Throughout Wadena County, school districts have transitioned learning models due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the community as well as staffing concerns due to quarantining. Area sports activities are on a pause until at least Dec. 18.

Superintendents remind parents and guardians to have students stay home with symptoms and also for students to stay home if a household member is being tested for COVID-19. If a household member tests positive, the household will need to quarantine. Local hospitals, county health departments and school nurses can provide further guidance.

Community members are also encouraged to wear masks, social distance, limit social gatherings and practice good hand hygiene to help limit the spread of the virus and allow children to have in-person learning.

"It is a community effort to strive towards the goal of in-person learning for all students, and we’re counting on you to do your part," said Staples-Motley superintendent Shane Tappe in a letter to families on Nov. 24.

In a video on Nov. 18, Bertha Hewitt teachers, staff and students shared what they have missed about having in-person learning.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

As of Dec. 1 the local district updates are:

  • Bertha-Hewitt: 7-12th graders are in distance learning until Jan. 8. Pre-K-6th graders are in-person learning until Jan. 8. Call 218-924-2500 to reserve a free meal.
  • Menahga: Students in all grade levels will be released at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesdays starting Dec. 2. Teachers will use the additional time to prepare.
  • New York Mills: Students in all grade levels are in distance learning throughout December. School aged child care is available for K–6 students. Meal pick-up is available for individuals 18 years and younger in the household from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every day school is in session.
  • Sebeka: Students in kindergaten-5th grade will be released at 12:20 p.m. on Fridays in December for teachers to have time to connect with students in distance learning.
  • Staples-Motley: Starting on Nov. 30, students in 7-12th grade will return to hybrid learning with 9-12th in-person Wednesdays and Fridays and 7-8th in-person Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The remaining days will be distance learning. Pre-K-6th grade remains in-person.
  • Verndale: All students will be released at 1 p.m. on Fridays in December. Child care is available for elementary students; contact the school for information on registering.

  • Wadena-Deer Creek: Distance learning has been extended for 7-12 grade students and elementary students will start distance learning on Fridays, beginning Dec. 4. Full distance learning for all students includes Jan. 4-15. Monday, Jan. 18 is a scheduled staff development day.

This story was updated on Thursday, Dec. 3 to reflect changes in Sebeka and New York Mills Public School districts. Read more about the extension of distance learning for New York Mills here.