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Owatonna school district families have until Sunday, August 9 to fill out a fall student enrollment form that was sent out early this week. The August newsletter states, "We will be using the tools provided by the Minnesota Department of Health for guidance as to what will be the safest way for our district to start school and move forward throughout the year."

"As part of the governor's order, we are prepared to offer a full distance learning option for any family that chooses to participate in this learning model. The fall student enrollment form must be completed in order for us to plan staffing for students and families choosing distance learning."

The newsletter adds, "It is clear that our local collective effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 will determine whether or not students can attend school in-person...In this situation, unpredictability reigns supreme. We must remember we are still in the midst of a global health pandemic and the circumstances continue to change. Ongoing decision-making about our school model will be a direct result of local virus data."

Owatonna superintendent Jeff Elstad answers some Frequently Asked Questions on a video included with the newsletter. Those topics include distance learning, social distancing, and handling positive tests.

"Owatonna public schools will continue to monitor the community and school-level impact of COVID-19 on a regular basis in consultation with public health to determine if adjustments are needed."

Other points from the August newsletter:

  • Two teacher training/planning days were added to the calendar for August 31 and September 1. The first day of school will be September 2 for 9-12 grades, September 3 for 6-8 grades, and September 8 for K-5.
  • A Coffee and Conversation with the Superintendent is scheduled for Friday, August 14 at 8 am.
  • A special school board meeting and work session is set for Monday, August 10.
  • School board filing period continues through August 11. Three members will be voted on to the school board November 3, 2020.