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

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Page The Star August 16, 2021 I Rolla - . . (Continued from Page 1) I WE WANT To BUY YOUR CAR If you still owe, wrll still procedures. there has been some d1scussron of buy and you don’t have to buy The superintendent said “close to 100 percent” of the school’s staff are vaccinated, but added that around 40 percent of the students who have reg- istered thus far received a COVID- prevention shot. “We’d like to see that a little higher,” Nash said. As of now, children under 11 are not eligible for vaccinations which that issue. “But right now, we have no mandates for anything like that,” he said. The superintendent added that al- though it wasn’t formally discussed at the meeting, the wearing of masks at all sporting events will remain op- tional. , “Obviously we will be checking the situation weekly,” Nash said., leaves several students potentially “We know things can change vulnerable while in school. Nash said quickly.” Policy (Continued from Page 1) Ultimately, Frydenlund said his goal is to keep students and staff in house all year. He said almost 80-plus percent of the staff has been vaccinated in ad- dition to a host of students ages 12 to 17 who are eligible for the vaccine. “I’m extremely proud of the kids 12 and over who have been vaccinated,” the St. John superintendent said. In addition to mask wearing, school officials will be relying on Binax tests. The tests are provided by the state and can provide a COVID result in as little as 15 minutes. They can help keep students who have had known contact with someone with COVID in the classroom, so long as they keep testing negative for the virus. “Everything we’re going to be doing will be with the goal to have full time learning, have classes every day, and protect our kids,” Fryden- lund said. The superintendent said he re- spected the opinions that differed from his, but said almost every in- stance of disagreement has been han- dled in a respectful manner. “I respect everyone’s opinion but I have do what I think is best for the kids. The research involving the effi— “We’re going. Start." with mask meeting for every oneilllle have to try ahdffbrote’ct every- one, especially the younQeSt students who-Still can’t. get the‘vaccine?” - v, .pavid Sjol, Dunseith . School superintendent cacy of vaccinations and mask wearing is that it’s overwhelmingly effective,” Frydenlund said. “If something were to happen to one of theses kids I’d have a hard time dealing with it.” As for sporting events, everyone in attendance at indoor activities, ex— cluding the participating players, will have to wear a mask. There will be no limits on attendance and concessions will be served, although Fryednlund Said everything can change as conditions involving the virus evolve. Classes are set to begin today (Monday) in Dunseith and according to Su- perintendent David Sjol, students and staff will be asked to mask up. i “We’re going to start with mask wearing for everyone,” Sjol said. “We have to try and protect every- one, especially the youngest Students who still can’t get the vaccine.” Sjol said the district will also try and implement several social dis- tancing measures. They include spac— ing everyone three feet apart and grouping students in pods at lunch. Sjol estimated more than 85 per- cent of the staff has received a COVID—19 vaccine. He added the school will start with all students and staff in the building but said officials can adjust to a hybrid model in quick fashion if the area receives a surge in cases. Students and staff in Rolette will have the option to wear a mask. Ac- cording to Rolette Superintendent Wade Sherwin, the school year will at least start without face coverings. "“jwe are able. “to ‘ easily maintain three feet distancing: but studenfsfiivill . nofifie ' , gfeet apartjjat 1, non, aetiVities or ‘ thé at “ssreom; The modernist are" requiring is as: signed bus Sea f.” . -Rolettesum“,I . i V superintendent “The school board retired the mask mandate at the June board meeting so we will start the year off without masks,” Sherwin said, adding there has not been any discussion about asking unvaccinated staff or vaccine eligible stu— dents to wear a mask. “Students and staff may choose to wear them but it is a personal decision at this point.” Rolette School has several new teachers this year. Sherwin said before the high volume of turnover, he estimated around 70 percent of the staff had been vaccinated. With the new hires, however, he didn’t even want to venture a guess. The school is also relaxing social distancing measures. Due to the school’s smaller enrollment, Sherwin said it was not a struggle to keep students apart while conducting in-person learning last year. “We are able to easily maintain three feet distancing but students will not be six feet apart at lunch, activities or in the classroom,” Sherwin said. “The only thing that we are requiring is assigned bus seats. That will help with con- tacting people if needed and it will also alleviate bus behaviors.” Sherwin described fall sports will be conducted like they were pre- COVID-19 with no limiting to the amount of spectators. “With people age 12 and up able to get vaccinated, it is the hope that peo- ple are vaccinated and or stay home if they don’t feel good so that we can maintain this type of school atmosphere,” Sherwin said. of this guidance.” What she and her daughter received was an inclusive program that brought the mother right into the middle of 'action. “I liked the fact that I could go and sit with her and observe her in school. I wasn’t directly watching the whole time but I could listen in on her conversations with teachers,” Taylor said. “I was really involved in that aspect.” Early on, Taylor recalled being frustrated at first with her daughter’s actions, but also discovered’ her daughter’s resilience. “She can be really hyper and need a lot ,of discipline. She just turned three so'she still kind of had that two- year-old mentality,” Taylor said. “But once she was able to get into a rou- tine, I really liked how quickly she adjusted to school.” Amy Jo Leonard and Jerilyn Longie work within Dunseith Day’s FACE program. Leonard said thanks to everyone involved, last year’s pro— gram worked exactly what it was in- tended for — family and children education. Taylor said the program converted to on-line learning at the onset of the pandemic, but eventually returned to the classroom. “The on—line portion (of the school year) was definitely challeng- ing,” Taylor said. “But Amy Jo was so patient during our daily meetings to explain homework, but Emmy wanted to be in the classroom.” FACE origins ’ The Bureau of Indian Education brought the FACE program into the Dunseith Day School in 21 years ago. In the two decades since, Olson said it has contributed to a strong re- lationship between the community and the school. Olson lauded the expertise of the programs two primary instructors. “We are so fortunate to have Amy Jo and Jerilyn,” Olson said, pointing out their own extensive education ac— complishments. “They are just phe— nomenal.” Last year, six children were en- rolled in the program. Olson said the low number was primarily due to fear regarding the pandemic. He said Leonard and Longie went to great lengths to reach families in every way possible. “They have done Youtube videos as instructional tools,” Olson said, adding that the Turtle Mountain Tribe graciously brought intemet ’services to families who were without as well ' as supplying devices for interaction. “I’m so impressed with the people we have working here. They’re an experienced staff who have worked with children for a long time.” Olson said the school’s FACE classroom fosters social interation, 'which is a key part of a child’s edu- cation. “It’s not just academic, it’s about actively listening while being taught and how moms and dads in- teract with their children,” he said. “When parents look directly into the eyes of children and listen, that really shows kids that you value them.” Olson said while it can be difficult ‘ Turtle Mountain (Continued from Page 1) cation (CDE). Cash in On Your Pro-Owned lighiclel FACE (Continued from‘ Page 1) UNI" i; x" The mother and daughter duo of Taylor Davis, left, and Emmy Lenoir wear ribbon dresses made during their time in Dunseith Day School’s Family and Children Education program. for parents to meet the program’s re- quirement that they be on site, the benefits of that aspect go beyond ed- ucation. “We have some amazing young parents here every day, who go above and beyond,” Olson said. “You can see their relationship with their child grow.” Olson added that more than a few parents have found another kind of motivation after being involved in FACE. “Some get right in there and pick From that guidance, the school district presented a COVID plan of action, which re- quired masks. That fell out of step with a recent Turtle Moun- tain Tribal Council edict which rescinded its mask mandate. Thomas said the school com- municated ‘ its need to protect students to the tribe’s governing body. “After much discussion we received unanimous support from the council through resolu- tion,” Thomas said. “This Action Plan has also received School Board Approval, and the BIE is working with us to implement the plan.” ‘ During the meeting with the tribal council, Thomas cited re- search that supports mask wear- ing in efforts to lower the chance of COVID-~19 spreading in the community. “We will follow CDC guid- ance, and we will change as their recommendations change,” Thomas said. “Administrators are working on the physical en— vironment to satisfy the social distancing recommendations.” ’ When it comes to extra-cur- ricular activities, Thomas said .cWe will; follow one guidance? and W979Wi;ll}¢hange as their recommenda_ ing on; the . , r soc endattanS-” iaIV' fitipns' change. Administrators are work; physical 'nvironment to, ' i I i iii-‘Michetiearh'dmss. rue swans» ‘ . Community Schools Superintendent there has not been any discus- sion on limiting attendance or concessions. “However, because of the mask mandate in our Ac— tion Plan supported through tribal resolution, mask wearing will still occur in the gym be- cause it is on our school cam- pus,” she said. - As of last week, Thomas did- n’t have an estimate on how many students are currently vac— cinated. She did know, however that “at least 95 percent” of the staff have received a COVID- prevention shot. That number in- cludes staff from both the Bureau of Indian Education and the district. “Our district partnered with IHS and actually assisted in the vaccinationrprocess for our em— ployees,” Thomas said. “It may even be higher,'as the remaining employees possibly received their vaccinations at other loca- tions.” Thomas said the sghoolj'edim trict cannot requigg.agy'é{hplhy- " ees to get “Howe’i’rer, we feel strorig'i'thatz-thrr‘Se who' were provided numerous oppor- tunities to be vaccinated (ages 12 and up) have all possible safeguards in place to attend school onsite,” she said. 2 ‘ School children under the’vage of 12 aren’t yet eligible for vac- cinations. With that in mind, Thomas said the district is pro— viding for an option through the state’s Center of Distance Edu- [. l “The CDE staff consists of North Dakota Certified Teachers who are experts at providing learning, and have much more knowledge and skills in delivery of distance education,” Thomas said. “We feel confident that this partnership will benefit those students who do not have access to a vaccination, as well as those with underlying conditions.” As Turtle Mountain students. prepare to re-enter school, Thomas wanted to stress to every decision regarding the ed- ucation of students is not being taken lightly. ,f‘f‘We recognize and respect * th’ag’our decisions will not please everyone. But'please be assured that (we have many important people at the table when deter— mining the best approach to sup— porting our students in their academics, social/emotional well-being, and physical health , Thomas said. “Every step has been intentional yet careful to bring our students back. We con- tinue to monitor’cases, listen to recommendations, and make ap— propriate changes as recommen— dations occur.” up there GEDs and are going back to college,” Olson said. “They’re being greatrole models for their children and it all starts with education.” Into a new year Since the 2020-21 FACE program concluded this spring, Taylor said her daughter has been persistent about returning. . “She loved it so much and talked about it all summer long,” Taylor said. “She would keeping asking ‘can I go back to school?”’ ..o- one from us, for us to buy yours! Stop in or call for details! MOTOR Cb. m @BUlCK 504 Main Ave East - Rolla 701-477-3124 0 800-390-3124 T F Emmy did just that last week. She and her grandmother took part in last week’s registration. “When my mom brought her to the Day School to enroll, she wanted to see her teachers. She really loves them,” Taylor said. Emmy isn’t the only one looking forward to a new school year. Taylor said she really values the portion of the day when parents "and children have time to play and interact. “That’s something we normally don’t do much at home even though we try to, but I also have a son who needs attention,” Taylor said. “So to be able to do that at school allows us to bond even more.” One experience that stood out for Taylor came during the adult educa- tion portion when the women made traditional Native American ribbon skirts for the young girls in the pro— gram. Taylor described her daughter as a “girly gir ” who loves to dress up, which made her reaction to the end- of—the-year gift extra special. “It was the best feeling,” Taylor said of presenting Emmy with the dress. “She gave me a big hug and was so excited. We have fun compli- menting everyone else on their dresses, too.” Olson said experiences such as the ones Taylor and Emmy experienced last year are not only what the pro- gram is all about, but satisfying to the school’s staff and administration. “We have amazing young parents here every day who go above and be- yond,” Olson said. “It’s fun to see their relationships grow.” There are only around 35 FACE programs in the nation and Olson said Dunseith Day’s goal is to be No. 1 in that group. . “We’d like to increase our num— bers to 15 students,” he said. “We’ve been recruiting from our home-based program, making brochures and even going out and knocking on doors.” As the Dunseith Day School pre- pares for another year of the FACE program, Taylor encouraged every parent of yot‘mg children to consider enrolling and actively participating in their child’s first steps into education. “They work so well with kids and help adults to be aware of what your child is going through,” Taylor said. “It’s a great opportunity for any par- ent to be a part of the child’s life, es— pecially when it comes to their education.” woo... Turtle Mountain Community School Plan of Action 1. TMCS will follow masking guidelines according to CDC ' a. Current CDC Guidance recommends masking of ALL individuals in schools, regardless of vaccination status. b. Should the guidance change. Turtle Mountain Community Schools will follow CDC recommendations. 2. instruction for students ages 12 and up a. 100% face-to-face instruction b. Exceptions for this age category are: Medical condition cited by Doctor with recommendation of distance i. ii. l. ii. iii. learning Online learning is a semester long commitment. Instructional modes can be changed at the beginning of the semester. 3. lnstructigg for stugeg ts ages 11 and down a. lOO% face-to-face Instruction for all who choose onsite b. Exceptions for this age category are: Medical condition cited by doctor with recommendation of distance learning Online learning is a semester long commitment. Instructional V modes can be changed at the beginning of 'the semester. c. Parent choice for online learning Online learning is a semester long commitment. lnstructional modes can be changed at the beginning of the semester. Must have access to the intemet (school is no longer paying internet services). Turtle Mountain Virtual Academy Student Readiness Rubric