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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School Board has partially approved plans that could bring elementary school students back to their classrooms full-time this spring.

The Board did vote to authorize the school district to begin moving in that direction by restarting the hybrid learning model for pre-K through 2nd-grade students on January 19th and 3rd through 5th on February 1st. The plan presented to the school board also called for bringing the youngest students back to school on February 16th with the older elementary age students back in classrooms full-time on March 1st but members of the school board expressed discomfort with that part of the recommendation because of concerns that COVID activity could surge in coming weeks due to holiday gatherings and other factors.

Instead, the school board decided to wait for additional information from public health officials concerning the COVID-19 pandemic situation before setting a timeline for returning to in-person instruction full-time. It’s anticipated the school board could make a decision on that issue in early February and potentially set dates for the return to school full-time for elementary students. It’s also possible the school district could shift back to all distance learning if the situation in the community deteriorates.

At this point, there have been no public discussions about shifting middle and high school students away from distance learning.

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