MOUNTAIN IRON — A “quick increase” in coronavirus cases at Mountain Iron-Buhl schools will bring the district to what the Minnesota Department of Health describes as a “reset” — meaning in-person learning at the schools will close until at least Monday, Nov. 2.
MI-B Superintendent Dr. Reggie Engebritson confirmed the change in learning plans in an email late Wednesday night, writing that MI-B will not have school Monday, Oct. 19 and Tuesday, Oct. 20 for teacher planning days. The district will resume distance learning on Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 30, she said, citing a “quick increase of positive COVID-19 cases” since last week.
“We hope to reduce the number of positive cases from our staff and students and return to in-person learning Monday, Nov. 2,” Engebritson wrote. “We have been doing in-person learning since September 8.”
In an email to parents at MI-B, obtained by the Mesabi Tribune, Engebritson said five more positive cases were reported Wednesday and at least 10 in “less than a week.” Engebriston wrote that the district intends to have families quarantine when possible.
New infection rates per school district and geographical regions are set to be released Thursday by the county and state health departments.
Students across Minnesota are already off school Thursday and Friday for MEA break and while schools are closed for in-person activities, MI-B will not be providing childcare and will be contacting parents about picking up class materials and iPads early next week.
“We will need the number of cases within our school to go down in order to return to in-person learning,” Engebritson wrote parents, asking them to inform them of positive cases between now and Oct. 30. “But it appears we have a spread of the virus within our school and wee need to eliminate it.”