BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Area Schools is looking to shift middle and high school students back to a hybrid learning model within the next few weeks.

According to a notice sent Jan. 6, school officials will meet with the Northwest Minnesota Regional COVID Support Team next week to seek permission to bring middle and high school students back to school around the beginning of the second semester, which they cited as a logical time to make a change in learning models.

Bemidji’s secondary students have been in a full distance learning model since Nov. 30.

To prepare for this potential shift, the district released some amended schedules for the Bemidji Middle School and Bemidji High School.

“As Beltrami County COVID numbers continue to decline, ISD 31 hopes to bring secondary school students back to school with the hybrid model within the next few weeks,” the notice said. “In an effort to help students complete the term and pass their classes during this challenging time of distance learning, both the middle school and high school will be extending second term and pushing back the start of third term by one week.”

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Officials noted that middle school and high school schedules will not be the same since each school has “substantially different needs as each school transitions back to the hybrid model,” including the need for high school students to complete finals and return textbooks.

The Bemidji High School will be extending its second term by one week, which district staff said allows for extra time to conclude instruction, provide intervention, and administer grades and final assessments.

The third term will start on Feb. 1, with the plan for students to attend virtually for the first two days while also picking up materials for their third term classes. The first day of hybrid learning will be Thursday, Feb. 4, for Group B Week students at the high school.

At the Bemidji Middle School, the last day of the second term will be Wednesday, Jan. 27. There will be no online or in-person classes for students at BMS on Jan. 28 and 29, to give teachers time to prepare for a return to hybrid learning on Feb. 1.

The hybrid model will begin at BMS with the start of the third term on Monday, Feb. 1 with Group B Week students attending in person at the middle school.