Superintendent Olson on School Registration Day, free/reduced meals, masks and more

Submitted by Superintendent Jeremy Olson

Greetings from Crookston Public Schools! 

Join us for the Back to School Registration Day on August 19th at Crookston High School. This event starts at 7:30am and ends at 6:00pm. Come register for school, get questions answered, and gear up for a great school year! 

Fill out Free and Reduced Forms and we will waive your fees!

We want to remind everyone that we need you to fill out the free and reduced lunch form for this coming year. To encourage the filling out of these forms we are waiving the tech fee ($40.00) as well as the Kindergarten supply fee ($15.00) for those of you that fill out this form regardless of income level or qualification. Last year we lost about $250,000 dollars worth of compensatory aid because our overall number of qualifying forms dropped. We will waive the tech fee and the Kindergarten supply fee for completed forms regardless of qualification status. 

Link to fill out free and reduced form electronically https://family.titank12.com/

Vaccination

Anyone who is 12 years of age or older can receive a free COVID 19 vaccination. There is also an incentive of $100 for each qualifying person who gets vaccinated.

Crookston Public Schools is hosting Polk County Public Health on August 19th from 11:00am to 12:45pm for a vaccination clinic at Crookston High School. We want to keep our kids in school and participating in school activities and the best way to let them play and participate is to get vaccinated. More information on the advantages of vaccination can be found at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/vaxteen.pdf .

Our first and best strategy for keeping our students safe is to get vaccinated. Please consider vaccinating your children prior to school. If you have any questions on vaccinations or how to get a vaccination please contact Polk County Public Health at 218-281-3385 for more information on vaccination can be found at https://www.co.polk.mn.us/191/Public-Health.

What will back to school look like for this year?

Last month, I was confident that we would have a normal looking year. This confidence has subsided as we see yet another surge hitting our country. The transmission rate for our county recently moved from low to moderate and we are still in relatively good shape compared to other parts of the country as well as other parts of the state. While we are attempting to ensure that this year is as normal for your students as possible, we must be prepared to take steps to increase mitigation strategies if or when the health situation warrants it. 

Will masks be mandated for the coming school year? 

The simple answer is that we haven’t made the final decision on this issue. Masks are still required on school buses per federal regulations. Our response is up to local control, which I very much appreciate! Our current stance is to recommend and not require masks for students and staff. What we do not yet know is what the situation will be like in four weeks. The final decision on whether or not to require masks will be determined by multiple factors such as level of community transmission, vaccination rates, and upon consultation with public health. Even if masks aren’t required based on our local data, people are welcome and encouraged to wear a mask in any situation where parents or students feel it is needed. 

When will final decisions on next year be made and communicated?

We plan to make the decision on how we will be starting school by August 17th so that we can communicate this to our staff and families. The level and therefore the restrictions will be dependent on what the data is telling us and will be done in consultation with Polk County Public Health as it is our obligation to maintain a safe environment for our students and staff. 

Will distance learning be available for next school year? 

Distance learning will not be available as a universal option to all families. We will be allowing distance learning only if your student is quarantined by the school. The student will be expected to follow the same school schedule as prior to the quarantine. 

What if my child or family has a specific health concern?

For families who have a serious health concern, we ask that you reach out to your student's building principal and we will attempt to find an accommodation for your student to allow their continued attendance. We may be able to provide additional mitigation strategies or other options to support their learning as we want to work with families that have specific health concerns. Due to the nature of accommodations taking some time, we are asking that parents contact the building principal by August 27th so that we can make necessary plans for your child.

Important Dates

August 19: Back to School Registration Day 7:30am-6:00pm at Crookston High School

September 1st and 2nd: Meet the Teacher Days 4:00pm-7:30pm at all Crookston Public Schools

2W Day early dismissals. There is not a 2W day in September, October-May: 2nd Wednesday of the month. These days are used for professional development for our staff. Dismissal times are as follows: Washington Elementary School at 12:20pm, Highland Elementary School at 12:40pm, and Crookston High School at 12:50pm. 

Thank you for your continued support of Crookston Public Schools! 

Superintendent Jeremy Olson