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Sleepy Eye Public School to continue with learning model as long as possible

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Sleepy Eye District 84 Board of Education met on Tuesday evening, Nov. 10 in a virtual meeting due to the spread of COVID-19 in the county.

A major topic of discussion was whether to continue on the current plan of in-person learning for the elementary school and the hybrid schedule for high school students. Superintendent John Cselovszki said the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Brown County are of concern. 

The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

“We still believe schools are doing a good job,” Cselovszki said. “School cases relate to activities and family spread. We have not seen in-school spread so far.”

Cselovszki said county schools continue to work in cooperation with Brown County Public Health to determine school learning models and at this time believe schools should continue to operate as is. 

“I believe the students are safer in school,” Cselovszki said. “We keep them distanced and wearing masks. If they were home all the time they would be more likely to gather with friends.”

As cases continue to increase in the county and neighboring schools announced a move to all distance learning, Cselovszki was asked on Nov. 18 if any change was expected. “I plan on staying the course unless I see school-based spread, difficulty of staffing, or a mandate to change,” he said.

On a related topic, the board discussed results of a teacher survey on the effectiveness of the High School Hybrid Program. Items discussed: •do students have enough to do on off days, •are they able to cover enough curriculum in the hybrid model, •are more students struggling, •how can we hold students accountable for doing school work on their off days. 

Board members agreed they would like ideas from teachers and asked Cselovszki to bring more teacher input to next month’s meeting to discuss again and decide on any change.

Cselovszki reported the school’s food service received a $52,673 grant to distribute meals to the community.

State schools are now required to provide teachers with an additional 30 minutes of prep time each day. Cselovszki recommended it would be more effective to give teachers several hours at one time by implementing a one-day early out each week.

The board approved a rental agreement for school district property at Brackenridge and 4th Avenue with Rodney Sanchez at $450 a month.