UPDATE: B-B-E schools will not hold classes March 18 to March 27

District working under guidance of state, federal officials

In an e-mail to parents on Sunday evening, March 15, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa superintendent Patrick Walsh reported that K-12 school classes will be in session on Tuesday, March 17. It will be a normal, full day of school with regular hours ending at 3:45 p.m. The district will then cease regular K-12 operations starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. This is in accordance with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's Executive Order 20-02 that was issued earlier today as a response to the COVID-19 virus. The goal is to disrupt the transmission of the virus across the state. Currently, Minnesota's 35 COVID-19 cases are isolated to a handful of counties in the state.

The Jaguar Kids Connection day care will continue to operate under normal hours of operation, Monday through Friday, during this same period of time for families who they regularly serve.

Walsh pointed out that staff and administration will be on duty from March 18 to March 27 as a distance learning plan takes shape for students in the B-B-E district. This plan will be implemented in the event of an extended closing.

B-B-E schools will continue to provide services and instruction to students ages 12 and under whose parents are categorized as emergency personnel. These emergency workers are critical to Minnesota's response to COVID-19.

In an explanation of how this will work, Walsh said, "We ask that each family that meets these occupations provide the school with immediate notice so we can plan for your children to be here beginning on Wednesday (March 18). We expect you to do this by securing a letter from the employer, showing an employment badge or simply contacting the school directly by phone or e-mail.

The following occupations are covered in these categories as listed below:

1. Health care staff including workers at health care providers and systems, including hospitals and clinics, post-acute and long-term care facilities, including nursing assisted living facilities;

2. other health systems and organizations such as home care workers, personal care assistants, ambulance and emergency workers, direct care and treatment workers;

3. other emergency staff including first responders, fire fighters, personnel providing correctional services, essential court personnel, Minnesota state veterans home staff, state and local public health agency employees, MN Sure Navigators, county financial / eligibility workers, county case managers, or any county staff in emergency management or health and human services.

The governor's executive order states that districts must provide meals for all children who need them, no matter their resources and no matter what school they attend.

During the shut down period and beyond, B-B-E schools is working on the way they will provide bussing and food services in the event of an extended school shut down period.

Walsh added for parents, "Please be looking in your e-mail for any updates to our local response at B-B-E schools. This is a rapidly emerging and very fluid situation. The district is making every effort to deal with this in an efficient and timely manner."

Note: the B-B-E school board will hold the regular monthly meeting for March tomorrow night (March 16) at the elementary school starting at 7:30 p.m. This meeting will not be physically open to the public, however, the public is invited to watch the meeting via the school's broadcasting YouTube website. That link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgtuehViMxA. The "Live Stream" button will not be available until shortly before 7:30 p.m.

According to the MDH and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the best COVID-19 prevention activities are the same activities that parents teach children when discussing influenza and the common cold. They include these four major guidelines to follow:

1. use quality hand-washing practices (20 seconds or more with soap);

2. cover your cough or sneeze;

3. stay home if you do not feel well;

4. avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

COVID-19 symptoms: coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is characterized by mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. Illness can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill. People may experience the following symptoms: • runny nose; • sore throat; • cough; • a mild to severe fever; • difficulty breathing (severe cases).


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