After delaying the return of in-person learning over COVID-19 concerns, Minneapolis Public Schools have announced their intention to return to the classroom Monday.
But they’ll soon return to virtual learning, according to a Friday statement.
“On Monday and Tuesday (April 19-20), in-person learning will continue for all grades with corresponding transportation to and from school,” the statement said. “From Wednesday through Friday next week (April 21-23), all in-person learning students in all grades will return home for distance learning. Students will not be required to leave their homes to attend school for the remainder of the week, though school buildings will be open. Over these three days, no athletic events or Minneapolis Kids before- and after-school childcare will be held.”
Monday, jury deliberation begins in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who stands accused of killing George Floyd.
The results of that deliberation are expected sometime next week, and with the prospect of violent rioting, Minneapolis Public Schools have determined it is best that the students remain at home.
“Peaceful protests are one of the foundations of our democracy. Some students may feel called to participate in collective actions being organized around the city, but MPS also recognizes our primary need and your primary desire to keep students safe,” the school system’s statement said. “We cannot deny the fact that people with ill intentions sometimes take advantage of communities in crisis.”
The statement also said that the Minneapolis community is “moving through an extraordinarily challenging time” after the killing of Daunte Wright in Brookyln Center, a suburb of the city. While attempting to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant last week, Wright fled before being shot and killed by Brooklyn Center Police officer Kimberly Potter, who has been charged with second degree manslaughter.
Minneapolis Public Schools also said that race could be a topic of conversation in the classroom, and that parents should be prepared for that.
The racism and violence that has been highlighted in these tragic incidents may be widely discussed among some students in our schools. As appropriate and as they are comfortable, teachers will give students the opportunity to process their feelings, how this feels to them personally and how they are impacted by having the eyes of the world on Minneapolis. Understanding that every educator will approach this differently, MPS has provided all educators with resources that are appropriate both to the age of the students being taught and the background and experience of the educator.
These plans are made based on what we know today. Should trial activities change, we will reevaluate, adjust plans and let families and students know as soon as possible.
The statement was signed by Superintendent Ed Graff.
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