ROCHESTER, Minn. – Rochester Public Schools (RPS) says it is moving all students to online distance learning classes.
Superintendent Michael Munoz announced the move Thursday and says it will begin on November 18. In addition, all school athletics, activities, Community Education programs, and rentals will cease on the same day.
Munoz also says starting November 20, RPS Student Nutrition Services will be offering 5-day Meal Kits for children 1-18 years old regardless of meal price eligibility. The last day for daily, drive-through lunch pick-up at school buildings will be November 19.
“I know this information is disappointing to some,” says Munoz. “Not only is the MDE Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year’s learning model parameters mandating this decision, but the concerns for the health and safety of our students, staff, and general community are at the center of all of our decisions during this pandemic.”
This move to distance learning comes before a target date of November 23 for such a decision. Munoz says it’s because the most current 14-day rate of Olmsted County COVID-19 cases per 10,000 is at 65.23. That’s over the level of 50 state where state guidelines call for distance learning for all students.
Munoz says that is number more up-to-date than the data Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) publishes. For instance, on Thursday MDH published a 14-day case rate at 42.27 for the weeks of October 18 - October 31.
To read the full announcement on the distance learning shift for Rochester Public Schools, click here.