School's out—but learning isn’t: More schools go to temporary distance learning

by Karin L. Nauber

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wage war throughout the world, closer to home, the number of cases also continues to rise prompting several local districts to switch learning models once again.

In a letter sent to parents on November 11, the Verndale Public Schools Superintendent Paul Brownlow wrote, “The number of cases of COVID-19 has started to impact our school community. We have strived to keep students in our building by following the safety measures that were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Unfortunately, our efforts have not been enough to prevent the number of students and staff needing to be quarantined at a manageable level.”

What this means is that starting on Monday, November 16, the 7-12 graders began to follow a distance learning model for their education. This is ONLY for the 7-12 grade at this time and does not include the pre-K-6 grade who will continue to learn in the school building, receive transportation services and eat breakfast and lunch.

Students will be connecting with their teachers via Zoom, Google Classroom, Moodle and e-mail.

“If you do not have sufficient Internet service, please contact the school to reserve a hotspot,” wrote Brownlow.

Continuing, Brownlow noted, “We understand that this is not ideal and brings challenges for many families. However, we need to take the necessary action to keep our students and staff safe.” . . .

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