PR-B sees 1st COVID case; C-I reverses elementary hybrid learning plan

Pine River-Backus Schools. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Pine River-Backus schools canceled classes Wednesday, Oct. 14, after a positive COVID-19 case, according to a Facebook post from Superintendent Jon Clark.

The district began contact tracing right away, Clark wrote, and decided to cancel classes after realizing a large number of staff and students would have to be notified of direct contact with the infected person.

Under the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health, classes will resume Monday, Oct. 19. Students will not be in school Thursday and Friday due to the annual Minnesota Education Association conference.

โ€œBy responding quickly and keeping exposure to a minimum we are able to keep our current scenario status as Hybrid allowing extra curricular activities to continue,โ€ Clark wrote. โ€œI would like to thank you for your patience and understanding.โ€


The Crosby-Ironton School District will not transition to hybrid learning for elementary students after announcing the decision to do so last week.


Superintendent Jamie Skjeveland announced the change in a letter to families Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Instead of beginning hybrid learning for kindergarten through sixth grade students Monday, the in-person model will remain in place because of the high volume of child care needs. If the school had converted to the hybrid model and provided child care to all families with guardians qualifying as essential workers, the 6-foot social distancing requirement would be impossible to achieve, Skjeveland noted.

โ€œThe school district will continue to monitor the various data points, as well as the health and safety of its students and staff. If circumstances arise that require the elementary school to convert to a more restrictive model, a distance learning option will be considered at that time,โ€ Skjeveland wrote. โ€œThank you for your patience and understanding, as we continue to choose the best learning option for our students during this awful pandemic.โ€

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