OPINION

Superintendent Olson: Highlights from Crookston Public Schools

Superintendent Jeremy Olson
Crookston Public Schools

Season’s greetings from Crookston Public Schools! The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year as it is a time when families come together and celebrate family traditions. It is my hope that the sense of coming together extends beyond our families this year and allows us to come together as a community and as a nation. The past two years have at times been divisive as differences in value systems and beliefs have been amplified. Now is a perfect time of year to put in the past the issues that have divided us and come together as a community as we celebrate this very special time of year.

Here are a couple of highlights from Crookston Public Schools:

Crookston Public Schools is embarking on a vision to change our school's configurations. We are developing a middle school model housed out of the high school that would be self- contained for 6-8th grade students. We are also planning on adding a Preschool addition onto Highland Elementary School which will allow Highland to house PreK-5th grade.

Highland was recognized as a “Best Elementary School” this year. This designation means that Highland Elementary School is ranked by US News and World Report in the top 30% of elementary schools in Minnesota. This is a huge honor for all the students and staff at Highland as well as for the community of Crookston!

Crookston Public Schools Transportation Dept. has added a bus route app for parents. To download the app and for instructions in both English and Spanish, you can visit our website at https://www.crookston.k12.mn.us/departments-transportation . This app allows you to get texts when the bus is within a certain distance that you specify in the app settings. The app will also allow you to see where your child’s bus is at. This becomes especially handy during extreme weather conditions as we don’t want kids standing out in the cold for any longer than needed. We hope that you will enjoy this app as we continue to improve our transportation services to parents.

When we come back to school, our school’s safety plan will look different. Required masking for K-6 will end at the end of the day on December 22. We will also be ending mandatory quarantines for school contacts. General letters will be sent out so that parents still will know if their child was potentially exposed to covid. Household contacts will still be required to quarantine due to the exposure duration and risk of spread within household contacts. As a school and community we are working to learn to live with covid. A reminder that vaccination is available for all school age children 5 years old and up. We do encourage parents to consider vaccination of their students as a measure to protect against covid-19. The district is not mandating this vaccine; however, we are asking parents to make an informed decision on whether or not to vaccinate your children.

At the last school board meeting, the School Board determined to under levy taxes for the upcoming school year. This decision was an attempt to reduce the impact that we are seeing with higher valuations throughout the district. The School Board has been extremely diligent in trying to be reasonable with taxation and judicious with the resources that we have. Earlier this year, the board refunded bonds to further decrease the tax impact to residents.

If you have any questions or would like to talk further about Crookston Public Schools feel free to contact me at 218-770-8717 or email me at jeremyolson@isd593.org. Have a great holiday season and best wishes from Crookston Public Schools!

Superintendent Jeremy Olson