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As city schools go virtual, Northwoods schools remain in-person

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

As the omicron variant forces schools in major metropolises to go virtual, schools in the Northwoods are staying open.

Northland Pines cancelled all of its basketball games this week because too many of the teams’ players, families and coaches have been affected by COVID-19.

But the district’s classrooms remain open for in-person learning.

District Administrator Scott Foster says he hopes it stays that way.

“We realize kids should be in school, and that is our focus,” he says. “So unless we run out of staff due to this virus or other viruses, we really wouldn’t look to go to virtual.”

Staffing has been an issue this year at Northland Pines.

With teachers out sick, and fewer available substitutes, covering classes has sometimes been a challenge.

“We’ve been able to stay open,” Foster says. “But I can’t thank our staff enough. They’ve really stepped up. Everybody says teaching in this time is challenging, but they’re covering for each other, filling in and helping kids.”

Northland Pines asks students and parents to monitor for COVID symptoms before coming to school.

Students who test positive and show symptoms are asked to quarantine for ten days.

As of Tuesday, the district had confirmed 19 positive COVID cases, mostly concentrated in the middle and high schools.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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