2020-2021 Back to School Announcement #1

The state has announced that the Governor will make an announcement about schools next week. In the meantime we are making tentative plans, knowing that most or all of it might change after those announcements next week. Here is what we feel we know at this point:

We will develop our own school plan separate from the Fergus Falls Public School. We do not need to follow what they are doing if we can address the issue independently from them. We are dealing with a smaller population of students, staff and families.

  • HOWEVER, we may be in a situation where we do have to follow what they are
    doing based on things we can not control like…
  • Community or regional outbreak

Our goal is to be back in the building with students to start school in September. We are working on our reopening plans that will include learning in the building, by hybrid and through distance learning. We would be short sighted if we were not making these plans simply because we hope we don’t have to use them. We will have these plans ready just in case.

I have heard a misconception from different people that “As a nonpublic school we can do whatever we want”… This is Not true nor is it a responsible way to approach a pandemic. We need to follow guidelines and answer to:

  • Insurance
  • MN Department of Health
  • Diocese of St. Cloud and Bishop Kettler

Earlier in the week staff met over Zoom to talk about plans. One phrase that came up was “short term compromise”. What are we willing to do for the short term as a compromise, in order to have students back in the building learning face to face. How can we make lunch time, recess, hallways all work with compromise so that those are not the reasons students can not be in the building. We need to remember that this will be a short term situation (a year possibly but not 10 years), we will get to a point where there is a vaccine, highly effective treatment and herd immunity. And we will go back to what was considered “normal” settings but for now, we will need to find some compromises.

We will put out another update later next week after the Governor has made his announcements. In the meantime, please enjoy your young children. Give yourself and them some grace and readjust expectations. Think of yourself when you are stressed… it is hard to control your emotions, to stay focused, to handle lots of things coming at you at once. This pandemic will pass but so will this time of your children being young, do not wish this time away. Snuggle them, slow down and listen to them, read to them, and realize they are picking up on your attitude and emotions. Turn to God in prayer, practice releasing your worries to him, praise him for the amazing creations we see and ask for patience and understanding.

In God’s Peace,
Mrs. Tonya Zierden
OLV School Principal