Covid-19: what’s real?

Carson Powell, Co-Editor in Chief

COVID-19 has been the topic of conversation in classes, in the hallways, and at home. Many students are unsure what is happening to combat the coronavirus at school, or are confused why certain decisions have, or have not, been made. I for one have heard many different things, and have been wondering what is true and what is false. I met with Dr. Reikowski, and she cleared everything up. Here is what our school plans to do amid the pandemic.


Administrators have met with the District Office, who has been meeting with the Minnesota Department of Health, to discuss what should be done and what is best for the students. In addition, Dr. Reikowski has met with her Crisis Response Team to determine decisions about our school specifically. However, it is not up to her or the superintendent to cancel school.


It is the governor who is currently faced with the decision to close all Minnesota public schools, and as of right now, school is not cancelled for next week, or any weeks following. It is possible it could be cancelled soon, or not at all. It all depends on the events of the upcoming weeks. However it is possible for an individual school to close if a case presents itself there. 


Many students are complaining about this decision, however it is important to note a few things before doing so. First of all, we must remember the students that rely on school for their meals, and will not have food if school is to be cancelled. Also, there are many parents, particularly those in the healthcare industry, who will not be able to take time off to be with their kids. Although high schoolers are self-sufficient enough to be home alone all day, kindergarten through fifth graders are most likely not. 


If schools were to be cancelled, it would not be like a month of snow days, as many believe it will be. Teachers are preparing for the e-learning environment that will take place, similar to what happens for freshmen and seniors on the April ACT day. Students will be expected to spend 40 minutes a day on each of their classes and will be able to contact their teachers through Schoology with questions. The duration of online classes is unknown. 


The benefits of these e-learning days will be the social distancing they provide and there will be no need for days made up in the summer. While the students are gone, essential personnel would remain at the school working. 


As for spring sports and extracurriculars, practice and tryouts are still permitted but all games until further notice have been cancelled. There haven’t been any discussions as of right now regarding prom or graduation, so these events are still scheduled as usual. 


All spring break trips through the school have been cancelled or postponed. These include trips going to Europe, Australia, Wisconsin, and Florida. Europe trips have been postponed, with the tentative date being sometime in October. The initial thought was to reschedule them for the summer, however costs to travel to Europe in the summer are much more expensive than this time of year. In addition, we don’t know the state of Europe and the U.S. in the summer, so it might not be safe to travel there or Europe might not want us to travel there. 


The decisions that have been made are all in the best interest of students. This is a time of great stress, and it’s important for us to realize that. If there are any updates, emails will be sent to parents as soon as the decisions are made.