This week’s school board meeting started with brief presentations from the principals of each school in the district. This included Scott Colbeck, elementary principal at Adams/McKinley, Tindy Rund, elementary principal at Cleveland, Ivan Hirst, middle school principal and Mark Anderson, high school principal. Each principal had positive reports and the first three weeks of in-person learning have been a success. Much of the focus at the onset of the school year was on social and emotional learning and building positive relationships, preparing students and teachers for the year ahead.
Twenty-four confirmed COVID cases have been reported in the school district thus far. Superintendent Jeff Drake reiterated that students and staff are highly encouraged to wear masks indoors. Drake is also looking forward to working with Otter Tail County Public Health to set up on-site vaccine clinics at Fergus Falls schools, should a COVID-19 vaccine be approved for children 5-11 years of age. “We are certainly willing to host a vaccine clinic at the point where the younger students, 5- to 11-year-olds are approved for a vaccine,” he said at the meeting, “we will work with Otter Tail County Public Health to bring that to the school district, so it’s accessible for those students and parents that choose vaccine.”
Otter Homecoming is just around the corner and students and staff alike are looking forward to the celebratory occasion. Homecoming week is Oct. 4-8 and there will be a homecoming parade on Friday at 2 p.m. and the Otter football team will face Roseau at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Another celebration coming up at Kennedy Secondary School is “Unity Day.” Unity Day, Oct. 19, is an annual celebration of kindness, acceptance and inclusion within schools, helping students feel safe and supported. “It really fits in with our goal of creating an inclusive and respectful environment for all people in our district,” Drake explained. Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange on Unity Day, “sending a strong message that this is a school where all students are welcomed and we want to have a caring and respectful environment,” said Drake. A student-designed T-shirt for Unity Day is also in the works.
Parent-teacher conferences are quickly approaching and teachers are looking forward to the continued school year ahead.