I wanted to share some newsworthy information with all the stakeholders of Little Falls Community Schools pertaining to a return to In-Person school for our students in January 2021. The COVID case rate numbers for Morrison County and LFCS are at their lowest points in nearly ten weeks, and we are hopeful that this trend will continue throughout the rest of December and into January. This gives us the confidence to be able to announce some exciting information about returning our students to school:

  • Preschool and Elementary students in the district will return to In-Person Learning on Monday, January 11.
  • Middle School and High School students are slated to return to In-Person Learning on Tuesday, January 19. Should the data not support a return to In-Person for the secondary students, the district will instead begin back in a Hybrid model for Middle School and High School students on January 19. However, the preference is to bring secondary students back to school In-Person on January 19.
  • Activities have been cleared to begin on Monday, January 4. Our Activities Department continues to update the information concerning sports, fine arts, and academic extracurricular activities. Contact the Activities Department @ 616-2207 with any questions you may have

There are some significant calendar changes to inform you about as we approach the rest of the school year:

  • February 15 will now be a full student day of school. This is a makeup day for the Snow Day we had back in November
  • One of the latest mandates schools have been given dictates that teachers who instruct at all in a distance learning format must be provided an additional 30 minutes of time per school day to prepare. It is impossible for us to accommodate this mandate from the Minnesota Department of Education within our normal Monday- Friday schedule. Thus, beginning on January 15, we will be adding 19 Early Releases to the school calendar for the rest of this school year to accommodate this mandate. The Early Release dates (12:00 noon) are January 15 & 29; February 5, 11, 19, & 26; March 5, 12, 19, & 25; April 1, 9, 16, 23, & 29; and May 7, 14, 21, & 28.
  • The new calendar can be found on the district calendar page.

Lastly, we have learned a lot through the first four months of the 2020-2021 school year. One aspect that will be changing at the start of Second Semester (January 25) will be the elimination of Hybrid Learning as a Student / Family Choice. It has proven to be extremely difficult for staff to be responsible for students who are in all three Learning Plan formats at the same time–In-Person, Hybrid, and Distance. Students and Families will still have the option of either In-Person (when applicable) or full Distance Learning after January 25 but no longer will they be able to have Hybrid as a choice option. For those students who have opted for Hybrid, your school will be in touch with you after January 1 to determine your preference as of January 25. The COVID data may determine that a school moves in its entirety to Hybrid Learning but no longer will there be an option for individual students to choose Hybrid as a Learning Plan option effective January 25.

I know it’s been a challenging four months but I know I speak for all of us when I say that hopefully we are over the hump. As always, please reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you and your family.

I wish a truly blessed Holiday Season!

Stephen Jones
Superintendent, Little Falls Community Schools