Minnesota School District Closing Thanksgiving Week Due to COVID


Shakopee, Minnesota public schools are closing for the entire week of Thanksgiving due to rising COVID case levels. Across all 10 Shakopee schools, 85 students have COVID as of Friday, with 30 of the cases at Jackson Elementary. The number of cases is growing, with over 20 more cases added to the list Friday afternoon.

A statement from the school explained, “In our district, the three weeks with the most COVID infections per week since the beginning of the pandemic have all occurred this month.”

“The continuing increases in COVID cases are also impacting student and staff attendance, and have forced us to move three classrooms from in-person to distance learning. There are a handful of other classrooms in the district that are getting close to the threshold for being moved from in-person to distance learning.”

Due to the rising number of cases, even though four of the schools have five or less reported COVID cases, the Shakopee District made the decision to cancel all classes for the entire week of Thanksgiving, rather than adhering to the traditional Wednesday through Friday holiday schedule. The cancellation includes the Shakopee Online School.

According to Shakopee’s “Pandemic Response Update,” they are hoping that the extended break will allow for the spread to be slowed. The document reads, “Extended time out during the Thanksgiving break (9 days) provides for longer separation, and less virus spread.”

The schools say that the regular Thanksgiving break scheduled for Wednesday to Friday is unchanged and it does not appear that students will be asked to do make-up work or do anything to make-up the missed days of class.

The document also precludes the possibility of shifting to a four day school week on a rotating schedule if the numbers continue to worsen. The document suggests, “Schools operating in-person 4 out of every 5 days with rolling off-days by site.” They also hinted at the possibility of a longer Winter Break if the COVID cases continue on an upward trajectory.

The district will be providing “emergency child care” at Sun Path Elementary for parents who need to work and would be unable to care for their children on the two extra days of break.

The district said, “The district will continue to monitor the situation, and explore possible additional mitigation steps and school schedule adjustments … Our goal is to have some control over the situation and be proactive, whenever possible.”

The Shakopee schools have been requiring masks any time that the caseload in Scott County was greater than 40 in 10,000. They strongly recommend students of all ages wear masks even when it is not required.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].




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