A flux in case rates could change mask recommendation for Crookston Public Schools

Things could change depending on community and county case rates, plus a vaccination clinic is planned for August 19

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Crookston School District has not made an official statement on whether there will be a mask requirement for the start of the 2021-2022 school year but they’re leaning towards a recommendation only at this time following language from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Superintendent Jeremy Olson told the Times. Olson explained that over the last week an increase in positive cases in Polk County has moved the area from low to moderate and that situation could change at any time.

    He added that an announcement will be sent to parents on August 17 in regards to mask recommendations, plus the district has scheduled a vaccination clinic for August 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. during school registration day at Crookston High School for anyone ages 12 and older.

    Olson says the district has developed a four-level system that outlines their response to community transmission rates and the school board is currently reviewing that system.

    “We need to be flexible as a district to ensure that the appropriate response matches the level of threat in our community,” he noted. “These proposed responses range from minimal mitigation strategies to mitigation strategies that would look like last year.”

    Olson says what the district decides to do for the start of the 2021-2022 school year will be based on what they are seeing in the community and could fluctuate as the county rates change.

    “All decisions will be made in consultation with Polk County Public Health,” he continued. “I want our school’s response to be governed by data as opposed to individual preference.”

    Olson also detailed the Minnesota School Board Association’s upcoming resolution for options for the return to school specifically for school boards to select from. Because resolutions need to be acted on by the school board, and given that Olson would like to let community members know about their plans on or before August 17, he anticipates that a special school board meeting will be scheduled.

Jeremy Olson