Updated March 19, 2020
By order of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, all schools across the state will be closed effective no later than Wednesday, March 18 through March 27.
Governor Walz, in a press conference held on Sunday, March 15, made the order for all schools based on updated information from the Minnesota Department of Health.
“While children have been proven to be less vulnerable to this virus, and we haven’t seen significant spreading in our schools, we do anticipate that COVID-19 will have a sizable impact on our education system,” Walz said. “We cannot wait until the pandemic is in our schools to figure things out.”
Walz said individual schools will decide exactly when their first day of closure will be, however “the expectation is all schools will be closed by Wednesday.”
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker said at the same press conference that the closure is to enable districts to plan for “distance learning” should an extended school closure be required following this eight school-day closure.
Shortly after the announcement was made, the Cambridge-Isanti School District, announced they would be closed for students immediately on Monday, March 16.
Later in the afternoon on Sunday, Braham Area Schools announced school would be in session as normal on Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17 and would close beginning on Wednesday, March 18. North Branch Area Schools also announced they would conduct classes as normal on Monday and Tuesday.
Also as part of the order to close schools, Walz ordered all districts to come up with a plan to supply meals for students during the closure.
On Monday, March 16, North Branch Schools posted on their website how students can receive meals. Beginning March 18, NBAPS will have “grab and go” bag meals available for all students under the age of 18 at five different satellite locations Monday through Friday between 3-4 p.m.
The five locations are:
1. Sunrise Estates Mobile Home Park in Stacy
2. Countryside Mobile Home Park in North Branch
3. An empty parking lot in Harris located at 439th Street and Forest Blvd, next to Country Charm Store
4. Carl Almquist Lions Park in Almelund
5. Coventry Drive and Hillshire Ave in Casselberry
Cambridge-Isanti Schools will be offering two “grab and go” sites for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday while schools are closed. Those locations will be at the Cambridge and Isanti Primary Schools. Meals will be distributed between 9:30 a.m. and noon starting on Wednesday, March 18. All community members under 18 years-old may pick up meals.
Braham Area Schools
Braham will be providing a free meal and a snack to all kids age 3-18 at the Braham High School parking lot. The food will be distributed from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, beginning Wednesday, March 18 through May 27, or whenever schools are reopened.The service will not be offered March 23, April 10 and 13 and May 25.