Superintendent Olson: PCPH consults continue

Submitted by Jeremy Olson
Crookston Times

    Greetings to the Community of Crookston! It has been some time since I last communicated to the community in this format and wanted to restart these communications after a summer full of planning and preparation for this school year. Here are some items that I would like to draw your attention to:

    Where are we at?

    This summer has been spent in a flurry of planning activity as we planned for several scenarios. Governor Walz issued guidance on what the models would look like and recommendations for when to be in which model in late July. August was filled with laying out and communicating our initial plan and how we would move through the plans. Crookston School District chose to be in model 2: Face to face for the elementary and hybrid (Gold/Blue days) for the high school. We did this because we wanted to support our families and provide a consistent model that we could stay in for quite some time. This is the model that we are currently in now and plan to remain in until the health data suggests that we should change models. If we move to model 3 in the future, this would necessitate us to move 5th and 6th grade to the Gold/Blue days and PK-4th grade would remain in person with requirements to be socially distanced by 6’. The high school would remain in the Gold/Blue day configuration.

    While the case numbers are going up as a county, the current health metrics such as the demographics of the positive cases and the location within the county on positive cases also play a factor. We are currently in weekly consultation with Polk County Public Health as we look for recommendations on the safest model.

    Students are adapting to the new regulations within school. Students are wearing their masks, and trying to socially distance. Staying socially distanced is tough for everyone as it is not what we are used to. Students seem to be making an effort to follow the guidelines as we understand that our behavior impacts our ability to have in person instruction. This is tough and I like most of you cannot wait to be able to go back to a normal school environment. With that being said, I am very thankful that we are able to have kids physically in school as this is what is best for kids and families.

    • School Bus Garage: Our bus garage continues to be on schedule after a two week delay due to rain earlier this year. I have included several pictures of this project to give you some insight on what the current project looks like. The projected completion date is the end of December with a move in date of early January. We are incredibly excited to move into this new bus garage and hope that it will serve the community for years to come.

    • Crookston High School expands Ag Education Offerings: Crookston Public Schools was fortunate enough to hire Whitney Rupprecht as part of an effort to expand Career and Technical Education at Crookston High School. Travis Oliver had spearheaded an intro to Ag class last year and given the level of interest by our students and community in Ag education, we decided to further expand our course offerings in Ag Education. Already this program has sought and secured a $5000 grant for the implementation of Ag Ed, FFA, and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) at Crookston High School. As part of the expanded curriculum we are also offering a Leadership class which focuses on building leadership skills which are highly sought in today’s work environment. Crookston is centrally located in a highly agricultural part of MN with an economy that is dependent on Agriculture or Agriculture services. We believe that the introduction of an Ag program at Crookston High School will greatly benefit our students now and into the future.

    • Thank you’s and Congratulations:

    Congratulations to RiverView Health for completing their renovation and modernization project at the hospital. We are incredibly lucky to live in a community that has such a great hospital. I am proud of the work that RiverView Health has done to turn vision into reality.

    Congratulations to the City of Crookston for hiring our new City Administrator Amy Finch. I am excited to have our new city administrator at the helm of the city as we all work for a bright future for Crookston.

    Thank you to our parents and community members for your continued support of Crookston Public Schools. This has been a very trying year for parents, students, staff, and community members as we try to move from surviving to thriving in this pandemic. We have asked our parents to screen their children, help with transportation, and be patient with the guidelines and requirements set by the state of MN. Thank you parents and community members for your continued support!

    Thank you to our teachers and staff who continue to work to ensure a safe learning environment. Our staff have been outstanding as we balance the educational and safety aspects of education in a pandemic. We have asked so much of our teachers and staff. Our staff have had to adapt the best practices of instruction to fit our current situation. Some of the methods and means of educating students have had to be altered as we balance education with safety. If you see an educator, please remember to thank them for the job that they are doing. It is an honor to work with such great people!

    As always if you would like to reach me, please contact me at 218-770-8717 or email me at Go Pirates!

Crookston School District Superintendent Jeremy Olson