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Letter to Parents Regarding In-Person Learning at LCO Ojibwe School

From Jessica "Hutch" Hutchison

LCO Ojibwe School Superintendent,

Dr. Steve Miszkiewicz

LCO Health Center Chief Medical Doctor,

Louis Taylor

LCO Tribal Chairman

We understand that the increasing COVID-19 case numbers in the Lac Courte Oreilles Community have led to even more concern and anxiety for parents and families, leading many to question why the school has not shifted to a completely virtual mode of learning, as was done at this time last year.

We hope to assure the community that our school staff are doing everything possible to maintain a safe environment for everyone that walks through our doors. In addition to mandatory masking and face coverings for all students, staff and visitors, our teachers spend countless hours sanitizing desks, tables and other surfaces each day. Every student is given his or her own equipment and materials and all students are required to wash and sanitize their hands multiple times each day. Students that are displaying symptoms are immediately tested by our school staff and are isolated and sent home if positive for COVID-19. Our maintenance crew routinely fogs the entire building when positive cases are found to be present.

As community members, we also want to take an opportunity to emphasize the value of in person learning here at Lac Courte Oreilles. Distance learning is not only difficult for students and families, it is extremely stressful for teachers and support staff who work tirelessly to make teaching through a screen impactful. We know that our students thrive on the face-to-face connection that can best be provided through on site instruction. Many of our students also rely on the non-academic support that the school provides, from meals and snacks, to counseling and mental health, to the physical exercise and play, to the need for medical care and peer interaction.

The good news is that everyone in our community can help play a role in keeping our students and community safe. Vaccination against Covid-19 remains the best defense against significant illness. All students at Lac Courte Oreilles and all community members 5 and older are eligible for vaccination, which has been proven to reduce the severity of this disease and also allows students the chance to remain in school for in person instruction.

Please get vaccinated, get your child vaccinated and encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. If you are on the fence or have more questions, we strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor or provider.


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