COVID-19 guidelines were outlined as Rush City students will be returning to school for in-person learning this fall.

During the Rush City School Board meeting on Aug. 19, Superintendent Brent Stavig explained the district applied to be an online provider and was not approved, meaning Stavig is not sure at the moment if the district can provide distance learning options for its students.

Stavig has recommended families consider obtaining a doctor’s note if they want their children to do distance learning. If a parent wants their child to use distance learning, the school will have to send a teacher to the home for a total of five hours a week, per student, leaving the district in an uncertain place, he said.

“I honestly feel like we are in a tougher spot than we were a year ago,” Stavig said. “We are not receiving direction from the state or the federal government telling us what to do, so that’s where my recommendation is to mimic the recommendations from the CDC.”

The details about what happens when a student or teacher gets COVID-19 is still in the air, as far as moving forward with each individual situation is concerned.

“With the guidelines that have been published, we’re trying to determine, so what happens when one kid has COVID? What happens when one staff member has COVID? What does that mean for the close contacts?” Stavig said.

The district will immediately inform the family if a student has come in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

“There’s a lot of legal questions and things that we’re working to sort out and it is incredibly time consuming and challenging,” Stavig said.

Stavig said that schools have been very safe in general, not having the virus spread throughout their district.

“We’re going to continue to do what is right. We’ll do what we can to be safe, but we are not going to infringe on the kids’ education, social, those types of things,” Stavig said.

Eight file for three open seats

Eight candidates have filed for three open seats for the November school board election: Kenneth Lind, Sarah Nichols, Heather Pollack, Brian Sandel, Debra Follmer, Teri Umbreit, Jonathan Lee and William Schmidt. Lind and Umbreit filed for reelection. School Board member Jennifer Widell did not file for reelection.

The general election will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the Rush City Community Center.

For more information on the school board election, visit

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