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Minot family shares concerns about MPS reintegration plan, Superintendent expands on it

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For many school districts, there is still a lot of uncertainty as the start of the academic year draws closer.

The Minot Public Schools Superintendent says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

We sat down with Dr. Mark Vollmer to get a better understanding of what families can expect, in tonight’s top story.

“We’ll never develop a perfect plan. We’ll never develop a plan that will make everyone happy,” Vollmer said.

Vollmer says whether or not to “mask-up” has been one of the biggest arguments at hand.

Because the school district classifies the area in the ‘green’ risk level, staff and students are required to have their own masks.

If someone forgets theirs at home, they will be given one. If someone refuses to wear one, they will have to do distance learning.

“There’s a lot of debate about masks and people are passionate about it. Passion is fine, compassion is better. Understanding that we look at things through a different lens, we have different ideas,” Vollmer said.

He also says it’s important to tailor the plan to each individual school. That especially comes into play for families like the Eatons.

Mom, Kesha Eaton, will have her three sons in three different schools. She says she’s concerned about them being exposed to several thousand students, but they have concerns of their own, too.

“It was hard to get the help that I needed if I needed help from a teacher if I didn’t understand something or other things,” said Trevon Eaton, freshman at Central Campus.

“Just a measly little cough, wear a mask because you can inhale those germs and you can catch the same thing. And I want everyone to stay safe in North Dakota,” said Bentley Eaton, fourth-grader ay John Hoeven Elementary.

“We might eat in our classrooms and, I mean, having us all take off our masks, having all of our germs exposed because we are eating,” said Jameson Eaton, sixth-grader at Jim Hill Middle School.

Vollmer says if a student chooses to participate in distance learning, it is a minimum of nine weeks and it will be more rigorous than it was in the spring.

Parents need to let the district know by August 11 if they plan on taking that route.

Vollmer says nothing is set in stone and even after the plan is approved, it will constantly be re-evaluated.

“The questions that will continue to come up as we learn more about COVID and we know more about the spread,” Vollmer said.

The school board meets tomorrow, August 6 at 4 p.m. to make a decision about the reintegration plan.

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