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Olson sets up series of ZOOM meetings for families

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Saying he wants to launch more two-way communication with Crookston Public Schools families when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and how its accompanying restrictions are impacting academics, athletics and activities, Superintentendent Jeremy Olson is launching a series of Zoom meetings with audiences capped to make it easier to have a conversation, and at different times to maximize convenience for those who want to participate.

    Olson is communicating the Zoom initiative to public schools families Thursday afternoon. The sessions are coming up fast, with a trio scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Each session is scheduled to last a half-hour and each will be focused on a quick presentation of current data on cases, the situation in schools, and a chance for participants to ask questions or give input on the next steps forward.

    If you want to participate in these sessions, contact the Crookston Public Schools District Office at 281-5313 ext. 3 to schedule which session you would like to participate in. A Zoom link will be sent out to the email that you provide when you call in and Zoom sessions will be limited to 10 Zoom links. If more people schedule than there are slots for, additional sessions over additional days will be added.

    “I have tried to keep you informed with information about how our district is doing during this pandemic. Most of my communication has been centered around information being pushed out to you, as we have not been able to have large meetings to inform you about these things,” Olson says in his message to district families. “With that being said, I believe that we need to have a back and forth conversation about our schools learning model, information on the actual numbers of positive cases, and the impact of our decisions on your family. At Crookston Public Schools communication is not just a value we list, it is a value that we follow.”

    Olson hopes an informal, small-group setting, even if it’s via Zoom and not actually in person, will spur a productive conversation.

    “What I have found over the course of my years as a superintendent is that the best communication happens in informal small group settings. I would like to begin these conversations with you as a family by holding small group zoom sessions that are limited to 10 zoom participants, with as many sessions as demand allows,” Olson says in his message. “I want to make sure that you as parents have an opportunity to hear information from me and have two way communication about our schools during this pandemic.”  

    What won’t be discussed and what Olson stresses cannot be discussed is COVID-19 case information relating to specific individuals, i.e. who’s tested positive.

    “I want to be clear that the only information that can be discussed is public information, we will not be discussing individual cases, nor will we be talking about any data that would be considered private. This time is designed to give a basic overview of the situation, answer questions that you may have, and to hear from you,” Olson explains in his message. “Think of this as an informal meeting to discuss schools during the time of a pandemic. Please consider this a personal invitation to join us at whatever session works best for you.”