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Superintendent Olson: Update on COVID impact on the school district

Submitted by Crookston School District Superintendent Jeremy Olson
Crookston Times

    Community Members,  

     We are off to a very good but different school year this year. As a school and staff we are doing everything we can to keep our kids safe and classrooms open for in-person learning. We have asked our parents to help us screen students in the morning, we are doing temp checks every morning, where possible we are socially distancing, and we are all wearing masks to help blunt transmission of COVID-19. We know that in-person learning is best for students, both from an academic and social emotional standpoint. Our administration and staff strongly believe that we must support our kids and families by keeping our students in the very best learning environment possible. We cannot do this without your help.  

     We are watching as our numbers as a county continue to surge. Our 14-day numbers have increased this week to 33 which by 14-day numbers alone would put us in Model 4 territory. Model 4 would mean in person learning for the elementary and distance learning for high school. We are fortunate in that the governor has allowed us to look at our local situation before making any changes. Locally the impact to our school district has been relatively low and the case rate for school age students in our county is also not justifying a change in model. We continue to seek guidance from Polk County Public Health and at this time they are recommending based on the local data to remain in our current model. What we as a school need from our community is your help to stop the spread of COVID-19. I am concerned that if COVID-19 starts to impact our school age population we will be forced to change models which could eventually lead us to distance learning. I have no doubt that our staff is positioned to do a great job with distance learning; however, we all know that distance learning as a model is less effective for a majority of our students, especially our most vulnerable students.  

     We are asking for your help to do these simple common sense things to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

     ● Practice Social Distancing of 6 feet or more.  

     ● Wear a mask when in a building around others

     ● Wash your hands frequently

      ● Stay home if symptomatic

     We must learn to go about our daily lives in a safe manner. Our behavior individually as members of this community impacts the schools ability to provide in person education for our students. We are not advocating shutting down school, we are advocating for in-person learning because we know this is best for students. We are also advocating that we can only continue in person learning if we can keep our students and staff safe. We need your help!  

     Respectfully,  

Jeremy Olson-Superintendent

Stacey Grunewald-School Nurse

Kathy Stronstad-Special Services Director  

Denice Oliver- Washington Elementary Principal

Chris Trostad- Highland Elementary Principal

Eric Bubna-Crookston High School Principal  

Matt Torgerson-Crookston High School Assistant Principal