District makes changes to schedule

Tracy Area Public Schools has been able to avoid going to distance learning so far, but in light of rising COVID-19 numbers in the county, it has decided to adjust the daily schedule.

“If you look at the county numbers right now, it’s gonna scare you,” Tracy Area High School Supt. Chad Anderson said. “If we went by the county numbers, we would’ve been in distance learning a long time ago. You would have to be living under a rock if you didn’t realize the numbers are on the rise — nationwide and in Minnesota. In Lyon County, it’s spiking. The numbers in our city, district and area are going up as well.”

In response to those rising numbers, the District No. 2904 school board Monday approved a number of motions that will alter the TAPS schedule. The changes are:

• Starting Monday, Nov. 30, Tracy Area Elementary School will release at 2:30 p.m., and the high school will dismiss at 2:20 p.m. This is the result of an amended executive order from the governor that mandates school districts must count 30 minutes per day for teacher prep to provide instruction to students in distance learning or hybrid learning. This time is in addition to a school district’s teacher prep time established under Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 122A.50. Board member Jody Bauer made the motion to allow the early dismissal, and Matt Surprenant seconded.

“We wanted to give 30 minutes every day, because we felt it was more beneficial to be able to give a little extra time to be able to plan and prepare instead of having one day periodically, or half a day once a week,” said Anderson. “We felt this would cause the least disruption in our parents’ schedules.”

Coaches will be allowed to do their prep time before or after school.

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