COVID-19 Updates

Governor Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker have announced that all Minnesota public school districts and charter schools will implement a Distance Learning Period beginning on March 30, 2020, until at least April 30, 2020. Read Executive Order 20-19. 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 will now begin implementing on March 30, 2020.

About COVID-19

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.

Federal Waiver Application

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on March 20, 2020, students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized statewide assessments for the 2019–20 school year. The U.S. Department of Education has made a waiver process available to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated assessment, accountability, and reporting requirements for this school year.

Minnesota’s Federal Waiver Application is available for public review and comment. Open this survey to give us your feedback. The public comment period closes at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 27.

Staying Updated

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:

Guidance for Districts and Schools

  • Minnesota Distance Teaching and Learning Implementation Guidance - 3/31/20
    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 March 30 - May 4, 2020 distance learning period.
  • 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
    Updated 3/31/2020
  • Options for Staff Who May Need Reassignment - 3/25/20
  • School-age Care for Children of Critical Workers - State List - 3/25/20
  •  - 3/25/20
    Legal requirements and factors to consider.
  •  - 3/25/20
    Direct access, best practices and where to go for more information.
  • Q-and-A on School Closure - 3/24/20
    This Q-and-A document provided answers to questions throughout the March 18-27 distance learning planning period.
  • MDE/MDH COVID-19 Guidance for Schools - 3/13/20
  • Excessive Absences: Application for Individual Student - 3/13/20
  • Community Mitigation Strategy Guidance from CDC - 3/12/20