Barnum High School students will begin distance learning Wednesday, Nov. 11. Barnum Elementary School students switch to distance learning Friday, Nov. 6

The switch to distance learning at the elementary level was made due to a shortage of teachers for in-person learning due to needed to quarantine. Barnum started the school year in person.

The switch at the high school level was made after "consultation with public health partners (Friday) regarding data collected at the district level," a letter on the school district's website states.

"We understand the burden this places on our families, students and staff. This decision was not taken lightly but the safety of our learning community is our greatest concern," the letter says.

Barnum High School Principal Gregg Campbell said in a letter that they hope to return to in-person learning districtwide on Monday. Nov. 30, though the decision will be made closer to Thanksgiving in collaboration with their regional support team.

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Information regarding distance learning expectations, meal pickup and extracurricular activities will be provided Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Esko Public Schools recently announced it would be moving to full distance learning beginning Monday, Nov. 16.

The 14-day case rate per 10,000 residents in Carlton County from Oct. 25 through Nov. 7 was 91.43, up from 44.89 from Oct. 19-31, according to News Tribune calculations.

This number is used to help guide schools when choosing a learning model.

If the 14-day case rate is consistently at or above 30, the Minnesota Department of Education recommends switching secondary students to distance learning. At or above 50, it recommends switching all students to distance learning.

All schools work closely with county health officials as well as the Minnesota Department of Health to get more localized numbers and to help determine which model is right for each district.

The 14-day case rates per 10,000 residents from Oct. 25 through Nov. 7 in other Northland counties are:

  • Aitkin, 90.02
  • Cook, 38.89

  • Itasca, 68.37
  • Koochiching, 28.94
  • Lake, 48.87
  • St. Louis, 60.38