Following a move other states like Wisconsin have already made, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed an executive order to temporarily close the state's K-12 schools to students from Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27.

The closure, made by Executive Order 20-02, will be used by teachers and administrators to work with the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health to make long term plans that may include distance learning.

Walz says during the week and a half period, schools will still be required to provide care for elementary-aged children of health care professionals, first responders, and emergency service workers.

In the order, Governor Walz said the following:

"I realize that schools are community hubs for children and families. School closures put burdens on children and families and create disproportionate impacts on different communities. For that reason, we must ensure that schools and school districts continue to provide support to Minnesota families, even while students are not in the classroom. We must also act to minimize disruptions caused by school closures on the state's healthcare system and emergency workers.

In addition to schools, families with young children depend on child care providers. Centerbased and family child care providers provide an essential service to our children, and they ensure that our economy and workforce can thrive. Unlike schools, these settings are smaller and do not need to plan for distance learning. We must continue to support child care providers' efforts to remain open and comply with public-health guidance as they provide essential services to Minnesota."

The full order (which you can see here) lays out details about how these closures will impact district employees, students, and families across the state.

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