HUDSON -- Hudson School District is again asking the Department of Public Instruction to waive the minimum number of hours of instruction, as it did last school year.

The request is a common one for districts as they faced another year of COVID-19’s impacts.

Superintendent Nick Ouellette said the district would actually meet all requirements at all levels this year, except for the early Wednesday dismissals designed to give teachers the time they need as they manage both in-person and online learning.

There are close to 50 COVID-related waivers districts can request, but Ouellette said this is the only one the Hudson district felt it needed.

Here are three things to know about the district’s current COVID situation:

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1. Cases trending down

COVID-19 case numbers have continued to drop in the district since their peak in November. The last two-week period saw a total of 13 cases across the district.

“This would be arguably one of the top 3 or best 3 two-week periods we’ve had since we started school,” Ouellette said.

That’s good news, he said, considering all grade levels have been fully face-to-face since Jan. 19.

2. Staff vaccinations underway

About two-thirds of the district’s staff has received the first dose of the vaccine, Ouellette said. That group will be receiving their second doses starting this week.

It’s still a waiting game as to when the rest will be vaccinated, Ouellette said. Vaccination distribution is a challenge right now, something St. Croix County Public Health officer shared with the County Board. Last week, the county requested 400 vaccine doses from the state, and received 50. The previous week, it received zero.

3. Looking ahead

The district will start regular COVID meetings as it did last year, this time looking at when and how it will wind-down precautions, Ouellette said.

The district will begin thinking about what summer and next fall will look like, as well as whether spring events such as prom and graduation are a possibility.