To: Constituents in Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis Counties:
We’re writing to you today to ask for your help.
We are four weeks into the year and already schools in our seven-county region have had to adjust their learning models from either in-person to hybrid or hybrid to distance learning due to sharp increases in positive COVID-19 cases. This is disappointing for everyone involved.
We have been given requirements from the Minnesota Department of Health that we are following, and it is working. Across the state, there has been minimal transmission within schools. However, officials at MDH have said the COVID-19 virus is, for the most part, spreading outside of school – transmission is happening in community settings and at family and social gatherings.
We want our kids in school as much as possible. You, the great people in our communities, have said you also want our kids in school. We know of only one way that gives us the best chance at safely keeping our kids in school, sports, and activities.
We need your help. This information is nothing you haven’t already heard, but bears repeating as it’s going to take all of us to make a difference. Please – help us keep cases low and our kids in school by following the very clear guidelines offered by MDH:
Þ Avoid crowds.
Þ Keep family and social gatherings outdoors.
Þ Stay 6 feet from others.
Þ Wear a mask.
Þ Wash your hands.
Þ Stay home when sick.
Do it for our kids.
Dan Stifter, Aitkin Public Schools
Mike McNulty, Barnum Public Schools
John Engstrom, Carlton Public Schools
Janey Blanchard, Chisholm Public Schools,
Michael Cary, Cloquet Public Schools
Jeff Pesta, Deer River Public Schools
John Magas, Duluth Public Schools
Erik Erie, Ely Public Schools
Rae Villebrun, Floodwood Public Schools
Matt Grose, Grand Rapids Public Schools
David Pace, Greenway Public Schools
Wayne Whitwam, Hermantown Public Schools
Richard Aldrich, Hibbing Public Schools
Pat Rendle, Hill City Public Schools
Kevin Grover, International Falls Public Schools
Bill Crandall and Jay Belcastro, Lake Superior Public Schools
Jamie Wendt, Littlefork/Big Falls Public Schools
Brad Johnson, McGregor Public Schools
Gregg Allan, Mesabi East Public Schools
Billie Jo Steen, Moose Lake Public Schools
Reggie Engebritson, Mountain Iron/Buhl Public Schools
Brenda Spartz, Nashwauk/Keewatin Public Schools
Peter Hardy, Nett Lake Public Schools
Brian Yuretich, Northland Learning Center
Pat Rendle, Northland Community Public Schools
John Engelking, Proctor Public Schools
Noel Schmidt, Rock Ridge Public Schools
Reggie Engebritson, St. Louis County Public Schools
Bill Peel, Willow River Public Schools
Kim Belcastro, Wrenshall Public Schools