SARTELL -- As school districts across the state continue to figure out how to teach during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some confusion on how those learning models are chosen.

In Stearns County, the case rate has risen over 30 which would suggest area school districts operate in a distance learning model, which St. Cloud has chosen to do.

However, for 3rd-12th grade students in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District they will remain in a hybrid learning model through the end of the month.

Krista Durrwachter is the COVID Coordinator for the district. She says early on, they were only tied to the county case rate, which isn't the only deciding factor now.

We do the county rates are increasing. Our local Sartell-St. Stephen school district rates are under 30 at 28.58 so that is why we made the decision to stay in hybrid for another two weeks. We haven't seen a high count in cases in our students or staff and looking at that trend data it is just starting to creep up.

Durrwachter says other factors they look at include school district case rates, building case rates and trend data over time.

She says like other school districts, they continue to meet regularly with local and state health officials to get continued guidance and direction to help make sure students stay safe.

The Sartell-St. Stephen School District makes a decision every two weeks on which learning model to follow. However, if cases increase those decisions can be made sooner.

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