Recently, Duluth Public Schools Superintendent John Magas announced a mask requirement for anyone visiting a Duluth Public School building. At that time, he noted that a final decision on any mask requirements for the school year would be shared by August 24. That decision was announced Tuesday.

In announcing the decision, Superintendent Magas stressed that he's heard from both students and parents that in-person learning is essential. That being said, he also pointed out that many health organizations are recommending mask wearing in schools, including but not limited to: "The Centers for Disease Control, American Association of Pediatricians, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Pediatricians and St. Louis County Department of Health."

Therefore, Duluth Public Schools will begin the 2021-2022 school year with students in-person 5 days a week. At this time, no distance or hybrid learning models will be offered.

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Also, following the advice of the aforementioned health organizations, mask wearing will continue to be required for students age 2 and older, ISD 709 employees and the public in all ISD 709 buildings as the school year begins.

Furthermore, Duluth Public Schools strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for those 12 and older, however they will not be required by the school district. Vaccine clinics may be offered in partnership with ISD 709 community health partners.

You can read the entire Duluth Public Schools Safe Learning Play by following the button above, which includes updated guidance for building use by the community, athletics & activities, cleaning and day-to-day operations, among other information.

The goal is by having at least a mask requirement and with more students getting vaccinated, in-person learning can continue throughout the entire school year.

Of course, we all know that with the pandemic, change is always possible and ISD 709 will continue to work closely with the St. Louis County Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education to monitor local COVID rates and state and federal guidance.

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