School Board special meeting focuses on ‘Safety Plans,’ ‘Learning Models’
Editors note: Two page 1 stories were published in the January 7 edition focusing on updating readers on Proctor Public Schools plans for students. “In-person school K-2 returns Jan. 18” was an old story that contained outdated information. “School Board holds rare special meeting,” had relevant updated information inadvertently omitted. We regret the errors.
School District officials will meet with Regional Health Consultation Thursday morning to discuss a hopeful return to a less restrictive learning model based on Bi-Weekly Case Rates that have been falling since declining since November 21 based on the St. Louis County Health Dashboard.
Proctor’s Board of Education held a rare first Monday of the month special meeting.The brief agenda included the oath of office for the newly elected Board members and two items getting students back in school.
Over 125 viewers watched as the oath was administered virtually over Zoom to Kimberly Parmeter and Jim Podgornik. However, viewers tuned in to listen to the new Board discuss changes to the Rail Safe Plan and Current learning models.
The board approved, on a split vote, to return to a hybrid learning model for PreK – 5 on January 26th. The Return to the Full In-Person Schedules is Dependent on the Impact of Covid Infection and Final Approval is Pending further board action.
- Jan. 26 bring Pre-K-5 back to hybrid
- Feb. 8 PreK-2 back to full in-person
- Feb. 22 bring 3-5 back to full in-person
The Board also approved: Secondary, Early Childhood, and Students with IEPs on Jan. 11 Pending the Approval by the Regional Health Consultation Scheduled for January 7.
- Students on IEPs will have the opportunity to return based on needs.
- Early Childhood at the Proctor Early Childhood Center and Pike Lake.
- Middle and high school students will return to Distance Learning with In-Person Support.
Gov. Tim Walz is giving elementary schools across the state opportunity to reopen Jan. 18for in-person instruction if they adopt a number of strategies to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The start date is a departure from earlier guidelines which required K-12 districts to rely on county-level data and consultations with local health officials regarding the level of virus transmission in their communities.
Schools that want to transition students to in-person or hybrid learning will be required to implement a rolling start with no more that 3 grade levels coming back with a two week period. For example, a district may decide to allow K-2 students into school buildings Jan. 18 to 29. The following two weeks, Feb. 1 to 15, the schools can also reopen their doors to grades 3 through 5.
Some highlights of the new planinclude:
- A COVID-19 testing program that gives staff the option to test for the virus every other week
- 3 feet of physical distancing or more is strongly recommended for full-time in-person learning however, the school district is recommending the CDC guidance of 6 feet to the extent possible.
- Students will need to mask up during physical activities that take place inside, including gym class or during indoor recess.
- School staff must wear face masks and face shields at all times.
Before the meeting ended Board Member Joe Ward implored people “to do the right thing to get our kids back to school.”