By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
In an announcement to school families and staff on Monday afternoon, Nov. 9, Kimball Schools Superintendent made the difficult announcement that Kimball Schools will shift to a new model, effective this week. School was canceled for Tuesday, Nov. 10, for high school students to give teachers and staff more time to prepare for the change. KES students had school Tuesday, Nov. 10, but not on Nov. 11-13 so that staff can prepare.
Because of the numbers of staff at both the elementary and high schools who are either in isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19 exposure, and because of a shortage of substitute staff, there just aren’t enough teachers available to keep the schools running as they have been.
As of Thursday, Nov. 12, the high school (grades 6-12) will shift to full-time distance learning.
Starting Monday, Nov. 16, KES students will begin the hybrid model: two days in-person alternating with two days of distance learning.
After-school activities will continue as scheduled, unless otherwise notified. If you’re not on the notification (text and/or email) list, you can check the school’s website at http://www.kimball.k12.mn.us.
Community Ed programs will continued as scheduled, unless otherwise notified.
Preschool and Enrichment programs will continue in-person as scheduled for this week, unless otherwise notified. Bussing will be provided for preschool learners on Thursday and Friday of this week, as scheduled.
Cubs’ Club will shift to the Emergency Tier 1 Essential Workers mode starting Thursday, Nov. 12. Supplies will be moved to St. Anne’s Church this week to prepare to be open five days a week for distance-learning students, starting Monday, Nov. 16.
The Updated Emergency Tier I Essential Workers list includes those working in high-density emergency areas: EMT/Ambulance, front-line doctors and nurses in hospital emergency care room settings, law enforcement, firefighters, National Guard members, urgent care workers where COVID-19 testing is being processed, Epic workers who assist at the hospital, and VA front-line workers (doctors or nurses).
Meals are being provided for families, and snacks for students. If school families need meals, you can reach Sherry Hanson, Food Service Director, at (320) 398-7700 ext. 1377.
It is unknown right now how long this shift will remain. The current spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, and especially locally, is a primary factor in changing how school will run, indefinitely for now. It is up to each of us in the community to do our parts (wear masks in public, wash hands frequently, avoid large gatherings, stay home when sick, and test after possible exposure). This is the only hope of quickly slowing down the current surge in cases, and returning to hybrid and in-person school as soon as possible.
The district sends notifications to all school families, and will continue to do so throughout this new phase in the school year. Follow announcements on the Kimball Schools Facebook page if you are not on the list.