Perham schools will begin to use more in-person instruction, beginning on Feb. 16, a news release from the Perham-Dent Public Schools said.

The Independent School District 549 Board gave the Incident Command Team the power to make those decisions without school board approval. That team met Wednesday, Jan. 27, to approve the in-person shift.

The rollout would be a phased-in approach. Students in seventh, eighth and ninth grade would begin more in-person instruction on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade would begin more in-person instruction on Monday, Feb. 22.

Monday, Feb. 15, is a staff development day, which would allow extra time for teachers to prepare for the transition to full in-person instruction at the high school.

“While we are certainly excited about the opportunity to provide more in-person instruction for our 7th-12th grade students, we do so cautiously optimistic,” Perham Superintendent Mitch Anderson said. “It’s important to understand that the potential for an increase in cases, quarantines, and learning model changes exists today no differently than it has all fall and winter.”

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The model would be for in-person instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday consisting of distance learning and a teacher planning day. It is required that time is allotted for teachers to have additional prep time during this transition period.

Parents still have the option for distance learning through Jacket Academy if they deem that is the safest option for their child.

The learning models are subject to change in case of an increase or surge in COVID-19 cases in the Perham, Dent and surrounding areas. The decision was made under the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota Department of Health and Otter Tail County Public Health Department.

The school implores people to continue following the Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 Prevention measures. Those measures can be found at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html.