After a difficult start to the school year battling coronavirus, we have now gotten into a nice routine with our staff and students. The following are updates as we near the end of the first quarter:
(1) The staff and students are doing a fantastic job wearing their masks and social distancing. The coronavirus will continue to present its challenges; thank you for your support following the guidelines, so we can keep our students learning in person.
(2) One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic is staffing. If a staff member is positive or is a close contact, that staff member must go home and quarantine for up to 14 days. If this happens to too many staff members, it gets very difficult to keep the students learning in person. If you have a four-year degree (any four-year degree) and you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, please give the school a call at 507-872-6532. Substitutes are paid $120 per day.
(3) The Minnesota High School League approved fall and winter activities. Even though only a limited number of fans are allowed to attend the games, we are grateful that our students have the opportunity to compete. If you haven't had an opportunity to sign up for our live streaming service, please go to our website at www.minneotaschools.org and click on the link on the left-hand side. There is a monthly or yearly charge to subscribe to the service.
(4) It may be hard to believe, but there are just two weeks left in our first quarter (the quarter ends Oct. 23). In order to make up time missed at the beginning of the school year due to the coronavirus, the following days have now been added to the calendar:
(a) Elementary: Oct. 14, Dec. 14, Dec. 22 and Feb. 15.
(b) High School: Oct. 14, Dec. 21, Dec. 22, Feb. 15, April 5.
(5) There is not school on Thursday Oct. 15 and Friday, Oct. 16 due to MEA. I hope all our staff and students get an opportunity for some rest and relaxation.
(6) I was excited to see the auxiliary gym (formerly called the 2003 gym) be used for a volleyball match for the first time since it was renovated. It sure was nice that our fans got an opportunity to sit on the bleachers instead of folding chairs. Other improvements include a newly refinished gym floor, new game lines, the ability to play full court varsity, junior varsity, and junior high games, and a camera to live stream the events. We look forward to using the gym for many different purposes. Funds used for the renovations came from the sales tax rebate given to our district during the 2019 legislative session via a bill sponsored by Representative Chris Swedzinski and Senator Gary Dahms. I'd like to personally thank both legislators for helping out district secure these funds.
(7) I want to thank the staff at the American Legion for making the space available for our band and choir students. Without this additional space, we would not have had enough space to social distance and run those classes.