Minnesota schools fast-track plans for permanent online learning options

Cathe Lewis’ three children have spent the school year learning from home, steering clear of the potential COVID-19 health risks and schedule disruptions of in-person or hybrid instruction.

Along the way, the family discovered something surprising: online learning was a good fit, especially for her son, a sixth-grader with autism.

“Early on in the school year he was like, ‘Can we keep doing this, can I stay in online school?’†‰” Lewis said. Her answer: Yes.

Bloomington Public Schools, where the family is enrolled, is one of a surging number of Minnesota school districts planning to make full-time online school a permanent option for thousands of students. Buoyed by nearly a year of experience with online learning, and facing a still-uncertain timeline for the pandemic’s end, some school leaders are pushing hard to launch their own online schools as soon as this fall.

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