Prepping for kids back in the classroom again |

Prepping for kids back in the classroom again

Updated: January 08, 2021 06:35 PM
Created: January 08, 2021 06:03 PM

Bay View Elementary in Proctor has some new things for 2021. A new structure in their outdoor classroom. "With the help of community members, we've been able to add to our amazing space," John Awsumb, assistant principal, told us.

They were were able to use a $10,000 grant from the state to purchase other things for their outdoor classrooms, like more whiteboards, heaters, binoculars, additions for their music wall, and snowshoes!

Indoors, double masks or face shield and mask will be required for staff. "We can't wait to be in person in a safe environment," shared Liz Proepper, a 4th grade teacher and president of Education MN Proctor. "We are really encouraged by the downward trend in the virus spread. And the governor's additional safeguards for teachers are beneficial, and we're really excited about the testing."

Testing is optional for staff, and is being scheduled by the school nurses. It's a saliva test, like the one many have done at the DECC.

They're adding more plexi-glass, to keep students and staff six feet apart. Bus drivers are getting better masks. 

"It feels like the beginning of the school year, since we haven't see the kids in so long. I am really hopeful. More now than ever, hopeful we can give it a good shot with our kids," Carlie Anderson said. She's the RN for the Proctor School District.

The RN at Bay View suggested that kids start wearing their masks again at home, to get ready for wearing them all day at school. Heather Budisalovich said, "We're super excited to see the kiddos. It's not school without them."

Melinda Ruzich is a kindergarten teacher in Hibbing who can't wait to see her kids again. "It's not horrible over the computer. There are worse things. But it's so much better in person, when they're so little."

She just beat breast cancer, so dealing with COVID rules is something she's not afraid of. "We know there's an end to this. And my attitude has changed. We can do this for a couple more months. We're gonna make it."

Grand Rapids welcomed back their K-2 grades in person this week. Ryan DeBay, principal at East Rapids Elementary, said, "The kids were a little tired, but they did well."

He added that they've upped their game when it comes to safety procedures. "I think our staff are starting to feel good, and we're seeing their health where we need to be to operate. A couple of months ago, it wasn't that way. It was very challenging to staff the buildings."

Communication is key, when it comes to getting families ready. "Over-communicate with them, and making things predictable, can help lessen the anxiety and fear," DeBay shared.


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