Crookston Public Schools move to Level 3 of health and safety plan

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

Crookston Public Schools will move to Level 3 of their health and safety plan starting October 4 after the school board recently voted for the move following recommendation from Superintendent Jeremy Olson who has been in contact regularly with Polk County Public Health about the current COVID-19 pandemic community transmission rates.

The board voted 3-2 in favor of the move during a special meeting Thursday with Mike Theis and Adrianne Winger voting against the level change. KROX Radio, who was at the 90-minute meeting, told the Times that 14 people went to the podium to speak during the meeting and eight of them were against a level change.

Level 3 of the health and safety plan includes mandatory masks for elementary students and staff, and social distancing of three feet at the high school.

Superintendent Olson told the Times that physical education (gym class) and other activities that involve students running or competing would be exempted from the mask requirement.

"I would like to see mask breaks when social distancing is in place," Olson added. "I don't have all the details as I will be meeting with staff to brainstorm how to safely take mask breaks in the classroom to try and make this as manageable as possible."

Olson said the health and safety plan levels will be reviewed every two weeks to determine the necessity as the district "fully understands that a majority of the community is in opposition to masking."