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Will kids that have been distance learning in the Rochester Public Schools be going back to the classroom?  As promised, Rochester Public Schools sent a note to families on Friday, October 16th, with an update to their Phase II: Return to Learn plan.  Right now, some schools are utilizing a hybrid model and the majority of middle and high school students are distance learning.

The letter with the update showed up in my inbox this morning and unfortunately, it is news that my kids aren't going to like very much.  Right now, nothing is changing and my kids will continue to go to school in their bedrooms.  You can read the entire letter below:

Dear Parents, Students, and District Staff Members,

We began the start of our school year with a carefully designed plan that was in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and staff. These unprecedented times have made us reconsider how we go about educating our students, and the impressive levels of collaboration with our parents, guardians, students, partners, and staff show that we are, indeed, all in this together.

To date, Rochester Public Schools (RPS) has relied upon and used guidance from state and local health department officials, local medical experts and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to advise our practices. We will continue to reference this data, as well as our own data now that we have been implementing our base learning model for six weeks.

We promised an update regarding Phase II of our Return to Learn plan by MEA Break. RPS staff and our families want our students safely back in school. Unfortunately, the county and District data continue to trend the wrong direction. For the health and safety of our community, RPS will not be adjusting our learning model at this time. This may be disappointing news to some, but based on the current information available to us, this is the best decision for our students and staff. - Michael Munoz, Superintendent

I'm not disagreeing with the decision or going to say anything negative about it because honestly, I'm glad I'm not the one who has to be making it and to be serious, I don't know if I would allow my kids to be in a school building right now if the plan was different.  But I do know that some families are adamant that their kids go back to school. I get it.  This new way of school isn't easy for anyone, including the staff at the schools.  As the letter states, the numbers in our community are going in the wrong direction.

So, keep wearing those masks.  Keep staying away from large gatherings.  Wash your hands.  Hopefully, the next update will provide some news of normalcy again.

What's been the hardest thing for you as a parent this school year?  What about you as a teacher or staff member in a school?  I'd love to hear about your experiences.  Find me on Facebook at Jessica On The Radio or DM me on Instagram.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on Y105FM's Early Morning Show with James Rabe and Jessica Williams