March 18, 2020

K-12 schools shut down due to coronavirus threat

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

There will be no school for the state’s 175 school districts this week following North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s order on the evening of Sunday, March 15, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Out of an abundance of caution, public and private schools will be closed March 16-20,” stated Burgum in his executive order that was issued late Sunday evening. “The decision was made in an effort to reduce the rate of infection and give the state an opportunity to gather more data, better assess testing and treatment capabilities and plan for education in the event of an extended COVID-19 pandemic.”
Burgum said that the situation will be reassessed at the end of the week as to whether or not the state’s elementary and high schools will reopen.
Also last week, the North Dakota High School Activities Association announced the curtailment of all high school spring sports and extracurricular activities in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
The Governor’s executive order on Sunday evening caught both the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 and Alexander Public School District No. 2, the county’s two largest public schools, by surprise.
“I though it would happen especially after Montana schools closed,” stated Leslie Bieber, Alexander superintendent. “But I wished we would have had a little more time to react.”

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