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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Plans for bringing some students back to classrooms in the Rochester Public Schools will be presented to the Rochester School Board on Tuesday while some students in at least one nearby school district are returning to their classrooms full-time today.

After a swearing-in ceremony for the two new members of the school board, the agenda for the first meeting of the new year includes a briefing on a new pandemic learning model that calls for shifting to a hybrid rolling start and gradual transition to full in-person learning for elementary students beginning January 19th. It also shifts older students back to a distance-learning model with some limited opportunities for in-person instruction for certain at-risk students.

The plan would cancel classes for elementary students on January 14th and 15th to allow teachers to prepare for resuming the hybrid learning model used at the beginning of the school year for PreK through 2nd-grade students starting January 19th. Students in grades 3 through 12 would continue distance learning until early February when it's expected the 3rd through 5th graders would return to class part-time under the hybrid model.

In the second half of February, the school district hopes to bring PreK through 2nd-grade students back to class full time. It's anticipated the older elementary students will return to their classrooms full-time around March 1st. According to the school district, community spread of the COVID-19 virus remains too high to consider ending distance learning for middle and high school students.

Meanwhile, elementary students in the Byron School District are returning from the winter break to full-time in-person learning today. A hybrid learning model will be used for Byron 6-12th graders.

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