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RPS parents can voice concerns with learning model at listening session on Thursday

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Some Rochester parents remain upset with the public school board as secondary students are still doing distance learning.

Frustrations for some families boiled over to a protest outside the district’s Edison administration building on Tuesday evening.

“We’re not understanding why some of those decisions are being made,” the co-organizer of the protest, Patricio Gargollo, told KTTC.

At the heart of recent concerns is the Jan. 5 decision by Rochester Public Schools to extend distance learning for grades six through 12. Those students have been out of the classroom since last March.

This is not the case for elementary students. Starting on Tuesday, grades Pre-K through two will begin hybrid learning. Grades three through five will move to hybrid learning on Feb. 1.

On Thursday night, the school board is holding a listening session where parents can voice their concerns. It’s happening over Microsoft Teams from 6 to 7 p.m. Click here if you would like to take part.

The school board has maintained that its decisions are based on the latest guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health and Gov. Tim Walz.

When announcing the decision on Jan. 5, the school board said secondary students will remain in distance learning “due to the COVID-19 transmission rates, per the MDE’s Safe Learning Plan guidance.”

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