The following communication was shared by Cambridge-Isanti Schools Superintendent Nate Rudolph on Wednesday, Nov. 11:

Predicting the surge in COVID cases, last week public health officials told us to be prepared for a rapid escalation and need for change. They were right. As much as we would like to keep our students in person at school, it is now time to shift to a K-12 Distance Learning model.

This week, we met with our Isanti Public Health officials and our MDH/MDE Regional Consultation Team. This team includes a state epidemiologist, public health representative from MDH, representatives from MDE, local public health representatives (Isanti County), and district administration. With the steep increase in COVID community transmission, we expect our case rate to exceed 90 next week. The clear recommendation of the regional team is to move into Distance Learning for all K-12 students as soon as feasible through at least Dec. 4, the end of the first trimester. The discussion was driven by the following factors:

Many staff and students across the district have to be quarantined because they were unknowingly in close contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID. This has led to challenges with staffing programs and schools.

Required COVID-related absences mean that teachers and staff have to work from home and cannot be in school during the quarantine period. We have a set number of teachers and staff, and when too many have to work from home, students can’t be in school.

We are experiencing school spread now and have cases in every building.

Our hospitals are nearing capacity; this is a public health crisis and we all need to do our part to reduce the spread.

We recognize that this is difficult information to digest for us all. We have worked diligently to try to keep our students in person for as long as possible. At this time, we are asking for the help of the community to curb the spread of the virus. As you may have noticed in last week’s newspapers, many district leaders from throughout the region and state are urging everyone in our community to pitch in and prevent community spread. We are all in this together!

Distance learning schedule

Cambridge-Isanti High School: Planning days (No instruction for students) Nov. 10-11. Distance learning begins Nov. 12.

Middle Schools (including C-I Schools Online grades 6-8): Planning days (No instruction for students) Nov. 16-17. Distance learning begins Nov. 18. Teachers will be reminding students to bring home personal items, learning materials and Chromebooks.

Elementary Schools: Planning days (No instruction for students) Nov. 16-17. Distance learning begins Nov. 18. Students will have distance learning bundles sent home with them for the next two weeks. Families will have flexibility in their schedules for completing work through Thanksgiving. Next week, teachers will communicate a more definitive schedule moving forward. All families will be issued one district device later next week. (C-I Schools Online students in grades K-5 will have school Nov. 16 and 17.)

Woodland Campus (Riverside Academy, Brookside Academy, Moving Forward): Planning days (No instruction for students) Nov. 16-17. Distance learning begins Nov. 18.

Early Childhood and Preschool: Planning is still in process for ECFE, ECSE and preschool. A separate communication will be sent to families soon.

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