MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are more changes this week for one of Minnesota’s largest school districts. Osseo Area Schools will now start their school year remotely for the first two weeks.

Friday started with yet another meeting for the Osseo School Board. Earlier this week, they voted to push back the school start date. Now, parents learned the district will do distance learning for the first two weeks of the year before switching to a hybrid model.

“It is a lot to keep track of,” Sommer Hougo admitted.

Hougo has been taking all of it in stride. Her third grader will attend an optional distance learning academy offered by the district, but her sixth grader will adhere to the hybrid model when it starts the end of September.

“It sounded to me like there was still some work to be done,” she said.

It’s a decision Hougo supports. The district cited high COVID-19 case numbers in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park and staff preparedness as the reasons for the delay. Like many families, the Hougo’s have made sacrifices. Sommer left her job to be able to help her kids navigate all of the uncertainty.

“At that time I knew it would push me over the edge to help with their schooling and work and all of the other things that come with a family,” she said.

Still, she is choosing to stay positive as a parent with a new role.

“I feel like I’ve gone from the sidelines where I’ve just been handing my kids over to school and I feel like a participator in their education,” Hougo said.

The Osseo School District also has twice as many students now enrolled in its distance learning academy than they originally planned on. More than 5,000 students have enrolled, so far. The shift of teachers, buildings, and other resources has also been a factor behind the delay.

Liz Collin

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