Even though many details are still unknown, it is a step forward. Last year, the pandemic and school closures through the state meant no prom and a drive-up graduation.
The board heard about some of the things in the works at their Feb. 22 meeting.
“Prom and graduation and how they are going to be operated were the big topics at our principal’s meeting,” principal Brian Michaelson said. “Things are looking good right now with the (Minnesota) High School League. And with the camera for YouTube live, everyone can watch no matter how many tickets each student gets. It’s too far away to tell that right now.”
“We’re starting to look at options following the recent state guidance for indoor venues,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said. “Our gym right now can only hold 190 people for games because they have to be 12 feet away from the players. But when we set it up for graduation, we should be able to get to the 250-people mark with where it’s at now, with the potential we could have more if guidelines change.”
He said the plan is to give each graduate tickets for guests based on the capacity, along with livestreaming the graduation ceremony.
“That has been a very popular thing for us,” he said. “We’ve had 70 to 80 people online watching basketball games.”
Plans are also underway for a “gap closure” summer school to help students in grades catch up.
“The state is asking everyone to provide a supplemental summer school to make up for the gaps that got bigger between the top- and the low-end kids during distance learning,” Michaelson said. “We’re looking at two weeks in June, July and August for the younger kids with fun themes to help students with their math and reading. For families who have vacations planned, we will try to be flexible and work around that. We can also transport kids. Classroom teachers will be deciding which students need this.”
Middle school students are having make-up Fridays during the remainder of the school year when other students are distance learning.
Students in grades 9-12 will have a credit recovery program this summer to help them make up classes they failed during the past year. “They may have dropped the ball and failed one this spring or winter when we were distance learning,” Michaelson said. “This lets them recover those credits.”
Summer school is an option for middle school kids who are not caught up.