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Superintendent Olson offers update on return to school, school safety plan

Jeremy Olson
Crookston School District superintendent
Jeremy Olson

Greetings from Crookston Public Schools!

The School Board voted at last night’s meeting to go to Model 2 of our plan which is everyday instruction and face to face for PK-6th grade, and a hybrid for grades 7-12. In this hybrid model your student(s) will attend either on Blue Days or Gold Days in person. A schedule will be coming out soon to families that communicates which days your student(s) will be attending face to face and expectations for instruction on days when your student(s) are not face to face. There will be five days of instruction per week as it is imperative that students are learning every school day. 

I want to thank parents for providing information to us on your selection regarding distance learning and the model that the district will be selecting for this Fall. I know that there is a lot of apprehension surrounding the start of the school year and what this looks like. I want to attempt to answer as many of your questions as we can. Our goal is to be transparent and responsive to our community and families. 

Every week we receive a communication from the state along with a communication from Polk County Public Health about the latest two week number by county. This week's average number is at 12.66 per 10,000 for our county. While these numbers do not necessarily dictate which model we will be in, these numbers are used to start a conversation around which model is the most appropriate model combined with localized data around where and how the spread is happening in our county as provided by our partners at Polk County Public Health. As I stated in previous communications, our behavior as a county directly help or hinder the reopening of schools. Once again, I am asking that our community do everything we can to limit the spread and help position our district for a safe return to school. Please wear your mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently. These little things may have a huge impact on how we start school and affect our ability to stay in a consistent model for our families. 

What I am asking families to do: 

Talk to your kids about the importance of social distancing. This is an important strategy to help control the spread and keep everyone safe. What does 6 feet look like? Kids often don't have a concept of what 6 feet actually is. As a school we will have visual aids to help students understand what 6 feet looks like. We are asking you to help us in addition by getting students to understand the importance of social distancing and what this looks like.  

Practice Wearing Masks: Students must wear masks in compliance with the Governor's order inside buildings and while on the School Bus. Practice having your students wear masks. Especially for our youngest learners, wearing a mask can take some time before feeling somewhat normal. Teaching students how to wear a mask is important. Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated! If they don't have a mask, please either purchase one or if you are not able to call the school and we can make arrangements to get a cloth mask for your child. We have been very fortunate to have members of our community donate cloth masks to the school for student use. We also will have disposable masks for times when students lose their mask or forget one, however, we are asking parents to provide masks for their students. 

Talk to your students about the changes they can expect: School will not look like it did last Fall, there will be several changes such as temperatures taken as students get on the bus, temperatures taken for those that are dropped off or walked/biked to school, there will also be a series of screening questions that we are asking parents to ask their kids. Students will be asked to maintain six feet of distance whenever possible, and teaching will look different as we need to maintain space between individuals. This is a lot to process for our students, however, this is our new normal. Please talk through these changes with your students. 

I have attached the most current safety plan to this communication. 

Return to School Safety Plan: https://msg.schoolmessenger.com/m/?s=i9v4sZnxyWI&mal=e1cce987c6904095e24c89ac16482da71908a3ce7e75ccfc5e1ab5684ebf779f