Hermantown Schools to Transition Grades K-8 to Hybrid Learning Next Week

HERMANTOWN, Minn.– The Hermantown School District is making changes as they hit the halfway point for the school year.

Hermantown Community School Administration officials planned back in December to have all kindergarten through 12th grade students back to school in a hybrid model by next week. While plans have change a bit, most students will be coming back.

After meeting with a regional health team, the district will now begin letting certain grades back into the hybrid learning model, going in person for a handful of days a week.

Kindergarten through 8th grade students will be returning this coming Tuesday January 12. High schoolers will come back by grades starting January 21.

Hermantown Superintendent Wayne Whitwam says he decided against bringing all students back at once due to St. Louis County’s high COVID-19 case count. Still, he believes they have the right procedures in place to keep everyone as healthy as possible.

“We’ve sent probably 300-400 students home as close contacts but not one of those close contacts has tested positive,” said Whitwam. “So we believe the mitigation measures we put in place are working.”

Whitwam hopes to have all elementary fully in-person by the end of February. Then try to bring back the middle school grades in march with high school students coming back fully after spring break.

Of course, it all depends on the amount of cases in the school and the county but the superintendent wants to give seniors as full of an experience as possible to close out their final year in high school.

“Then we can have graduation, we can have all of the graduation parties, we can do some of those things that i feel like our seniors have been shorted on through the year so if we can just get them back by the end of the year, I think that would make a huge difference,” said Whitwam.

Hermantown school administrators, teachers, and other staff are eager to welcome students back into the classroom for the first time since November. Whitwam adds that it’s a step in the right direction but they want to do it in a safe environment.

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