Gov. Tim Walz announced a district-by-district plan for the 2020-2021 school year due to the ongoing pandemic during a press conference on Thursday, July 30. School districts and charters will work with the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health to develop a plan of either distance learning, in-person learning, or a hybrid model. 

“Not all schools look the same, not all parts of the state look the same, and we need to take those into consideration,” Walz said. Regardless of each district’s chosen model, distance learning must be made available to families who choose to not attend in-person learning.

The framework to develop each district's plans will be a heavily-involved conversation with MDE and MDH to begin the year, and the MDH will continually be involved in each school district throughout the school year to monitor the situation and adjust plans based on the number of cases by county.

"It’s going to be a highly-consultative model,” MDH commissioner Jan Malcom said.

The Forest Lake Area School District will hold a special school board meeting today at 6 p.m. to discuss plans for the start of the year. The meeting can be viewed online at

Hannah Davis is the Area Editor at the Forest Lake Times. You can contact her at or (763)233-0709

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