|10/29/2020 3:46:00 PM|
North Branch schools affected
by surge in COVID-19 cases
You may have noticed school-age kids out and about in North Branch early this week. There is a COVID-related shift in learning models underway, and staff and administrators called off school Monday and Tuesday.
The empty buildings allowed for various education adjustments that included physical re-arranging of classrooms for creating greater social distancing and other measures to help make learning transitions seamless.
Sara Paul, North Branch superintendent explained to school board members in a work session Oct. 22 the two-day pause would not affect Distance Learners in K-12. Kids already participating in virtual education were to be in attendance in class as usual Monday and Tuesday.
An Orientation to explain revised operations/class assignments was scheduled for North Branch high schoolers Wednesday this week.
There has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Chisago County and data affects educational procedures in Minnesota.
Chisago County reported nearly 40 in 10,000 persons in the population infected, triggering the district’s announcement.
The Board heard that in the district itself, 20 staff members have tested positive and six students had been impacted.
North Branch has four levels of learning which were adopted by the School Board prior to start school in September. North Branch started at the hybrid (mix of in-school and on-line) Level Two plan. The most serious is a Level Five which calls for only virtual instruction.
The High School is moving to Level Four, the Education Center, Sunrise River, Middle School Norse Area Learning Center and Life Work program are going to Level Three. The modified High School schedule starts today, October 29.
Extracurricular activities scheduled will continue.
Actions increase safety protocols and aim to keep the number of cases low, the district’s family information memo distributed late last week reported.