The Pine City School District is making plans for the 2020-21 school year, but won’t know until the end of July whether to focus on in-class teaching, distance learning or a combination of both.
Pine City Schools Superintendent Curt Tryggestad said the state has outlined three possible scenarios, and told Minnesota schools to make contingency plans for each:
• In-person learning for all students with extracurriculars, including sports. Social distancing would be encouraged but not strictly enforced.
• In-person learning, but with strict social distancing (six feet between people at all times) and capacity limits. Schools would limit the overall number of people in school facilities and on transportation vehicles to 50% maximum occupancy.
•Distance learning only, though schools may be open to provide emergency child care or other functions.
“While we will be ready for each of the scenarios, the Governor will ultimately decide what all Minnesota school districts will do,” Tryggestad said.
Tryggestad said Pine City teachers and administrators have begun developing plans for each of the three scenarios using Pine City family survey data alongside information from the Department of Health and the Department of Education. He said that after the state’s decision is announced in late July, Pine City schools will finalize their plans and share those details in August.
“We know that parents, students, and staff would prefer to know sooner, but that is out of our control,” Tryggestad said. “We very much appreciate your patience as we work to ensure your children are kept safe, cared for, and provided a quality education.”
Food programs available for kids
Those with children ages 5-18 may be eligible for programs to help them pay for food, even if they do not receive SNAP benefits. Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families. Learn more and apply at mn.p-ebt.org/en/ – and for questions call 800-657-3698.
School Board Election
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, four school board members will be elected for terms of four years each. Those interested in running for Pine City School Board need to file at the district office between July 28 and Aug. 11. Filing fee is $2. Meetings are typically held on the second Monday night of each month at 6:30 p.m.
For those interested, the Minnesota School Board Association is offering a free informative webinar entitled “Running for School Board” viewable anytime at www.mnmsba.org