BEMIDJI -- When leaves begin to fall and students begin to sharpen their new pencils, some may be doing so in socially distanced classrooms, while others may learn from inside their homes.

Area schools have all been using outside-the-box thinking to try to ensure a safe and successful learning environment. Here are what are schools are planning so far:

Area Public Schools

Public and charter schools are expected to follow state guidelines, while private schools have a bit more leeway.

Bagley Public Schools

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  • Opening plan: During a special school board meeting Aug. 22, the board decided on in-person learning for all students. Students may opt for distance learning.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

Bagley Public Schools have released health and safety strategies, available on the school website. Students, if in-person, would be required to wear masks and participate in a daily wellness self-screening.

Bemidji Area Schools

  • Opening plan: Elementary students will attend in person, with hybrid models in place for students in middle and secondary school. Students may opt for distance learning.

  • Start date: Sept. 14

The Bemidji Area Schools Board of Education opted to shift the school start date from Sept. 8 to Sept. 14, to give teachers more time to make plans. Students will be required to wear face coverings. Hybrid learning will occur on a rotating A Week/B Week schedule to keep students in smaller groups.

Red Lake Public Schools

  • Opening plan: Distance learning for all students.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

Students will follow a three-week rotating class schedule. Students will have fewer classes at a time but for longer a duration. This schedule will be followed all year regardless of learning plan changes. All students will be given a laptop to use to interact with their teachers and complete their assignments. Families will make appointments to meet with teachers and receive devices in lieu of a traditional open house.

Blackduck Public Schools

  • Opening plan: In-person for elementary students, hybrid for middle and high school students. Distance learning remains an option for students.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

Students in Pre-K through sixth grade will be considered elementary and attend in-person classes Tuesday through Friday. Students in grades 7-12 will attend class in-person every other day.

Cass Lake-Bena Schools

  • Opening plan: Distancing learning for all students

  • Start date: Sept. 9

Distance learning will continue for at least the first five weeks of school, where after the situation will be reevaluated. Chromebooks will be distributed to all students grades 4-12, and younger upon parent request.

Kelliher Public Schools

  • Opening plan: In-person for elementary and hybrid for high school students. Distance learning options will be available for all.

  • Until when? Until case numbers per 10,000 increase or decrease.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

Kelliher Public Schools will follow a shortened school day schedule, beginning school at a delayed time of 9:30 a.m. Superintendent Paul Grams said in a video to the community, this will allow in-person learners to wear their masks for a shorter amount of time and give teachers an extra hour in the morning to help distance learners with assignments.

Area Charter Schools

Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School

  • Learning plan: Distance learning for all students.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig will provide a Chromebook to each enrolled student. These will be issued at orientation events, where students and families will be trained on the basic operating systems of the hardware, and introduced to the platforms by which instruction will be delivered.

Students will also be able to access in-person support services and tutoring at the school upon request.

TrekNorth High School

  • Learning plan: While the decision will be finalized on Aug. 27, as of Tuesday, TrekNorth’s website said, “currently TrekNorth is preparing for hybrid-learning. No more than 50% of students will be in the building at any one time.” Distance learning will be an option for students.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

TrekNorth will require masks and provide students with devices. Hotspots will be provided to students upon request.

Voyageurs Expeditionary School

  • Learning plan: Hybrid learning model for all students. Distance learning available as an option for all.

  • Start date: Sept. 14

Students will attend in-person classes on a rotating weekly schedule. Students that are not in school will be expected to attend their same class schedule via the Google platform. Orientations will be held in early September so students can pick up devices and learn more about instruction methods.

Area Private Schools

Heartland Christian Academy

  • Learning plan: As of Tuesday, plans had not yet been publicly announced. The school website indicates in-person learning will be in place for all students.

  • Start date: Sept 8

St. Mary’s Mission School

  • Learning plan: Distance learning for all students.

  • Start date: Sept. 8

Distance learning will continue until the end of September, and then will be reevaluated.

St. Philip’s Catholic School

  • Learning plan: In-person learning for all students, distance learning option for students who need it.

  • Until when? Will remain in-person unless there is a need to go full distance learning due to an outbreak in coronavirus cases.

  • Start date: Sept. 1

In an effort to reduce the number of children and adults each child interacts with throughout their day, students will be divided into cohorts. Students will have lunch, class and recess with their cohort. Individual Distance Learning will be implemented for individual students who will be best served in this manner. Individual distance learning will be a semester at a time.