Last updated: Aug 7
Note: New content in bold
We are offering a full-year, fully online option for families in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. There will be a K-2 cohort and a 3-5 cohort, taught by experienced Minnehaha teachers. You must register for a semester of Distance Learning no later than Monday, August 10, 8 am. You are registering only for fall semester; you are not committing to distance learning for both semesters. However, you must choose in-person learning (no action needed) or distance learning.
It is possible to move to distance learning after choosing in-person, but it is not possible to start the distance program and then transition to in-person before the semester break at the end of December. We are asking for a semester decision because of the logistical complexities. The on-campus cohorts are being carefully constructed and it will be difficult to make changes to the cohorts once we’ve launched.
Minnehaha’s on campus, in person small group instructional model mirrors the traditional hybrid. A traditional hybrid reduces the amount of students in a building so that the number of students are much lower than the building’s capacity. Minnehaha’s enrollment numbers are already lower than capacity, unlike many public schools, so on our campus, the in-person small group instructional model has the characteristics of a traditional hybrid.
We have 2 teachers, one for Kindergarten–2nd graders (Alison Schmitz) and one for 3rd–5th graders (Mary Jo Severson). We will determine the school day schedule and appropriate cap once we learn what the demand is for the distance learning option. The online teachers are highly skilled, know our school community and our learners. Teachers will target their instruction based on student need, which means that there will be times when students are working with chronological peers and there may be times when they are working with students in another grade.
Students will receive the same curriculum as students receiving live instruction, but the delivery will be different. The instructional day will consist of a combination of synchronous (live) instruction, one-on-one and small group sessions, and independent work time. Specialist content will be delivered by their teacher rather than through Minnehaha’s subject-area specialist teachers.
An iPad and all technology needs will be provided.
This opportunity will require a substantial daily commitment from parents. Teachers will deliver an excellent program, and will rely on parents to ensure that students are present for synchronous learning times, working during independent work times, etc.
Students in the Distance Learning classes will have access to the Lower School reading and math learning specialists and counselor as needed, and they will engage in pre-recorded Chapels as a class together. Access to our library will be available through curbside pickup, and our library staff is available to help with book selection.