Morris Schools Superintendent Troy Ferguson. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has told school districts there are three possible scenarios for classes this fall: a return to normal in-class instruction, a continuation of the distance learning that students did in the last two months of this past academic year, or a hybrid of both. Morris Schools Superintendent Troy Ferguson told the KMRS Community Connection that the district will start their planning process for the fall with stakeholders this Thursday.

“We have been directed by MDE to develop all three of those scenarios and expect — their words not mine — that perhaps sometime during the 2020-2021 school year we will have to be fluid with those and move back and forth between those,” said Ferguson.

But Ferguson said he has been encouraged by some of the recent discussions with Department of Education officials.

“They recognize, at least in Minnesota, that not all areas within the state are exactly the same,” he offered. “You come out to west central Minnesota where our population isn’t as concentrated as it is in the metro or maybe even other parts of the state and so the conditions may be different. And so they told us that they’ll take that into consideration. And that’s not something that happened this last time. It was a one-size-fits-all.”

Ferguson said it appears that more weight will be given to some local control. In his informal encounters with parents in town, Ferguson said parents want to see their kids back in the school in the fall. The state has promised further guidance for school districts by July 27th.

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