Crosslake School to have full in-person classes

‘Learning pods’ will be available for students who opt for distance learning

Crosslake Community School signage/logo on the school building.

When schools begin Tuesday, Sept. 8, Crosslake Community School will offer in-person classes Mondays through Fridays for its pre-K-8 students.

For families who have decided to keep their children home, CCS will provide students with distance learning pods.

While most of the schools in the region that are offering in-person learning have reduced class time, CCS is moving forward with a plan to offer classes from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. five days a week. This plan is subject to final approval from the Minnesota Department of Education’s Regional Support Team.

This schedule will continue even if COVID-19 cases go above the state’s requirement to switch to hybrid learning.

“We are able to do this because our school will offer smaller class sizes, expand beyond the building if needed and ensure strict social distancing,” Executive Director Cliff Skagen said in a news release.


However, following state law, if the COVID-19 14-day case rate per 10,000 people exceeds 30, CCS will be required to implement distance learning for seventh- and eighth-grade students. If that case rate exceeds 50, the school will implement distance learning for all students.

CCS has plans in place for expanding classes beyond the building, if needed, by using nearby commercial space. In addition, the school will have at least two “Fresh Air Classrooms," which are outdoor classrooms that serve many purposes. Recent studies have found that the odds of catching the coronavirus are nearly 20 times higher indoors than outdoors.

In addition to creating classrooms that are safer for students and teachers, the Fresh Air Classrooms enhance the school’s environmental focus.

Skagen added that research has shown that outdoor learning can improve standardized test scores and graduation rates.

The school is taking a unique approach to distance learning by implementing “Learning Pods” for the students.

In addition to working with their regular classroom teacher, each distance learner will be assigned to a small pod of students that is supported by a learning coach. The learning coaches will guide and support students; communicate with parents and guardians; and find solutions to problems that may arise.

“Distance learning this fall will be very different from the distance learning of last spring,” Skagen said. “Last spring, teachers had to implement plans on an emergency basis. Now, they have had time to design quality, standards-based lessons.”

Another option available to 5-12 students is the Crosslake Community Online School.

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