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Northland Pines Looks At Pathways To Reopen School

Northland Pines School District

Northland Pines administration continues to examine ways to allow students, staff, and public to utilize the district resources as well as identifying alternatives to provide an educational learning environment for the next school year.

The district school board will look at three alternatives for back-to-school plans which include face-to-face instruction, a blended approach, and going full virtual.

Administrator Scott Foster indicated students want to get back to school and those attending classes would have the option of wearing face masks which the district would provide. He felt one issue could be summed up in one word, “respect.” “I would hope those who choose to wear masks have those who don’t respect their individual decision,” Foster said. “Likewise I would hope those who choose not to wear face masks would have those who do also respect their decision.”

A second alternative Foster looked at is a blended option of having elementary kids attend in person and others with virtual learning. He said “public health’s view is younger kids breath goes about two feet so the standard six foot reference doesn’t apply,” adding “that even at six feet the exposure needs to be for about 15 minutes.”

A third alternative is continuing all virtual learning. Foster felt if they were forced to shut the school down, the recent experiences with virtual learning has them better prepared. “Parents are part of our family and some want to be back with classes but others may not want to have their kids in classes due to safety concerns, and I can understand that,” Foster said. He felt in the elementary grades there would be a teacher assigned for the full school year in some aspect of learning with personal teaching plans for kids and how to meet their needs.

Wellness center to open

The Wellness Center will open for adult school staff only on June 22 through July 3 to evaluate how it will work and get feedback from staff. Foster indicated it would then be opened July 6 to the public. “We may have been able to open sooner but there was work that needed to be done,” Foster said. “We are working on a plan that when you come through the door there are hand sanitizers and signs on the machines for social distancing. You will have to bring your own water bottle but we will have a refilling station.”

While the room is rated for 75 persons, only 25 will be allowed at one time. Sanitizing spray will be used which has to be left on for at least three minutes before wiping. There will be only one entrance-exit with lockers locked but bathrooms will be open.

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