At Monday’s reorganizational and business meeting, Supt. Stephen Jones told the Little Falls School Board the district is still on course to bring students back for in-person learning. While students in preschool and elementary school will begin in person learning, Monday, Jan. 11, secondary students are set to begin the following Monday, Jan. 19.
Jones said after talking with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Monday, the MDH had when initially planning in July and August 2020, believed that the schools would be the main locations for community spread of the novel coronavirus.
“What they have learned is that the schools are not the spreader. In fact, the school is the safer place for students and faculty to be,” Jones said.
Of the 104 COVID-19 cases that affected students or faculty members, Jones said it was determined through contact tracing that not one contracted the virus at school, Jones said.
At this time, the case rate for Morrison County is at 34.4 per 10,000 new COVID-19 cases. Jones said.
“That’s still really good. It is the lowest it has been since Oct. 1 (2020),” he said.
While several sports activities have resumed, school districts are required to follow several guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota State High School League.
“With the seven sports, there was about 55 pages worth of documentation from the MDE and the Minnesota State High School League of guidelines and requirements we have to do in order to provide the best and safest protocols for our activities to go on. We feel very confident we will do just that,” he said.
As far as spectators being able to attend the events, that remains unknown at this time, Jones said.
Little Falls School Board Briefs
In other business, Monday, the Little Falls School Board:
• Witnessed Supt. Stephen Jones swear in re-elected Board Member Julie LeMieur and newly elect School Board Members Doug Dahlberg and Kelsie Herzog;
• Appointed School Board Member Brad Laager as chair person;
• Appointed Board Member Mark Gerbi as clerk;
• Appointed Dahlberg as treasurer;
• Recognized outgoing Board Members Cathy Adamek and Jay Spillum. Adamek served on the Board for 10 years after a lustrous teaching career in the district and has served education through many factors. She continues to be an advocate for Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary School, donating thousands of dollars through her continuous plant sales to help students further their education. Spillum has served on the Board for 18 years and has faithfully served the district, not only as a Board Member, but also as a teacher for many years, Jones said.
• Decided to designate board members to various committees and liaison assignments at the next board meeting;
• Approved adding an additional signatory for Pine County Bank, if needed; and
• Designated the Morrison County Record as the official school district newspaper for the publishing of agendas, board minutes and other legal notices for 2021.
The Little Falls School Board’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Jan. 11, at 5 p.m. in the Little Falls Community Middle School Media Center.