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BEA has changes in times

Schools to get out earlier on certain days

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Nov 22, 2020

Students and families of the Blue Earth Area School District were informed that, beginning Nov. 30, students will be released 15 minutes early on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Every Wednesday students will be released one hour earlier than they normally are.

“Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-94 two weeks ago,” BEA superintendent Mandy Fletcher said. “It requires school districts to provide an additional 30 minutes prep time to teachers on a daily basis.”

In her email to district residents Fletcher explains the order was a surprise to schools and it took some time to work out the details and plans to meet the requirement.

“We know this may create hardships for some families, so we are offering school age care from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at no charge,” Fletcher explained. “Buses will run regular routes at both 1:15 p.m. as well as 2:15 p.m.”

Families with students in grades K-7 are being asked to fill out a survey so the district will know if their children will be going home at the earlier time on Wednesday or if they will be in need of school age care until 2:15 p.m.

“We encourage those families who have students attending church programs on Wednesdays to contact the church directly to see if their program will begin earlier due to the change in the school’s schedule,” Fletcher commented. “High school students are encouraged to stay for homework help in the media center on Wednesdays if needed.”

Fletcher stated the Jumpstart and Discovery programs are not impacted by the Wednesday schedule change, but they will be released 15 minutes early like everyone else on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

“We apologize for yet another change,” Fletcher mentioned in the email. “But please understand this change was out of our control and we must work within the guidelines set forth in this new Executive Order. They had to be implemented by Nov. 30 and they must be kept in place through the remainder of the school year.”