Winona Area Public Schools will be closed March 16-27

Dear WAPS community, 

Earlier this morning, Gov. Tim Walz ordered that all schools in the state of Minnesota be closed from Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27 for the purpose of giving teachers and district staff time to prepare distance learning plans in case a longer closure is necessary to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

On Friday, we announced that we are closing school on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to give our district leadership and staff time to prepare for educating our students while following social distancing guidelines suggested by the Minnesota Department of Health. 

In light of the governor’s order this morning and our decision Friday, Winona Area Public Schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. During this time, all after-school activities, athletic team practices and events, Community Education programming and building rentals are canceled. 

Key Kids non-school child care will be offered on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 for families who have registered. A limited Key Kids program will be offered, with priority given to children of health care workers, first responders, law enforcement and other essential employees as classified by the Minnesota Department of Education, beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27.

The closure of schools creates a ripple effect throughout the community, and we are working with the state and other agencies to minimize the disruption to our families. Our plans are developing quickly, and we will have much more information to share with you in the near future.  

This is a situation unlike any other that we have faced in our proud 159-year history of educating Winona’s children, but as the governor said on Sunday, Minnesotans pull together in times of challenge. 

We may not have the answers to all of your questions at this time, but we are working in a collaborative fashion to come up with a comprehensive plan to ensure we continue to meet the needs of all learners in our district.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we will pass along more information when it is finalized.

Dr. Annette K. Freiheit
Winona Area Public Schools