MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Another metro school district has pushed back its start date as it weighs options for the school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Osseo Area School board voted to push back its start date to September 14 at a meeting Tuesday night. It also voted down a distance learning model to start the school year, in favor of a hybrid model that will include some in-person teaching.

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The district superintendent cited a higher number of COVID-19 cases in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, as well as staff preparedness.

“The goal would be to start our hybrid model on the 19th [October] so that would be after MEA and that gives us a month to develop and prepare,” Osseo Area Schools superintendent Cory McIntyre said.

Before the meeting, parent Mandy Wroolie had a feeling that the plans for her kindergartener’s school year were still not decided.

“Honestly it makes me mad,” Wroolie said. “We closed down in March, the districts were told have plans in place.”

A staff survey from the district revealed 176 teachers requested to work remotely, and about a third of the substitute teachers were willing to sub in a hybrid model. Still, the distant learning proposal failed 3-2, keeping the original plan to start the year in a hybrid model.

“I want my kids in school and I would actually prefer they go full time but not in this chaos,” parent Courtney Johnson said.

A district spokesperson told WCCO that the board members did leave the door open to allow for different recommendations to be proposed at a future meeting, but no date has been set.

Kate Raddatz