The Greenbush-Middle River School is transitioning to distance learning for ninth to twelfth grade students, effective November 2 through November 13. The school’s “desired” plan, GMR Superintendent Guggisberg said via an instant alert to parents on October 28, is to return to in-person learning for these high school grades on November 16.
In Guggisberg’s instant alert, he mentioned how as COVID-19 cases in the state, “especially rural areas such as Roseau County and the GMR School area,” continue to rise, some school employees are being prevented from doing their duties, either due to contracting COVID-19 or needing to quarantine following close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. The school decided to go to ninth to twelfth grade distant learning due to not having enough substitutes to staff the school’s programming needs, especially in the high school.
As for the county, as of October 29, Roseau County had 321 confirmed cases and 9 probable cases, according to the Minnesota Department of Health’s Situation Update for COVID-19. As of October 20, 2020, the confirmed case count in Roseau County stood at 199.
Guggisberg explained how this GMR decision, a voluntary one, was made after school administrative consultation with the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Regional Support Team in Thief River Falls and Roseau County Emergency Management. As a result of this decision being voluntary, one made due to staff shortages and not a “significant” student body COVID-19 outbreak, school activities will continue for the time being. As of October 20, five GMR students had tested positive for COVID-19, as previously reported in The Tribune.
Speaking of activities, the GMR Homecoming Coronation is still on and will take place on Wednesday, November 4 at 2:00 pm outside in the school’s back parking lot. All classes are invited to come and are being asked to wear a mask and social distance. The public can attend this event, but are being asked to remain in their cars. Parents of the homecoming court will be allowed out of their cars and will be provided seating.
The Homecoming Coronation will also be live streamed via Zoom Meeting at the following link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/79453413181?pwd=Z2srTHZqSEVsYjJkb2tEVSt6WHlZZz09
Meeting ID: 794 5341 3181
Meeting Passcode: H7mvkV
Also of note, the district will continue to have early dismissals on Fridays for kindergarten to eighth grade students, including Friday, October 30 at 12:30 pm. Ninth to twelfth grade students will not have in-school, in-person or distance learning on October 30.
School meals will be available to distance learners for free. Meals for bus route students will be sent home during the afternoon bus route. For those students not on bus routes, specifically those who live close to the school, meals will be available for pickup.