COVID-19 information other languages: Hmoob - Español - Soomaali
Governor Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker have announced that all Minnesota public school districts and charter schools will extend the Distance Learning Period for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. Read Executive Order 20-41. The pair previously announced that all Minnesota public schools closed from March 18 through March 27, 2020, to allow districts and charter schools to develop distancing learning plans, which they began implementing on March 30, 2020.
Staff, parents and students may have questions and concerns about the novel (new) coronavirus outbreak, now called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with other state and local agencies to share information as it becomes available.
MDH has posted information on their website at Information For Schools, Colleges, and Universities on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Please share this information with your school administrators and health personnel, and ask them to share information with parents as they deem appropriate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted updated COVID-19-specific school preparedness/planning guidance on its website. Please also review CDC’s Pandemic Preparedness Resources for more information about what schools and other organizations can be doing to help protect our communities.
This is an evolving situation, so check back to the MDH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website often for the latest information. For assistance with health-related questions about the coronavirus outbreak, email the Minnesota Department of Health.
Summer Programming Guidance for Schools
Governor Walz and Commissioner Ricker have announced that Minnesota public school districts and charter schools may choose to use a hybrid in-person and distance learning model, or a distance learning model for summer learning. This also applies to extended school year services. School buildings may also host other summer programming, if they can adhere to the updated public health guidelines. The pair previously announced that all Minnesota public schools will extend the Distance Learning Period for the rest of the 2019-20 school calendar year. View the Minnesota Summer Programming Guidance for Schools under "Guidance for Districts and Schools" below.
Distance Learning Support and Trainings for Educators
Schools are community hubs for children and families. School closures put burdens on children and families and disproportionately impact communities of color, as well as indigenous, immigrant, low-income families and communities, and students with disabilities and their families. Throughout the distance learning period, MDE continually assessed the efficacy of the programming and services, issued additional guidance when necessary, and determined a need for additional supports for our most underserved students and families as well as students whose education may require limited on-site services. As a result, MDE has created a plan to begin to address inequities by focusing on four areas of improvement and support:
Expanding access to, and support with, technology (coming soon)
Partnering to support student safety and wellness (coming soon)
Federal Title Programs Fiscal Waiver: Flexibilities for Existing Funding
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the availability of waivers to certain fiscal and programmatic requirements of some grant programs within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). On April 8, 2020, Minnesota applied for this waiver, in order to support districts and charter schools in our response to the ongoing national emergency. This will help provide relief from some federal fiscal and programmatic requirements in existing grant programs for this federal fiscal year. Minnesota received approval of our waiver application on April 9, 2020. View Minnesota’s waiver.
2019-20 Statewide Assessments
Minnesota has closed statewide assessments for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, including MCA and MTAS. The U.S. Department of Education has approved a waiver to Minnesota for the federally mandated standardized statewide assessments, accountability, and reporting requirements due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Learn more about the waiver issued by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Check this page often to track school-related updates on the COVID-19 response. You can sign up to receive email notifications when this page is updated. We have also added sub pages to help organize the COVID-19 information. Find up-to-date program guidance on these topics in the left navigation, or use the links provided below:
- Student Instruction
- Food and Nutrition Services
- Special Education
- Supporting Students and Families
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs and COVID-19
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) COVID-19 Guidance
- COVID-19 Q Comp and Teacher Development and Evaluation Guidance - Updated 04/27/20
- Achievement and Integration Questions and Answers
Guidance for Districts and Schools
Minnesota Summer Programming Guidance for Schools - 5/26/20
Minnesota Distance Teaching and Learning Implementation Guidance - 5/21/20
This document provides information for Minnesota public school districts and charter schools on the logistics and funding of their distance learning programs, including nutrition programs and school-age care for children of critical workers, during the distance learning period.
Prioritization of Children of Families Working in Critical Sectors - 5/14/20
Minnesota Graduation Ceremony Guidance - 5/8/20
Excessive Absences Guidance and Application for Individual Student - 4/30/20
Minnesota Department of Health Guidance for Use of School Buildings - 4/30/20
This document provides guidelines from MDH that must be adhered to by school districts and charter schools who are using school building for very specific bilingual/multilingual seals assessments and hands-on course completion requirements outlined in the Minnesota Distance Teaching and Learning Implementation Guidance document.
Student Transportation During Distance Learning - 4/28/20
Options for Staff Who May Need Reassignment - 4/24/20
School Closure Guidance for Minnesota Public School Districts and Charter Schools - 3/27/20
This guidance document was developed to help public school districts and charter schools develop their distance teaching and learning plans, during the school building closure from March 18-27, 2020.
Distance Learning Plan Template - 3/26/20
Legal requirements and factors to consider.
Direct access, best practices and where to go for more information.
MDE/MDH COVID-19 Guidance for Schools - 3/13/20
Community Mitigation Strategy Guidance from CDC - 3/12/20