Proctor schools to be in Distance Learning until Jan. 4

 

It has been a difficult school year and it will remain that way until January 4.  Distance Learning for all K-12 grade students will begin Monday, Nov. 16.  Pre-K distance learning will start Nov. 23.

 

Due to significant and alarming increases in positive COVID-19 cases the decision was made to go into distance learning.  There has been no decision on sports.

 

“Over the past week, St. Louis County Public Health reported significant increases in positive COVID-19 cases,” Proctor School Superintendent John Engelking alerted parents Thursday, Nov. 12 mid-morning.

 

Total cases in St. Louis County topped 5,000 cases Thursday, Nov. 12. Total deaths were 79.

 

In school district zip codes the cumulative cases were:

55810                        241

55720                       32

55779                       103

55811                        908

 

“Throughout this week, we held several meetings to discuss the safety of our staff and students.  We have consulted with St. Louis County Public Health, the Rails Safe Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota Department of Health. They have recommended staying in Distance Learning through the Winter Break.”

 

Emergency child care services for previously registered critical workers will continue throughout our distance learning model.

 

Engelking wrote, We plan to implement the following strategies:

  • Implement a daily schedule designed for full Distance Learning, which combines our A-B groups to the original class schedule and a 4-day instructional week beginning November 24th.Mondays will be used to plan and connect with students and parents.
  • Emphasize social and emotional health as well as maintaining academic progress
  • Focus on engagement with our students and families
  • Pivot back to alternating models as soon as allowed by infection rates, community spread, and staffing availability.

 

Last week eight Bay View staff and three students have COVID-19 according to reports.

 

A top story Nov. 12 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune was “Northern Minnesota on defense as virus rages unabated.”  The paper reported, “On Sept. 8, the first day of school, St. Louis County had reported 1,040 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic’s onset. Eight new infections were recorded in the county that day.

 

“Now cases are growing by triple digits on a daily basis, a trend that continued with Wednesday’s 150 new infections and prompted a return to distance learning across a region that started the fall with fewer restrictions,” it reported.

 

In St. Louis County, community spread of the virus has grown steadily for weeks. About one-fifth of the county’s 4,717 COVID-19 cases reported since March have been added in the last week, and data shows community exposure is the single greatest driver of new infections.

 

According to an ongoing survey from Carnegie Mellon University, about 47% of St. Louis County residents say they know someone who has COVID-19 symptoms.  That rate ranks 22ndout of the country’s 350 most populous counties,” the StarTribune wrote.

 

More schools are shifting to distance learning for all grade levels as the number of COVID-19 cases in communities across Minnesota continues to soar.

Leave a Comment