Robbinsdale Area Schools

Temporary shift to distance learning through Jan. 24

Dear Robbinsdale Area Schools families,

As I’m sure you’re keenly aware, the rapid surge of COVID cases in our community is leading to an unprecedented spike in the number of absences among staff and students in our schools.

We had hoped to continue with in-person learning without disruption, but many of our staff have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The number is rising daily within our district and in the community. We simply can’t provide adequate in-person learning or services with our growing level of staff absences. 

In addition, many students have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms. We have an obligation to the safety of our students, staff and community to do everything we can to help slow the spread of the virus. 

As a result, all district schools will shift to distance learning beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18, through Friday, Jan. 21. Students will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Schedule details

  • Friday, Jan. 14: Previously scheduled digital learning day (asynchronous)
  • Monday, Jan. 17: No school, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Tuesday Jan. 18 through Friday, Jan. 21: Distance learning (synchronous)
  • Monday, Jan. 24: No school, previously scheduled staff workshop day
  • Tuesday, Jan. 25: Return to in-person learning

What will distance learning look like?

Generally speaking, middle and high school students will follow their regular daily schedule, with class periods starting and ending at their regular times. They will use their district-provided device to access assignments and materials via Schoology, and teachers will offer live instruction during the regular school day. 

Elementary schools will follow their regular daily schedule as much as possible, with school start and end times remaining the same. They will use their district-provided device to access assignments and materials via Seesaw, and teachers will offer as much live instruction during the regular school day as possible.

Students who receive special services (e.g. Special education, EL) will receive additional information from service providers.

Families will receive school-specific details about the move to distance learning from their school principals. The update will include more detailed information about technology and accessing learning materials, meal bundles, and other details.

Technology

Students will be using district-provided devices to access their learning materials during this time. For this reason, staff will be reminding students to bring home their device and charging cords before leaving school for the day on Thursday. As always, in the event you or your family needs technology support during distance learning, feel free to reach out to technology support at your school. Contact information will be provided in the principal message sent to families later today (Jan. 13).

Meals

Four-day meal bundles will be available for enrolled students Tuesday, Jan. 18 through Friday, Jan. 21, at eight district locations. Meal bundles will contain four breakfasts and four lunches for the week. Families or those picking up meals will need to sign in with their student’s name and school at time of pick up. Learn more about these meal bundles, including pickup times and locations.

Athletics and activities

While our classrooms will be in distance learning, high school athletics and activities will continue as scheduled. However, all middle school athletics and activities will be canceled during this time.

High school students will be responsible for getting to school for practice and games, but activity buses will run during this time for return trips home. We will continue to monitor COVID numbers among our players and coaches, and make adjustments as needed. High school activities directors will send information with activities-related details later today (Jan. 13).

Community Education

The Source will be closed during this shift to distance learning. Students and families who participate in Adventure Club, Early Adventures, The Basement, and adult academics will receive information on how programming will look during this time later today.

Continued COVID reporting

During this time of distance learning, we also ask families and staff to continue to fill out a COVID report in the event of a positive case or household contact with someone who is COVID positive/symptomatic, or if you (staff) or your student is experiencing symptoms. Please visit rdale.org/covid/reporting-form to find the reporting form for your school. This will allow the district to maintain accurate data as we move forward.

Social-emotional support

Please know that social-emotional support is available for students. Families and/or students are encouraged to talk with their classroom teacher(s), a counselor or administrator about how to access support services during this time.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of our students and Robbinsdale Area Schools.

Sincerely,

David Engstrom, Superintendent
Robbinsdale Area Schools