Return date for 100 percent to be announced

Cohort C to remain in distance learning

Talia Lissauer and Oliver Smith

In an effort to work with Gov. Time Walz updated guidance to create more in-person learning opportunities, superintendent Astein Osei said he will present a plan to return all students in Cohorts A and B to school full time, with students in Cohort C remaining in distance learning.  

“I anticipate that it would be sometime after spring break. And I would anticipate that it would not be five days a week,” Osei said. “The reason I believe this notion of (returning to) 100 percent (capacity) is misleading is that at least 30 percent or more of our secondary students are learning to cohort C.” 

After spending almost six months in distance learning, senior Anna Bauer said she hopes the return of all students will allow her to enjoy some aspects of a traditional senior year. 

“I’m excited to go back four days a week because I’m hoping to get a little bit of my senior year back,” Bauer said. “I’m hoping that we stay four days a week for the rest of the year. I feel like just as long as everyone’s staying safe and sanitary, we’ll be able to.”

After attending hybrid learning for a few weeks, sophomore Stefano Giovannelli said he believes that face-to-face teaching makes it easier to learn.

“(It’s) much more accessible to learn in-person because you can ask questions right on the spot without having to email or unmute,” Giovanelli said. “I just feel like in-person learning will be easier for the whole class to kind of get a sense of what they’re learning about.”

Throughout the entire year, Wednesdays have been used as a student support day, something Osei said he hopes to continue even after bringing all students who would like to return to full-time in-person school.

“I believe that Wednesdays, which is currently our day, are necessary still for staff and students, (specifically) staff because we’re asking them to do something that is very difficult right in front of them the teaching kids on the screen,” Osei said. “Allowing for some additional collaboration time on Wednesdays is helpful.”

Although he enjoys in-person learning, Giovannelli said he is disappointed that students will have to adjust their schedules again.

“Now that they’ve gotten used to that schedule of online school, going back to four days a week will kind of disrupt that schedule and they’ll have to change to a new one, which would be unfortunate,” Giovannelli said. 

While she plans on attending, Bauer said she is still concerned about the threat of COVID-19.

“The risk of people getting COVID(-19) is kind of scary,” Bauer said. “Luckily, a lot of the teachers are vaccinated now so there’s not as much of a risk, but it’s still kind of scary going back knowing that we haven’t been in a setting like that for almost a year now.”  

Osei will propose a plan to return full-time to the School Board March 8.