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Turtle Mountain Star
Rolla , North Dakota
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August 16, 2021     Turtle Mountain Star
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August 16, 2021
 

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usuashsxxtsxaaixtuALL FUR em 9&2:sz . :creates Must-see m, I, yetanother "’9 5“" r :g: * . , “ . , Funds for local projects....‘Page2 -"ttltlmt-ltl-Jt-ll-t-II"lit'l'--'It't‘tnlt't-lltlt't'llll' , ‘ I i . 2 i I» “ ’ V. ' '- f. ‘ Hospital and students ._.....Page 7: v? ._ pages 9 and .10 Unpredictable farming ...Page 16 August 16, 2021 . Masks a muSt as TurtleMountain School Opens doors Volume 134 Number 42 ' Two Sections $1 Rolla, North Dakota 58367 By Jason Nordmark Of The Star Turtle Mountain Community School will bring all students back into its buildings this week and will require masks for everyone on site, regardless of his or her vaccination sta— tus. Michelle Thomas, Turtle Mountain School superintendent, said “crucial conver— sations” with the public helped determine how to approach the new school year. “Most schools move forward once they re- ceive the school board’s blessing. However, we are very unique in comparison to public schools in the state,” Thomas said. “We must ensure that our Belcourt School District 7 Board, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Tribal Council support our action plan for how we as a school provide instruction to our students. Therefore, the process we follow is an extremely lengthy one. However, the con- stant dialogue results in a strong action plan that educates our students while keeping them in the safest environment we possibly can.” Thomas said the tribal council along with Rolette County Public Health and Indian Health Services worked “tirelessly” with the district to put safeguards in place for the pro— tection of students and staff. The school also got an extra boost by working with Dr. Terry Dwelle, an infectious disease specialist. “We are guided by healthtexperts in rela- tion to COVID,” Thomas said. “TMCS is committed to following CDC guidance with fidelity, even going above and beyond some Turtle Mountain (Continued on Page 8) Rolla school won’t mandate ‘ A mother and daughter enjoy some play time together at Dunseith Day School, which offers a uniqu‘e classroom setting through its Family and Children Education (FACE) program. About FACE Unique school program brings parents into classroom By Jason Nordmark Of The Star Last year, Taylor Davis and Emmy Lenoir spent time in school together and this year, the duo is going back again. That will be a common theme for a lot of children this week, but in their case it’s unique. Taylor is Emmy’s mother and they are a part of Dunseith Day School’s Family And Children Education (FACE) pro- gram. ' “It’s a great opportunity for any parent to be a part of their child’s life, especially when it comes to education,” Taylor said. > Don Olson is the FACE program coordinator for the school. He said it involves children who are three or four years old working with their parentsand integrating, learning into the home. “The results have been amazing,”'Olson said. “The three and four year olds become familiar with school and We have some four year olds who are‘starting to read al- ready.” . , Even with last year’s challenges of COVID—related distance learning, Taylor said experiences in the FACE program helped her understand her child better and brought them closer together. “It helped us bond,” Taylor said. “You can really learn about how minds develop. When I would try and stay pa- tient with her when it came to homework, she was more patient, too. Watching her grow and see how patient (the .“lt?s a great-opportunity for any parent to be a part of their child’s life, especially when it cemes to eduCation.” .. f ' . Taylor Davis,parent'and participant in Dunseith Day School’s Familyand Children ' ., ' ' Education program teacher) were helped us when we worked at home, too.” Getting started Taylor moved back to Dunseith last year and began looking. for a head start classroom for her daughter. Emmy didn’t turn three until February and by that time, most 'of programs were full. ' " ' " " ' ' ' “A family member recommended the FACE program, so I called and said they would take her as soon as she turned 3,” Taylor said. ' The mother and daughter went into the program in February 2020 and the initial reaction was a surprise. “I wasn’t expecting all the parent involvement. I thought it would be just a regular head start,” Taylor said. FACE (Continued on Page 8) masks to start school year By Jason Nordmark Of The Star The Rolla School Board unani- mously approved its health and safety plan for the 2021-22 school year. “Right now, masks are optional,” said Superintendent Brad Nash, re- garding a key aspect of the state—re- quired plan. Due to a law passed by the ND. Legislature this year, the school board will control every as- pect of the safety blueprint. “The N .D. Department of Health cannot issue a mask mandate Nash said. “Only you guys can make that decision by looking at the situation as it progresses.” During the past year, school dis— tricts were bound by Gov. Doug Bur- gum’s color code COVID-19 chart. Center for Disease Control’s daily re— portas guidance. Also at the board meeting, Nash said masks would be required on all the district school buses because the district receives Federal Transporta- tion Aid. However, the following day, Nash said after a state—wide meeting of su- perintendents, it was determined that local school districts will have the choice of whether or not «masks will be required on buses. Nash said that decision will come at a special meeting prior to the start of the school year. Another aspect of the safety plan involved similar modes of operation as last year which involved the avail- ability of hand sanitizer throughout the building and janitorial staff clean— ing high-traffic areas several times a ' day. “We’re also going to social dis- tance best we can Nash said. The superintendent also updated the board on the upcoming issue of Binax testing, which is used to detect COVID. The test involves a lower nostril swab and can be used for peo- ple with and without symptoms. Nash said he is working on the guidelines for using the tests in the school and a special board meeting will be held in the future to review the process and vote on whether or not to approve use of the testing pro- cedures. Nash said other area schools are utilizing Binax tests, which he said could eliminate quarantine proce— dures for people who come in close contact with someone diagnosed St. John, vDunise'ith «and Rolette ..makepolicydeterminations as firstlday. of classes approach For thej third time inithreegyears, school officials are trying to, .naVigate the COVlD-‘19 pandemic. ; The yirusithatvdisrupted the last quarter or the 2019-2020 yearéis :still j‘puzz'ling? administrators as they gear‘up for the Upcoming School year. . ‘ 'RoletteCourtt'y school leaders are mixed on how ‘1 to approach the-192021522schooiiyear as it pertains to'the virus; Of‘:all theiSsues officials are handling, one that. is Hamstring thelmost attention. involves a 8m "dtiash suggested the board follow the, ,_ ,‘ll piece of-‘eleth that can be used to~ cover a ~ . éi-‘owaffaflam v 5' i «swan-r V in theater” since the start of the pandemic, and a tour across Rolette County? showsia mixed'reaction to whether and school'staff and students should be- mandated to Weara'mask'. ,. , , 3 It won’t bean option for students and staff in St. John and ans'eith.’ StrJohnSuperintendent Paul ’Frydenltmd acknowledged not everyone is in agree- ment;:With hisidecisiointo mandate mask wearing, bUt he is basing thatfpolicy on data. and What he feels is best for the students. I “my, responsibilityjs (the health of the students and'fie decided to take: guarded approach,” Fry- r "denlund said. “This isespecially true for the 11 and underswdentsthat have no'opportunity-to getvac- . cinétéd.” ‘ Frydenlu‘nd cited an uptick‘in local cases, includ- ing five confirmed last- Tuesday, and the highly- transmissibie Delta variant as cause, for concern. “it would be irresponsible‘if twe didn’t look out for the kids.” . p i 7, P0licy -' (Continued on Page 8) with COVID._ .all the Binax tests and Nash said he is As-an example, he said athletes who are deemed in close contact with an infected teammate could take the Binax test every other day and as long as the result is negative, that in— dividual could continue to participate in games and practices. “It keeps kids in school,” said Bret McCloud, school board member. The state will cover the costs of working through those details. He added the school will dictate the pro- cedures involved with the testing. Nash pointed out that vaccinated individuals who come into close con- tact with a COVID-positive individ- ual will also avoid quarantine Rolla (Continued on Page 8) Public health wary of virus outbreaks as school starts By John Rosinski Of The Star With .hundreds. of students and staff .headed inside for the start of school this week, local health officials can’t help but be concerned about COVID—l9 and any poten- tial outbreaks. Rolette County Public Health Nurse CHECKINGOFFE’R FOR YOU Renae Henderson said public health’s goals mirror the school’s in that everyone wants in person learning. How to keep everyone in house and safe, however, will be daunting. “We understand the schools are in a very tough position right now,” Henderson noted. -' “We all want to keep schools safe for kids, staff and educators and keep face to face ed- ucation as much as possible.” A key to making that a reality is vaccina- tions. All staff are eligible for an approved vaccine along with students ages 12-18. Hen— derson said health officials were in schools throughout the summer encouraging staff and students to get vaccinated. Approximately 48.6 percent of those 12-18 are up to date Find an account that fits your lifestyle! Get details at starionbank.com/250 today. with coverage, besting the state average which is just over 20 percent. “The kids uptake in Rolette County has been good, actually great and it’s rewarding to see. It’s nice that the kids are wanting the vaccine and I am hoping that encourages the parents to receive it also. The vaccination is not 100 percent but it does decrease the severity of the disease and we are seeing it reduce hospitalizations, length of hospital- izations and event deaths from COVID.” A critical question facing parents and stu— dents is when kids under the age of 12 will Public Health (Continued on Page 2) m.