Hutchinson secondary students will be returning to full in-person learning starting Monday, Feb. 22, according to an announcement on the Hutchinson Public Schools website.
The district is making the change in learning models as local COVID-19 rates continue to decline. The latest 14-day case rate for McLeod County was 16.19 new cases per 10,000 residents during the weeks of Jan. 17-30, the lowest it’s been since October. According to state guidelines, a 14-day case rate of 10 or less is recommended for in-person learning for all students. The change in learning model for secondary students will not affect elementary students, who have been back to full in-person learning since mid-January.
According to the announcement, secondary students will have no school Friday, Feb. 19, as staff use the day to prepare for the transition. A shortened schedule implemented in January will continue, and students who have already selected distance learning will remain in distance learning.
This is the second time Hutchinson secondary students will make the switch to all in-person learning. They did so back in late October as well before switching back to full distance learning just a couple weeks later as local cases spiked in November.
The district announcement said schools will continue to closely monitor the county, community and school district case rates while working together with its COVID-19 regional support team to determine if further changes in the learning model are required. The district also asked parents to support social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, as well as screening children daily and keeping them home if symptoms are present.