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Rochester Public Schools move to distance learning

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Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:11 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester Public Schools announced Wednesday afternoon it will be moving temporarily to distance learning starting Jan. 18.

The switch goes through Jan. 28. so students will not be in person until the following Monday, January 31.

“My primary reason for taking this step is not (as might have been expected) the spread of COVID-19 among students in our schools, as our most recent data confirms that our efforts to mitigate the number of Rochester Public Schools students who test positive for COVID have been successful. The percentages of RPS students who have tested positive for COVID is lower than 10% in all of our schools and lower than 5% in most of our schools despite the significant increase in cases that has occurred in our community due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus,” wrote Pekel in a memo.

The district says the Omicron variant is causing too many staff absences to run the schools safely and effectively. Currently, 50 percent of school buildings are experiencing significant staff shortages.

The district says the two weeks allows all sick students and staff and those who have been exposed and are incubating the virus to progress to being non-infectious by the time school resumes.

Free weekly meal kits will be available for drive-through pick-up on two Wednesdays, January 19 and 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Graham Park Fairgrounds, Building 35. Families may pick up one meal kit per child enrolled.

School Age Child Care (SACC) will be available to families currently enrolled in it.

All students will be moved to distance learning, if you have technical issues the districts asks that you call 1-800-789-0051.

Extracurricular activities will remain as scheduled.

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