Itasca County Educators Stress Preparation Before School Begins

Parents and Caregivers Are Encouraged to Practice Masking Ahead of Return to the Classroom

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Health and school leaders in Itasca County are urging parents to practice what local medical professionals are preaching to better help their children prepare for the upcoming abnormal school year.

Officials stress the need for preventative action at home before students return to the classroom come September.

Per Minnesota state guidelines, all students returning to in-person learning will be required to wear a face-covering during school hours.

The only time students won’t need to wear a mask is during lunch when drinking, during physical activity such as Phy-Ed, or during certain lessons in the classroom as directed by the teacher.

“We need parents and caregivers to have all the excitement of an NFL cheerleader. To say, oh, you’re going to wear a mask at school? Awesome! Let’s pick out masks that are going to make you feel excited and cool at school. So if you like turtles, let’s find you a turtle mask,” said Annie Olson-Reiner, Principal at Keewatin Elementary.

Educators in Itasca County are excited to welcome many students back to in-person or hybrid learning models but are asking for the help of everyone in the community beforehand.

“We are relying on parents and caregivers to speak positively about masks to our children and remind them all schools in Itasca County are following the same process. We’re all in this together to keep them safe and in school,” said Kelly Chandler, Dept. Manager for Itasca County Public Health.

If a child forgets to wear a mask to school, one will be provided upon arrival.

Educators are asking parents to monitor their children, and stress the importance of reporting and keeping a student home from school if COVID-19 symptoms appear.

As of Thursday, August 20, Itasca County Public Health reports 154 positive cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths. Cases range from six-months-old to 94-years-old.

 

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