Starting in January, Williston Public School District No. 1 will move students at Williston Middle School and Williston High School from a hybrid schedule to all-day in-person teaching.

Hagan, Lewis & Clark, McVay, Rickard, and Wilkinson Elementary Schools will continue to operate on the current 4-day schedule.

Bakken Elementary and the ASB Innovation Academy will continue all-day in-person attendance Monday-Thursday and will add interventions on Fridays.

Both WMS and WHS will spend the first week of January on the hybrid schedule. Group A will meet Monday, Jan. 4 and Wednesday, Jan. 6, and Group B will meet Tuesday, Jan. 5 and Thursday, Jan. 7.

At WMS, students will be in school full time Monday through Thursday starting Jan. 11. Fridays are being set aside for intervention time with students.

At WHS, the in-person learning is being phased in over two weeks. Freshmen and sophomores will attend in-person Monday, Jan. 11 through Thursday, Jan. 14, with Friday set aside for interventions. Juniors and seniors will stay on the hybrid schedule that week.

All four grades return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 19 (Jan. 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day) through Thursday, Jan. 21, with Friday reserved for interventions.

The Virtual Academy will continue to operate as normal.

“Student achievement and safety continue to be the top priorities as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” Leon Walter, chief technology officer for the district wrote in a news release announcing the changes. “This decision was reached after careful consideration of COVID-19 data in our schools, current recommendations from the ND Department of Public Instruction and ND Department of Health, and feedback from students, parents, staff, and the community.”

The move comes as COVID-19 infection rates have fallen statewide. In mid November, there were 31 active cases among students and staff, along with 69 school-related quarantines and 169 non-school-related quarantines.

The most recent weekly report card for the district showed five active cases and a total of 61 quarantines, all of them from outside school.

The District 1 school board voted earlier this month to start offering free rapid COVID-19 tests for school staff. Those tests will start in January and are part of a state-sponsored pilot program to use rapid tests to slow the spread.

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