Eagle Update: Schools heading into 2021
We look forward to 2021 with the optimism that we can rebound from the chaos of 2020. Every one of us has experienced difficulties and hardships that were not known a year ago. With all of the challenges and unknowns, New Ulm Public Schools continues to provide great educational experiences for our students and families.
Public Schools have a local school board to make decision regarding school structure, design, staffing and budgets. When COVID hit, much of the decision making regarding how schools operate has come from the Governor and state agencies, with little to no input from local schools. When we are provided updated guidance, we often need to work with the state agencies to understand their intent and how we implement the guidance locally. This is not work we have done before, but our goals remain the same – offering a safe environment for our staff and students to work and learn.
For most of the fall, we were able to maintain in-person learning for all of our grade levels. During this time, we experienced a fair share of students and staff who were out for COVID reasons. This is a reality for all of us, working to maintain services while we manage our ability to properly staff our programs. As we move into January – we know we will continue to experience staff and students who are out due to COVID. We know that the safety protocols we have in place are limiting exposure in our schools and we can focus on learning for our students.
Starting Jan. 4, students will return in grades PreK to grade 4 for in-person learning, while students in grades 5-12 will start back in the hybrid model. On Jan. 11, all students will return for in-person learning. As we hit the restart for in-person learning, we will continue to work with our local public health and other community partners regarding school learning plans. We understand the reality of the effects of COVID on our families and staff.
High School winter activities are able to schedule competitions based on the latest announcement from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota State High School League. Practices can start on January 4th, with competitions occurring January 14th or later. We know that activities are positive outlets for our students, and they are an important component of the overall school experience. Our middle school programs will start a few weeks later and parents and students should receive that information the first week of January.