Hermantown School District to Decide Learning Plan Monday

HERMANTOWN, Minn.– Schools around the Northland are now making their decisions on what learning will look like in the upcoming school year. Now, Hermantown is going to make their choice early next week.

Last week, the Hermantown school board met to set the framework for distance learning, in person, or a hybrid of the two. And now they vote for which option they think is best on Monday.

Originally, the Hermantown school district wanted to wait until August 24th to announce their reopening plans to get the best available case numbers. Now they will make the decision Monday to give parents more time to prepare.

Hermantown Superintendent Wayne Whitwam has spent every day monitoring the case numbers in the Duluth/Proctor/Hermantown area to help his decision making.

Whitwam knows it’s possible all three models could be used during the school year but he wants to avoid frequently jumping back and forth if necessary.

“We’re going to try not to bounce back and forth because if you’re moving down, you need data, like if I want to move from hybrid to in person I need data for 2-3 weeks that show it’s trending down for us to move. To move up a model and become more restrictive, then we’re looking at about 5 days,” said Whitwam.

Right now Whitwam says he feels the high school will end up going with a hybrid model. But the elementary is still looking between a hybrid and in-person options.

The hybrid model would have students split into two groups. One will be going Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the other going Wednesdays and Fridays in person for three days of distance learning and two in-person.

The in-person model will aim to spread students out as much as possible, clean high-touch areas multiple times a day and have students wear masks or face shields.

This will be voted on by the Hermantown School Board Monday night. Whitwam says they feel prepared no matter what option the district goes with for the fall.

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