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Back-to-School 2021: Gearing up for school in-person five days a week

After a year with multiple learning format changes, enhanced health and safety protocols, and other impacts to the school day, Anoka-Hennepin Schools is preparing to welcome students back to school for the start of the 2021-22 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 7. 

Anoka-Hennepin will continue to prioritize protecting the health and safety for staff and students and monitor any impact of COVID-19 on school operations. The following guidance is being provided now to families in advance of the school year to support planning decisions about the upcoming year. 

Learning formats

  • All students will return to in-person learning five days a week; those requesting distance learning need to enroll in a K-12 virtual academy online school option now offered in Anoka-Hennepin. The A/B hybrid learning format will also not be offered in 2021-22. 
  • Students will not be able to move between in-person and distance learning/virtual programs with the same freedom as they experienced last year. The elementary and middle school virtual academy online school programs are a full-year commitment for students. Learn details of the high school program or to register at any level visit ahschools.us/virtualschool. 

Face coverings/masks

  • Face coverings/masks are not required for either students or staff but are recommended for those not vaccinated. This guidance applies both inside buildings or in outdoor settings.
  • Face coverings/masks are required on student transportation. This is a federal requirement and not a rule under the authority of the school district. 

Health and safety protocols 

  • The district will maintain the Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization system and enhanced air quality standards, hand sanitizer stations, encourage hand washing, and continue enhanced cleaning methods as strategies to protect students and staff.
  • Students and staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine or isolate and will be limited to household members based on recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health. Please notify health service at your students' school if symptoms or positive tests for COVID-19 occur. School will not conduct contact tracing initially unless circumstances require.
  • Social distancing is not required; no group size limits (assemblies, concerts, etc). This will continue to be monitored and could change based on conditions in the school setting. 

Vaccinations and testing

  • COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 are not required by the school district. 

Other frequently asked questions

  • Student meals will be provided at no charge for the second consecutive year due to a program funded through the federal government. High school students will need to use their student identification card for meals.  
  • Volunteers will begin to serve in school settings although the timeline has yet to be established. 
  • Visitors at the elementary school level will continue to be limited until students are eligible for vaccinations. 
  • Field trips and travel for school programs will be restored. Details will be shared by schools and program coordinators based on the situation. 
  • Families who need alternate bus stops for daycare, or that are enrolled in Adventures Plus in the upcoming school year must complete a daycare transportation request form by July 30 to ensure school bus service the first day of school.

This information is based on current guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education as of mid-July and guidance could change based on further direction.   

Register now: Let us know you’re coming to school

Families who are returning their students to Anoka-Hennepin this fall are asked to complete online “back to school” verification now to aid the district in providing staffing for the upcoming year. Parents/guardians can log into the “My Student Information” program on A-HConnect to complete the forms, accessible via the lock and key on the upper right corner of the ahschool.us website. Contact 763-506-HELP (4357) for technology assistance, username or password help or other program questions.  

Minnesota Student Survey

Students in Anoka-Hennepin Schools will have the option to participate in the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) during the 2021-22 school year. The MSS is the most comprehensive resource regarding the health and well-being of students in Minnesota since 1989. The survey will potentially be conducted for students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11 between the months of January and May 2022. Parents/guardians will be able to review the survey document and will have the option to opt their child out of participation. Additional information will be provided to parents/guardians directly in advance of the survey timeframe.
For additional information please contact retuser@ahschools.us.