Crookston School Board to revisit learning model Dec. 3

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    In the wake of a shorthanded Crookston School Board earlier this month, after an hour or so of sometimes emotional debate, voting 3-1 in favor of moving all Crookston Public Schools students, staff and families to an entirely distance learning model until at least Dec. 9, the board and Superintendent Jeremy Olson will sit down at a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3 to go over the latest COVID-19 numbers in Polk County, Crookston and in the schools and decide what to do next.

    The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the CHS choir/orchestra room.

    “This meeting is to re-evaluate our return on Dec. 10,” Olson said.

    At the special meeting earlier this month, holding another special meeting in early December to consider extending the distance learning model until January was mentioned as being a possibility.

    Board members Frank Fee, battling COVID-19 himself, and Adrianne Winger were not in attendance at the Nov. 12 special meeting, when board member Dave Davidson’s motion to adopt a distance learning model until Jan. 2 failed. Davidson later made a motion to go to distance learning from Nov. 23 to Dec. 9, with no in-person sports or activities. Board member Mike Theis cast the lone vote against that motion.

Zoom sessions

    With a goal in mind of improved communicate with public schools families in a less formal setting, Olson hosted a series of Zoom meetings Tuesday evening, Nov. 24. Participation in each of the three sessions was capped at 10 to keep things simple. While Olson said he didn’t get the participation numbers he was hoping for, he said the Zoom chats were productive.

    “The main takeaways were that parents want to see in-person instruction taking place,” Olson tells the Times. “They also are concerned about the rising numbers in our county, however, they felt that school was a safe place for their kids.”

    Olson said he’s pondering some future Zoom sessions with families.