GRAND RAPIDS, MN -- On Thursday, Itasca County Health officials and school districts provided updates on where schools stand ahead of fall learning.
Based on the county's current COVID-19 numbers, most superintendents appear to be aiming for in-person learning but are staying flexible with hybrid or distance learning.
You can find a short recap of each school district's press briefing update below:
Dr. Jeff Pesta - Deer River Schools:
- School board plans to meet Monday, Aug. 10.
- District looking to offer "Warrior Online Program" & in-person option
- Staff prepared to follow the needs of parents, students
- Officials hope to reach out with more info, registration docs after next school board meeting
- Based on demographics, a rolling start will be the safest option.
- Pesta: In terms of keeping coronavirus numbers down, it is up to the community to help out
Brenda Spartz - Nashwauk-Keewatin Public Schools:
- District currently working on "Restart Blueprint"
- Leaders need to go over, implement recent state guidance
- Plan to deliver info to parents ASAP
- Aiming for in-person learning right now, but it won't be "business at usual"
- Adding a part to learning plan for "remote classroom," giving families choice of distance learning
Matt Grose -- Grand Rapids/Bigfork:
- School district committed to science, using what we know about coronavirus infections
- Finding a transparent model for the community
- Creating a way to communicate the learning system (shift if needed)
- Plans for in-person learning for all students, asking the community to keep a positive trend going
- Urging the community to remove the political component of wearing masks
- Prioritizing wearing masks, so students can have an in-person connection
- Making changes to lunch operations
- Adding precautions on bus services (including sanitization)
- Changing traffic flows in schools
- Return plan to go before the school board for approval on Thursday, Aug. 6
- Asking parents to tell the district what learning model students will use
David Pace -- Greenway Public Schools:
- Recently working to develop different plans, and improve distance learning
- Looking to start elementary, secondary schooling in-person
- Movement will be restricted, lunchrooms to be limited
- Avoiding congregations
- All students will wear masks
- Desk partitions in larger classes
- Placing expectations on families to monitor students' health status
- Ability to move to a hybrid model, distance learning
- Still need to finalize plans in weeks ahead
Dan McKeon - Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School:
- School board has voted to utilize a distance learning model with in-person supports
- A high percentage of students have family members in the high-risk category
- Choosing to start the school year online
- Running bus routes every day for food delivery, bringing some students to school for counseling, tutoring
- Fluid number of students showing up to school
- Masks required in building
- Leaders helping families get internet connection at home
- Developing a system to get kids inside the school
Itasca County Health plans to hold another press briefing in two weeks.
Click here for current COVID-19 information from Itasca County.