Blooming Prairie Schools are planning for a distance learning week November 30 through December 4, according to an email sent to families, staff, and students in the district Friday by superintendent Chris Staloch.

In it he writes, "Due to a rise in COVID numbers in our area, having to quarantine several students and staff, seeing an increase in cases at our high school level (we just learned this morning of another positive case), and having staffing issues over the past couple of weeks we have decided to take a planned distance learning week Nov 30 through Dec 4 for all Blooming Prairie Public Schools students Pre-K - 12."

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Staloch indicates he has been in touch with school officials across southeast Minnesota and Steele County Public Health officials. Blooming Prairie serves students from several counties, but the majority of students reside in Steele County.

"Throughout these past couple of months, I have been in constant communication with our school board to share information and discuss how to best move forward as a school district," states Staloch.

Regarding activities and sports, Staloch wrote, "Our fall musical is this weekend, varsity football will finish up next week, and volleyball will finish in the coming weeks. Our fall extra-curriculars will have the opportunity to finish their seasons/activities. We will work with our Gopher Conference, MSHSL, and Steele County Public Health to determine the most appropriate time to start our winter extra-curricular seasons."

Dates/schedules for Blooming Prairie from Friday's superintendent email:

  • Nov 23-24, staff planning days
  • Nov 25-29, Thanksgiving break
  • Nov 30-Dec 4, planned distance learning week
  • Dec 7, resume in-person for Pre-K-6 and hybrid for 7-12

Visit the Blooming Prairie Schools website for more information.

In other area districts, Owatonna and Medford have announced plans for transitions to distance learning in the days and weeks ahead.