School Update COVID-19

School Update COVID-19
COVID-19




This page will have the latest information on the Covid19 Corona Virus and ISD362 L-BF communications about the pandemic outbreak as it relates to school operations. Below are Superintendent updates.

Use the navigation menu on the left to see School Nurse updates and information. 

2020-2021 Updates

10/16/2020


Dear L-BF Community,
 
It is nice to see our teams back on the field and court, and I can certainly see the happiness in the students.  Congratulations to Nissa Thomas and Nathan Kennedy our 2020 Homecoming King and Queen! The North Central Stars had a great game winning  41-14 over Bigfork.  The volleyball team was able to finally get a game in and went to Hill City, where although they lost in 3, there were a lot of positive things that came out of that game. L-BF volleyball will be live on our system (link found on our website) starting at 5:45 for all home games. 

As we found out on Wednesday, games schedules can change quickly at any time.  L-BF will always make the best decision to keep our athletes, families, and school community safe.  We are fortunate our county COVID-19 case rate in the last two weeks is allowing us to continue to be in school, as that is changing across Minnesota.  

If you were unable to speak with your child's teachers during parent/teacher conferences on Monday or Tuesday and would like to still do so, please email the teacher to set up a time that works for both of you. 

There will be great news coming soon regarding a new school pantry! Thank you to Ashley Hall, Falls Hunger Coalition and Laura Zika for getting this great resource for our school!

After school tutoring will start on October 27.  Mrs. Wherley will be the contact and will be sending forms home to families that would like to participate.  More information and forms will be available this coming week. 

Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping everyone healthy.  Our efforts have not relaxed in any procedures and we still follow and comply by all plans in our Restart Blueprint. Please continue to do your part as we keep navigating through this time! 

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!


Sincerely, 

Jamie Wendt


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10/7/2020            COVID – 19 Update

Dear Families and Staff,

We are writing to inform you that a known case of COVID-19 has been identified in an individual associated with the District. This individual has not been present in a District building for 12 days and is not considered a close contact to any students or staff at this time.

We understand that families, students, and staff may have questions and concerns about the District’s response to COVID-19.

The District is in communication with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) regarding the situation.

The District is in communication with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) regarding the situation.

The District is regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in order to minimize the spread of germs. In addition, the district continues to require masks be worn and implementing social distancing.

It is important to practice social distancing by putting space between yourself and others and to continue to practice healthy habits to help slow the spread of COVID-19, including the following:

·         Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

·         Stay home when sick

·         Avoid touching your face

We are monitoring the situation closely with the guidance of MDH and MDE and will update families and staff as new information becomes available.

If you have any questions, please call the office.

Sincerely,

 

Jamie Wendt


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10/6/2020

Good Morning L-BF Families and Communities,

Homecoming Week has kicked off at L-BF with dress up days. Yesterday was America Day and it was wonderful to see the students dressed up in their best patriotic outfits. I am thrilled to see what they come up with for “Mad Masks” day today. The rest of the dress up days are listed on our school Facebook page and on our school calendar under Homecoming Week. Of course, my favorite day is School Spirit Day!

Homecoming Coronation will be held on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m., and while we are unable to have the public attend as we are accustomed to, we will be broadcasting the event for free on our Pixellot camera system! Congratulations to our Homecoming King and Queen Candidates, Kaylandra Banner, Cassidy Hagen, Keiara Torgerson, Nissa Thomas, Matthew D’Elia, Nathan Kennedy, Joshua Heppner, and Evan Timmer! Log in on Wednesday night to watch Coronation Live! Links will be available on our school website and Facebook page.

The Varsity Volleyball Game will be this Thursday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. versus Mt. Iron – Buhl and again while we cannot have fans in the building, please get online and watch our Lady Vikes play on our Pixellot camera system at no charge!

The Homecoming Football Games will be in Littlefork featuring our North Central Stars versus the Bigfork Huskies! Only 250 fans are permitted due to Minnesota Department of Health and MSHSL Rules. Information on how to get a ticket are on our school website and Facebook page.

On another note, as many have already heard, at the end of September, the Senate passed legislation that allows the USDA to extend waivers for Free Meals for all students through the end of the school year! This is fantastic news that families will not be burdened with lunch bills as we continue to find our way through this pandemic.

Retroactive to October 1st, L-BF students will not be charged for breakfast or lunch for the remainder of the year. Any lunches that have been charged to your account from October 1st until today, will be credited back to your account. I am unsure of the exact time frame credits will be applied to accounts, as we will need to run it through our software company and they will be performing the reversal for school districts nationwide. Starting today through the end of May, all breakfast and lunch meals for students will be entered at no charge as we have converted our system to accommodate the change going forward.

As always, if there are any questions, please call!

Sincerely,

 

Jamie Wendt

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September 24, 2020

 

Dear L-BF Community,

As the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise, we are keeping a close eye here at L-BF. We are continuing our protocols for extra sanitizing and increasing efforts to keep social distance in order to keep our students safe, while still providing a familiar atmosphere and friendly faces delivering their education every day. As we continue to monitor the rising cases, we are ready to adapt and will continue to provide timely updates to families as needed.

The MSHSL has approved the opening of Cheerleading, Volleyball, and Football Fall seasons. Our Athletic Director has already begun organizing and putting together schedules. Those schedules will be published as soon as they are finalized. We have a few more decisions to make regarding Junior High sports, but in the interest of keeping our sports programs strong, we are looking into options to get our younger athletes in action again as well. We will update as soon as we have our plan ready!

We are now at the end of the third week of school, and I want to commend all of our teachers, staff, students, and their families on the amazing job they are doing!

Our teachers have been holding both synchronous and asynchronous learning with students in the building as well as students who are Distance Learning. On top of that, many are on the move all day, teaching in various classrooms other than their own. They have stepped up to the challenges that this pandemic has brought with amazing professionalism and willingness to make it work! I am so proud of the teaching team we have at L-BF and how hard they are working to make this feasible and equitable for all.

L-BF students have been incredibly respectful of the staff and the new rules for masking and social distancing. They have been accountable in their classes and working hard in the building every day. As the day of school progress, I couldn’t be more proud of all our L-BF students!

The custodians have taken on the added cleaning, sanitizing, reorganizing, schedule changes, and so much more with motivation and great attitudes. We are so thankful for their effort to be sure L-BF is compliant with all State recommendations for holding school during the pandemic, all while maintaining their regular job duties as well. They are amazing!

Possibly one of the most integral parts of this whole process is our School Nurse, Mrs. Zika. She has spent countless hours researching, participating in trainings, and remaining in contact with the Minnesota Department of Health in order to be sure L-BF is following appropriate measures to keep our students and community safe. She has worked hard to find out the right blend of safety and getting kids back to school. We are thankful to have her here every day for questions and guidance on the health and safety of our students and staff.

And finally, I would like to extend a HUGE Thank You to the Parents and Guardians of all our students! We know that the changes we face here in the building have an immense effect on the daily lives of our student’s families. From the changes in our transportation system, limiting options that were once available, to monitoring of symptoms, temperatures, contact tracing procedures, and so forth, we are grateful to be a part of a parent community that has been as patient and easy to work with as the L-BF community has been. It proves that we are all truly in this together, to find the best options for educating our children.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jamie Wendt

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September 21, 2020

 

Dear L-BF Community,

As most of you now know, yesterday we were notified of a person who is a staff or student member of L-BF has tested positive for COVID-19. School Nurse, Mrs. Zika, promptly notified the Minnesota Department of Health and all of those who are considered close contacts based on guidance from the Agency.

All students and staff were notified via our Shoutpoint system that a case of COVID-19 was known or suspected in our District. At this time, it is not believed that the individual contracted COVID-19 at school based on information received about the case. All information regarding the individual is confidential and will not be released.

Custodians were notified of the case and a double check of cleaning and sanitizing protocol was reviewed. All procedures have been followed to keep others in the building safe.

I would just like to reassure our families, students, and staff that we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and working diligently to do our best to prevent the spread as cases are identified in the building.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the school nurse, Mrs. Zika, or myself.

Remember to mask up, wash your hands, and social distance. Let’s get through this Viking Strong.

Sincerely,

 

Jamie Wendt

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September 1, 2020

Check out our Back to School Video for information! Feel free to show your children so they have an idea what school will look like this fall. 

L-BF Back To School Video

Also, please note the new section on this page for School Nurse Updates.

We can't wait for the first day on September 8th!

Sincerely, 
L-BF Staff

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August 21, 2020

L-BF Students and Families, 

The L-BF Restart Blueprint has been approved! 

L-BF COVID-19 Restart Blueprint

We encourage all to review this plan. Many hours of work went in to this plan to help students, parents, staff, and the community understand what this school year might look like at L-BF. It will be different, and there will be challenges that arise as we go. However, I feel this plan will give us all a solid starting point to build from. 

Our staff kept our primary concern at the forefront while developing this plan. That primary concern is our students. Our goal was to streamline as much as possible to give students, families, and staff a level of consistency and predictability in these uncertain times all while keeping them as safe as possible. I believe we achieved that goal while still following state guidelines.

I am proud of the work that went into this from the staff who participated in planning meetings over the summer, the custodians who have stepped up to make this all possible, and the support staff who are willing to do what is needed to have a successful school year. 

L-BF will be starting school on September 8, 2020 for grades K-12 in-person, while implementing many of the social distancing requirements from the Hybrid model.  The regular school year calendar will be followed and all students will be in-person even if cases rise to hybrid recommendations. This is possible due to the design of our restart plan and our ability to have all enrolled students in the building at 50% capacity. 

Four year old preschool will begin on Monday, September 14th and be held Monday and Tuesday each week. This is a change from previous years to allow sanitizing procedures between the three and four year old classes. Three year old preschool will begin on Thursday, September 17th an be held on Thursday and Friday each week. There will be no ECFE to start the year. Should things change, ECFE will be advertised on the school website and facebook page. There will be a "Meet the Teacher" event planned for Preschool and Kindergarten on September 2, 2020. Teachers will be in touch with Preschool and Kindergarten families directly to schedule this event. 

Unfortunately, there will not be a Back to School Night this year as we have had in years past. This is very saddening for me as it is one of my favorite days of the year! It is always so exciting to see all the kids again and how much they have grown up! It is a great time to re-connect with our families as well. 

Families will have the choice to Distance Learn even with our model if they so choose. Many families have already been contacted who have expressed interest in this option. Those families will be mailed a Distance Learning Enrollment Agreement form which outlines the expectations for Distance Learning. This program is much different than what was experienced last year and will require students to be checking in and attending classes in real-time. If you are interested in this option, please contact the office to have a form mailed to you. Distance Learners will be able to pick up their supplies and talk with their teachers at the school on September 2, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Commons. 

If there are other questions that are not answered by our restart blueprint or our communications here and on Facebook, please call the office. We want our families to be as comfortable with the situation as possible and are happy to clear up any uncertainties you may have. 

Sincerely, 

Jamie Wendt

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August 14, 2020

L-BF Students and Families,

The countdown is on! Less than 30 days until the first day of school on September 8, 2020, and there are still quite a few unknowns. However, I would like to share today what we do know.

Will students be in school to start the school year?

At this time, under current rates of infection in our County and amongst our staff, Yes. As most people are aware, the State gave all school districts instructions to come up with three back to school plans. 1) In-person Learning 2) Hybrid and 3) Distance Learning. With the help of a consulting Agency specializing in Health and Safety Legislation, we were able to simplify things into essentially two plans which satisfy all requirements. I’d like to tell you we have fancy names for these plans, but we don’t. Our first plan is essentially In-person, but under the health and safety requirements of the Hybrid. What does that mean? Let me explain.

  1. In-person/Hybrid plan: Under the Hybrid plan, schools are required to operate at 50% building capacity with 6 ft. social distancing, and limiting large groups. With the help of the consultants, we were able to identify that our building is capable of housing ALL enrolled students at 50% capacity. We have had to make a few physical changes within the building such as classroom locations and installing some glass barriers to be compliant, but we feel that getting the students back to school with in-person instruction is the most beneficial for our students. We also felt it is important to provide students, families, and staff with as much consistency as we can through all the changes. Therefore, it was our goal to streamline In-person and hybrid to the best of our ability. We feel that we have accomplished that goal.

    We have changed a little bit about how our day will look, with less transitioning between classrooms to limit crowded hallways. Instead, the many teachers will be transitioning to the students in their homerooms. We plan to create back to school videos for students to give them a preview of what to expect as school starts this Fall.

  2. Distance Learning: If positive cases in our County or in the School see a rapid rise in cases, we may be required to switch to distance learning. Distance Learning will be very different from last Spring and will require students to report in on Schoology by 8:20 a.m. for attendance and a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning will be used. A more detailed Distance Learning plan will be published in the coming weeks.

Our full reopening plan will be under final review early next week and published by the end of the day on August 21, 2020 on our school website and Facebook Page. Hard copies of the plan may be requested after August 21st by calling the Main or Elementary Offices.

School Supply Lists will be finalized and published by the end of the day Monday, August 17, 2020.

Face Coverings:

In our parent and family surveys, the number one concern about sending students to school this Fall was regarding a requirement to wear face coverings at school. Pursuant to Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-81, face coverings are required in the school building and on school buses with a few exceptions. There are many options for face coverings. Students can feel free to use their face covering as an extension of their DIY Mask Guidance from the CDC | Estes Park Healthwardrobe and express themselves as long as it complies with the current dress code policy and appropriately covers the mouth and nose as directed by the CDC. (See Image).

We want our staff and students to be comfortable during their school day, so if a neck gaiter or bandana is the preference, that is acceptable if it can be worn comfortably through the day.

The L-BF National Honor Society has L-BF Viking masks for sale, produced by local vendors. Please see our school facebook page for ordering information if you are interested.

Face shields are acceptable when 6 ft. social distancing can be maintained or if cloth or surgical face coverings are not tolerated.

At such time when the face coverings are no longer required by the State of Minnesota, likewise, they will no longer be required by L-BF. L-BF will comply with legislation as directed.

Face coverings are allowed to be removed in certain situations which will allow students a break from masks wearing periodically through the day. Those situations include where glass, plexi-glass, or other barriers that rise above face level are in place between individuals, while engaging in physical activity (recess, physical education, etc.), while eating or drinking, during activities that involve singing, public speaking, or playing instruments.

Transportation:

Families are encouraged to provide their own transportation when possible in order to reduce numbers on the school buses. However, transportation will continue to be provided at 50% capacity. Students will fill the school bus back to front, and unload front to back to limit intermingling and keep families seated together. Alternate transportation will not be available to start the school year. Each household will be allowed one bus stop only. Please plan accordingly. If your primary bus stop is at your daycare provider, then that will be the only bus stop allowed for your household at this time. This will allow our buses to provide transportation for all who need it while being able to comply with the 50% capacity guidelines. Should this change during the year, families will be notified by our automated call system, Facebook page, and school website.

Cleaning and Sanitizing:

Reminders for proper handwashing, social distancing, and the use of face coverings will be posted throughout the school and will be a part of our daily lives at school for the time being. Non-essential furniture has been removed from classrooms to allow for more thorough and efficient cleaning and sanitizing by staff. Drinking fountains throughout the school have been disabled. Instead, all students will be encouraged to bring water bottles to stay hydrated and healthy. The district has purchased additional water bottle filling stations and will be installing them spread through the building for access for all students and staff. Water bottles are required to be labeled with student names and will need to be brought home and washed regularly. The L-BF National Honor Society also has personalized water bottles for sale from local vendors. Please see our school facebook page for ordering information if you are interested.

Family choice:

Families may choose Distance Learning at their discretion. This is a choice that is respected by all staff and L-BF will work with students and families to make sure every student is receiving an equitable education regardless of how it is delivered. Most L-BF families have filled out the parent and family survey already. If your family has not, please call Mrs. Wendt to have the survey resent to you. Those who are choosing Distance Learning as an alternative to sending their children to school will be sent a Distance Learning Enrollment Agreement. The Agreement will outline expectations for Distance Learning. Once Distance Learning is chosen, the students must remain in Distance Learning until the end of the Quarter. If a family would like to change that selection, they will need to contact the Main or Elementary Office two weeks before the end of the current quarter to make arrangements.

In conclusion, I know there are still many unanswered questions, but it is my hope that this notice helps give our families a clearer picture of our vision for the return to school this Fall. The High School Secretary, Kathy Siltman, and our new Elementary Secretary, Vanessa Dunsmoor will be back to work full-time this Monday, August 17, 2020 and will do their best to answer any additional questions families may have to the best of their ability. This situation remains fluid, as it has been from the beginning, constantly changing. At L-BF we are prepared to move with the changes as necessary while keeping our students as our main focus.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jamie Wendt

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July 30, 2020

L-BF Students and Families,

The long awaited news is out! Here at L-BF, we are relieved that the guidance is localized based on local data and not a statewide blanket. We have received State guidelines on when to transition from in person learning, to hybrid, to distance learning based on new infection rates in our county and in our school building.

In order to create consistency and stability for our students, staff, and families as well as protect their health and safety, our in-person and hybrid models look very similar with only small modifications between the two. We are happy to announce that after working with the consulting company, we are able to have all students in Pre-K through 12th grade in the building every day in both the in person and hybrid plans. We are fortunate enough to have the space in our building to accommodate all of the students that are currently enrolled with adequate social distancing capability. We have made scheduling changes to accommodate social distancing and reducing the number of students transitioning at the same time to reduce congestion in shared spaces.

If we need to switch to distance learning during the school year, we are working to streamline our approach. While teachers may use other learning websites and tools in their distance learning curriculum, Schoology will be the distance learning platform for all grades K-12. This way students can check in daily in one place to get their assignments. Schoology also has a parent account option so parents can log in and stay up to date with their child’s progress. Under distance learning, childcare for emergency workers and food service will be managed in a similar way to last Spring, should we need to go that route.

Bus transportation will still be available but will likely have more strict rules in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines as provided by the State.

Stay tuned as details are released! Our plans our well on their way, but we still have some adjustments to make as we take in new information the State has provided today.

We would love to hear from our students, families, and community members regarding school reopening. There is a survey available now at https://forms.gle/G2Fvc8oHgp198XPEA  Please fill this out as soon as possible so we can do our best to accommodate the concerns of our students and families as we work to finalize our plans.  

Before school starts, we plan to publish a “Back to School” video or possibly series of videos showing what school may look like at L-BF this year under the changes.

As always, parents have the final say in their child’s health and safety. If you do not want to send your child to school, please contact me via email or at 218-278-6614 ext. 210 so that arrangements can be made for distance learning only.

Finally, I ask for the help our entire Koochiching County community to do their part in keeping new infection rates down. The lower we keep the rate, the less likely we have to implement distance learning across the board. Please follow CDC guidance and keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep the rates low. We want to keep regulations at a level where parents, students, and families continue to have a choice in the way their education is delivered.

Thank you again to all of our wonderful families and students for the patience you have shown as we all await new guidance and then as we work to implement them.

 

Sincerely,

Jamie Wendt

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July 24, 2020

 

L-BF Students and Families,

The countdown to the first day of school continues and staff continue to plan for the 2020-2021 school year. This week continued to include meetings and webinars projecting what the start of school could look like, and many ideas for modifications to comply with social distancing and sanitizing guidelines. Planning for all avenues are making great progress.

A consulting company was brought to the school to measure our capacities for students with new spacing guidelines, and we received encouraging feedback thus far. The consultants will be meeting with Staff next week to discuss where we are doing well and where adjustments will need to be made. The meeting will include staff training on what is expected to be allowable regarding student interactions, materials in the classrooms, and many other considerations.

Just like all of you, we anxiously await Governor Walz’s announcement which is expected to occur on July 30th. After we have received this direction from the Governor, we plan to solicit parent and student feedback. Then we will do our best to quickly finalize and publicize our reopening plans.

We want to assure all of our students, families, and community members that every staff member at L-BF is dedicated to being creative in providing quality education, connecting with students, providing ways for students to connect with each other, and maintaining overall student well-being no matter what comes our way this fall.

Thank you again for your patience through this journey!

Sincerely,

 

Jamie Wendt
Superintendent/Principal

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July 17, 2020

L-BF Students and Families,

Going back to school next fall seems to be on everyone’s minds. It is certainly everywhere you look in the media. It has been on the minds of educators across the Nation since the close of last school year. We made it through last year and have all been wondering, “What’s next?”

Today, we are just 9 weeks from the first day of 2020-2021 and we still aren’t sure what the first day of school will look like. However, we do have some guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education regarding three possible plans.

Click here to see a document from MDE describing what school may look like under each plan. Sometime during the week of July 27th, Governor Walz is expected to announce which plan Minnesota schools are to begin the year with. As the pandemic evolves, schools may be expected to use each plan as the situation changes.

L-BF staff have already begun the planning process. We have had two staff meetings this week and have consultants coming to our building in the coming weeks for a building analysis to make recommendations for adjustments that can be made to accommodate social distancing guidelines, and train staff on best procedures to be following the guidance from state officials. Rest assured, L-BF staff are committed to providing quality education for our students no matter what this pandemic brings.

Stay tuned as the weeks progress and we will continue to update the L-BF community via our Facebook page and school website as plans are completed.

We are in this together, and our students are our #1 priority through it all.

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these changes.

Stay safe and continue to enjoy your summer!

 

Sincerely,

Jamie Wendt

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