Letter to the Editor
To parents, staff and members of the Minneota School District:
This has been a year of firsts and many have presented challenges none of us ever imagined. We, the Minneota School Board, have been consulted on some major decisions, while we have watched as our administrators implement some very creative solutions to the COVID-19 challenge.
The Minnesota Commissioner of Education even used Minneota as an example for creativity in our use of the American Legion for band and choir practices.
We are very thankful to the Minneota American Legion members for working with us to accommodate our students.
As a board, we are so very proud of our school district’s response. There have been dozens of people collaborating, thinking outside the box, stepping up in ways that are far outside both their comfort zone and job description to put a plan together to allow us to open our school this fall.
We wish we could have an open house so people could walk through the halls to see how much work went into completely reconfiguring each and every classroom.
The library, wrestling room, band and choir rooms were transformed into learning spaces. Our building’s custodian staff has been playing the world’s biggest game of Tetris to get everything set in its new space.
The amount of work these guys have put in has been astronomical. If you see Les, Greg, Scott, Dale, Kevin, AJ or Tanner around town, please thank them for their efforts!
Our teachers and paraprofessionals have been overwhelmingly supportive, willing to move and adapt, and float from classroom to classroom to welcome our students back into the building.
The same goes for our other support staff in the office, lunchroom, Activities Director and technical department. This has been a group effort involving everyone.
We want to thank each and every one of them for their flexibility and willingness to do whatever it takes.
Even though Lyon County’s recommendation, based on our current COVID-19 numbers, is that we start in a Hybrid model, we are fortunate in that we have been able to reconfigure and adapt our building to welcome every student back every day.
This is an enviable position to be in – and it is possible because of all the employees of our school working together. Our school district, while residing in Lyon County, crosses into Yellow Medicine and Lincoln counties as well.
We will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation in all three counties as we move forward. We are hopeful that all residents of all three counties will observe precautions to keep the numbers low. Infections that happen today can negatively affect us a month or more down the road.
Parents, students and staff should know that our first priority is for the safety of every individual in our building. The COVID -19 Task Force team has gone to great lengths to put together a plan to assure that we are doing everything humanly possible to keep everyone as safe as possible and to make sure we are following all the guidance available from federal, state and local officials.
We appreciate that none of this is perfect and that everyone will have to make some adaptations. We understand that wearing masks or face shields is not ideal – it is far from it. However, it is what is currently required and we ask you to help our staff by supporting this mandate.
Your children will follow your lead on this topic. We will adjust the plan as needed and as new information or guidance becomes available. Once again, cooperation and great flexibility will be key to making this a successful year.
We have an amazing team of teachers, support staff, and administration! The Board would like to thank each and every one of you for all you have done to help open our doors this fall.
With great appreciation,
Dawn Van Keulen