On Jan. 20, MPS announced through a Special Edition Superintendent Communique that all MPS schools will move to virtual learning on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and Wednesday, Jan. 26, with no school taking place on Monday.
According to the announcement, there were multiple factors that contributed to the decision to temporarily close in-person learning, with one reason being understaffing due to a rise in COVID cases sweeping through the district. MPS has also seen a rise in cases because of the use of close-contact tracing as a way to detect positive cases in schools. Currently, some schools in MPS have some of the highest cases numbers in the state. According to the MPS website, there are 185 staff and students combined with positive COVID cases and 503 close contacts.
In the new Communique it states, “the District has made no secret that MPS is firmly committed to in-school instruction. As educators, we know face-to-face learning is best for students and is preferred by students, parents, teachers, and staff. However, in order to keep in-person learning viable, consistent, and continuous, and with MPS professional staff in our classrooms, we feel it is best to utilize a flexible calendar over the next few weeks.”
Although cases are high now, a decline in cases is expected to come in February.