Moorhead High School moving to Distance Learning; can surrounding schools expect the same?

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 8:36 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Just 10 days after going back to school, High School Students in Moorhead will now be switching to distance learning. Moorhead Public Schools announced the decision this morning, saying that the changes will go into effect on September 28th.

Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Accountability in Moorhead, Dr. Jeremy Larson, told us that “Our number one concern is safety for students and staff. So we just ask everybody to play their part.”

The COVID-19 numbers in Clay County showed another sharp increase in the past two weeks with a 36.78 case rate per 10,000 people between August 23rd and September 5th. Moving high-schoolers to distance learning is the action that is outlined in the Minnesota Deparment of Health guidelines for schools.

Strand said that that increase in COVID cases was the deciding factor, adding that “We went from 13.6 to a little over 36. So it was a pretty big jump so we figured we had to do something to help slow that spread and get the numbers back down for the students.”

While Moorhead may be moving their students to distance learning, the majority of the school districts in Clay County are staying the course. So far the only other school that has moved to online classes is Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, who announced that decision earlier this week. Barnesville and Hawley will both be sticking with in-person classes according to their respective superintendents and UIen-Hitterdal has not announced any changes.

And as for their neighbors across the River, we also reached out to schools in Cass County to see if any of their schools are looking to switch their learning models. For the time-being we do know that Fargo and West Fargo Public Schools will continue their hybrid learning as COVID cases in North Dakota continue to climb. We were also told that Fargo Public Schools meet every two weeks to determine the risk level for their schools. Their next meeting is scheduled for Monday.

Superintendents from Northern Cass, Hope-Page, and Central Cass have all confirmed that they will continue in-person learning. The only school that has made any major changes is Kindred, who moved their High Schools to Distance Learning.

Since the majority of the cases listed affect adults aged 18-22. We reached out to Minnesota State University Moorhead to see if they were considering moving to distance learning. The school has 23 active cases on campus and have seen 80 total since they welcomed students back. A representative with the school said that they are monitoring the numbers in the county and confirm their safety level daily. Right now they are still at the “green” safety level which will allow them to continue in-person classes.

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