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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - So far, so good. That’s the assessment of the leader of Rochester’s Longfellow elementary school.

Because of its unique 45/15 schedule, Longfellow began the 2020/21 academic year July 27th. And because it opened before all other schools in the district, it became the first to use the hybrid model. That’s the model that has since been adopted by Rochester Public Schools for its elementary students when the new year begins. It offers a mix of in-class and distance learning.

Longfellow Principal Amy Adams says her school is transitioning to the district model, which won’t differ much from what has been in place the past four weeks. Adams says her students “have really done a nice job” in following the school’s COVID-19 safety protocols and parents have been very supportive.

Asked if she feels her students and staff can be considered guinea pigs, Adams says her school has become known as “pioneers” as they adapt to the changes under the new learning model. Teachers from other schools have been reaching out to Longfellow’s staff as they prepare for their own openings. Adams says she has also been contacted by education officials from around the state because Longfellow is one of only a few to open so early. RPS will begin its traditional class schedule Sept 2nd.

Adams says nearly 50 of her students are enrolled in full-time distance learning.

Adams says the recent dry weather has been a bonus as outdoor recess is offered to students during the days they are at the school.

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