School board extends distance learning until January


Magnet Staff

On the evening of Nov. 23, Owatonna Public Schools announced they would be extending the distance learning model until January

Valentina Contreras, Writer

At the Nov. 23 Owatonna School Board Meeting, it was decided to extend distance learning K-12 through January, 2021. This decision comes as Owatonna is at 89.9 cases per 10,000 residents. With the holidays coming up it can be expected to see these numbers double and even triple, which would affect the Owatonna community along with OHS staff and students. The distance learning period will now be extended through Friday, Jan. 8 2021. 

On Friday, Nov. 13 the Owatonna Public School district announced that it will be going full online starting Tuesday, Nov. 17 due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the Owatonna community. The original decision included going back to a hybrid model on Monday, Dec. 7. 

The hybrid model will start back up on Monday, Jan. 11 which is subject to change. Superintendent Jeff Elstad said during the school board meeting, “Hopefully with the measures that have been put in place we will drop those numbers and get our students back in person.”  The Owatonna School District is already working on a back to school safe plan, which is looking at the long term, this will be put in place when the community is ready to have all of the kids back at school safely. Mr. Elstad told the school board that parent communication will go to families on the morning of Nov. 24.  

Hopefully with the measures that have been put in place we will drop those numbers and get our students back in person.

— Jeff Elstad

When it comes to how students are feeling, Junior Hannah Lantsberger believes this is a great idea. Lantsberger said, “With how cases are rising I feel like it would be too soon to go back to school.” It is important to talk to people and make sure that they’re following protocol to help keep the virus down and under control. 

Students will still have material and meal pickups and will keep checking in using the Infinite Campus Attendance System daily. Any technical questions or concerns can be answered using the technology hotline 507-444-8630. It is very important to stay safe over the holidays, follow the CDC guidelines, report any close COVID-19 contacts to OHS Administration, social distance, wear a mask and keep hands clean. OHS Magnet will continue to update as this story develops.