Navigating a pandemic involves addressing a lot of unknowns. District and county leaders have partnered to ensure safe learning environments.

As the district COVID Coordinator, I am so appreciative of our COVID Response Team of Jody Spofford, Abigail Krause, Kristen Swalboski, Brett Carlson and Pat Tepoorten. The COVID Response Team continues to do amazing work in keeping students and staff safe from COVID-19. Families, students and staff have worked together and have dramatically reduced both close contacts and cases of the virus.

On the vaccine front, I simply cannot stress what a privilege it has been to work with Chisago County. Our county COVID Response Team representatives are Barb Mork and Rushess Schneider. They have been phenomenal to work with and have been ably supported by many at the county, such as Courtney Wehrenberg - who supplies us vaccine opportunities, and Colton Anderson, who hosts weekly meetings with area superintendents to keep us apprised of the latest COVID-related news.

As of this writing, the county has offered 350 vaccine appointments to school district staff. Some of these opportunities come to us with limited notice as the county attempts to fully utilize the doses they receive, and county staff have been so helpful in assisting us with getting appointments set. In fact, the overwhelming majority of staff who have chosen to be vaccinated were able to have that opportunity due to the county’s efforts!

Thanks to Chisago County, NBAPS has been able to offer a vaccination opportunity to any staff member who has chosen to be vaccinated! In addition, the efficient process allowed educators to access appointments without missing school.

The partnership between NBAPS and Chisago County has been instrumental to the success we have had keeping students and staff safe and in school. Through weekly coordination calls and weekly presence on our district COVID response team, county staff have been incredibly responsive to inquiries. They have helped us work through countless issues this school year and have been diligent about providing us updated information from the state.

Our theme for this year is “Better Together,” and I am so thankful for the commitment and joint COVID response efforts of NBAPS and Chisago County. On behalf of all of us at NBAPS, thank you to all the dedicated county staff who have worked so hard for students and staff in this most unusual of years!

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