Dear Watertown-Mayer Families,
As we began our 2020-2021 school year in-person at our K-4 elementary and in a hybrid learning model in our middle and high school, I was hopeful that we would remain in that learning model for our students. Unfortunately, due to the inability to maintain acceptable staffing levels, increases in local COVID-19 cases, and having multiple classrooms in quarantine, we need to make a shift in our learning model to accommodate these issues in the elementary, middle and high schools.
Following a consultation with representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Education and local public health concerning a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and projections for our community in the weeks ahead, The Watertown-Mayer School District has made the decision to transition grades K-12 to distance learning on November 30th.
This decision was made based on various data points; a dramatic increase in county and community COVID-19 rates, an increase in numbers of staff and students out of school due to quarantine and/or positive test results, severe difficulties in keeping our schools and programs staffed at an operational level, and projected increases in state, county, and community COVID-19 cases.
While the decision to move students to a distance learning model is not our ideal plan, we need to do what is best for the health and safety of all students, staff, and community members.
K-12 Learning Model Change
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade will transition to a distance learning model. Consultation with the Regional Support team regarding local COVID-19 rates, high levels of students in quarantine, and the inability to keep the elementary school fully staffed has caused us to bypass the hybrid learning model and shift directly to the distance learning model.
Distance learning for all students in grades K-12 will begin on Monday, November 30th. The district administrative team will meet with the Regional Support team during the week of January 11th to reevaluate all pertinent data points and to make a transition back to school recommendation and plan.
We are committed to providing communication, consistency, and connectedness to our Distance Learning 2.0 model this school year. Thank you for working with our PreK-12 staff to make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible for our students.
Together in Education,