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First Week of School Update
First Week of School Update
Kevin Cardille, Superintendent
Friday, September 18, 2020

First week of school update

Greetings Parents and Students,

Week number one is nearly completed, and I can hardly describe the feeling in the air for us to have students back in the building. I wish I could say “back to normal” but that it surely is not. Clearly both students and teachers missed each other. It was a treat to see the smiles on their faces regarding the opportunity to be back together. It has been a long time. The students were amazed that there is so much that has changed in our facilities and grounds. The reaction to those changes was clearly appreciated by the students. One student said, “this is sick”. Now, I am pretty sure that that means he liked it based on the reaction of other students and the look on his face, I took it as a positive comment.

In a time when we see positive cases greatly increase around us, I feel it is important for me to share with you once again the way these cases can and will impact our ability to stay open as we currently. Some have asked if there is a magic number that will change our educational delivery method. The answer is there is really not one. We have guidelines that we are trying to follow and work very closely with Houston County Public Health to make decisions. We also consider what is happening in Winona and La Crosse County, WI. As you are probably hearing, there are significant increases in positive COVID tests. Please use the PPE necessary to minimize that spread. 

A few families have notified us of the possibility of their children being exposed outside of the school. Our school nurse and fellow administrators appreciate them contacting us and taking appropriate action and keeping their children home. We immediately do quick contact tracing and can verify that these students were not in contact with other students because their parents kept them home when they suspected something, or they were in the “B” group and had not yet come to school. Making the right decisions and taking the right actions helps to keep everyone safe. We know that it will only be a matter of time before we have cases in our building, but if in question, please keep your child home. 

Houston County Public Health recommends these actions and considerations to make decisions.

  1. Look at a number of variables when deciding to move from one learning model to another. 

We consider Houston, Winona and LaCrosse County data. It is also quite clear that Houston County is significantly impacted by what is going on in the other two counties. Please wear a mask. After all, Lancers do wear masks, right?

    2. Schools are discouraged from flipping from one model to another unless there is a significant reason to do so and are encouraged to consider a minimum of 2 consecutive 14-day case rates before deciding to change learning models.

  • That would be two different Thursday reports; therefore, the data could be 7 days apart. We do not want to start flipping weekly to a different model, making knee jerk reactions to ever-changing data.

We expect to hear upcoming news regarding fall sports. The Minnesota State High School League is considering opening up both Volleyball and Football. If the directives change, we will have to make a decision on what actions we will make to consider fall seasons.

Thank you all for your support of our Lancer programs and our students. 

Kevin Cardille

Superintendent