September 29, 2020

Mandaree making distance learning work

By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer

After going to distance learning just one week after the Mandaree Public School District began its school year on Aug. 18, Tara Thomas, school superintendent says it was the right thing to do.
“To be really blunt, it’s not the optimum way to do education,” states Thomas. “But our families were really uncomfortable with going face to face and the tribal chairman really recommended that schools not go face to face.”
At that point, Thomas says the school board made the decision to do additional training in order to make accommodations for distance learning.
While it may seem like the school jumped the gun on its decision to convert to online classes due to the low number of COVID-19 cases within the school, Thomas believes it’s for the best.
“There was a staff member that had the virus. But he was cleared by the state of North Dakota to return to work,” Thomas says.
In addition, there was also a young girl who had contracted COVID-19 but Thomas says she didn’t pose an imminent threat at the time because she followed proper protocol and quarantined at home in an effort to minimize exposure.

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