Park Rapids, Nevis high schools shift to hybrid model

Grades 7-12 in Park Rapids, and grades 6-12 in Nevis, will report to school on alternating days, twice a week, at least until mid-October.

Three weeks into the 2020-21 school year, Park Rapids Area High School is looking at a paradigm shift from in-person to hybrid learning. (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

Park Rapids and Nevis school officials announced this week that upper-grade students will shift to the hybrid learning model in response to recent increases in the number of active COVID-19 cases in Hubbard County.

Park Rapids Area Schools

In a Wednesday family update for the Park Rapids area, Superintendent Lance Bagstad announced that the learning model for grades 7-12 will move from in-person to hybrid learning from Monday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Oct. 16.

This does not affect early childhood programs through grade 6.

Bagstad said that after consulting with regional support staff, the Minnesota Department of Health and public health officials, “by acting now to transition to a hybrid learning model, we believe it can help slow the spread of the virus.”

He noted that the county’s 14-day case rate increased dramatically during the past week and is now between 10 and 20.


Students whose last names begin with A-K will attend school in-person on Monday and Wednesday; L-Z, on Tuesday and Thursday. On opposite days, those students will do distance learning, with distance learning for all 7-12 students on Fridays, Bagstad said.

School lunch will continue to be available, he said. Students can pick up their lunch after school for the next day they will be learning at home.

Acknowledging the community’s support, Bagstad concluded, “We are all committed to keeping a safe and healthy environment for all.”

Nevis Public School

Students in grades 6-12 at Nevis Public School will be shifting to a hybrid learning model on Thursday, Sept. 24.

“After consultation with public health and the region support team, the district has elected to

have these students in the building half-time as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said Wednesday. “Our staff, parents and students have all been notified of the change as part of our return to learn plan. We knew at some point during the year that our efforts might have to shift toward a model which emphasized stricter adherence to social distancing and limiting room capacity.”


Parks said 50 percent of students in grades 6-12 will attend school every day, while elementary classes will continue learning in person.

“Our plan is to stay in the hybrid model with grades 6-12 until Oct. 19 at a minimum, but we may stay longer if the data leads us to extend,” he said. “We will continually review the infection rate in Hubbard County and within our communities and adjust back into our in-person model when it makes the most sense for the safety of our students and staff.”

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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