, parents who are reluctant to send their kids back to school later this month would have the option of enrolling their children in distance learning for the first nine weeks of the school year. Parents would be given the option of enrolling their children in either face-to-face classes or virtual classes.

Classes would start on Aug. 27 for students, with staff starting work on Aug. 18, to give staff a chance to prepare for in-person and distance learning. Online meetings with Supt. Mark Vollmer will be held at noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to outline the plan for parents and other members of the public. The draft plan is available for review on the school district’s Facebook page. It will still have to be approved by the Minot Public School Board.

Under the proposed plan, students in a face-to-face classroom will be required to provide their own masks and wear them when required. The district’s plan follows the state’s guidelines for opening schools. A color alert system based on the prevalence of coronavirus cases in the community will guide whether classes are offered face-to-face, a hybrid model of some distance education and some face-to-face, or entirely distance learning. The state is currently at green, which would mean masks will be required in hallways, common areas, and when entering a school building and on school buses, there will be enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures in place, and students and staff will be required to practice social distancing.

Schools across the state are all creating their own plans or reopening. Each must create a plan for instruction that must follow state guidelines for the North Dakota K-12 Smart Restart, be approved by the local school board, and published on the district’s website and filed with the State Department of Public Instruction.

Face-to-face classes ended in March due to the coronavirus and classes were held entirely online this spring. Some summer school classes and other programs were held in person this summer with students required to wear masks in many settings.


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