Leech Lake RBC Advises Range Learning for Start of 2020-2021 School Year

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Cass Lake, MN– On Thursday, August 13, 2020, the Leech Lake Tribal Council released the following suggestion to area schools as they consider how to start the 2020-2021 school year this fall.

Full Statement:

COVID-19 has actually affected practically all aspects of life for our people. As the governing body of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the Leech Lake Appointment Business Committee has taken the danger of this novel coronavirus extremely seriously from the first day, early on declaring a public health emergency, closing our tribal federal government and service operations for a prolonged duration of time, and taking every precaution within our ability to slow the spread of this virus.

From the start, specialists from the Centers for Disease Control made clear that individuals who have underlying health conditions that cause them to be immunodeficient are far more likely to establish extreme disease if they contract the virus. We understand those hidden conditions are widespread in our neighborhood, including diabetes, heart illness, respiratory health problem, and others. In addition, we also comprehend COVID-19 has a higher possibility of triggering extreme disease in our elderly population. As Anishinabe individuals, protecting our elders and vulnerable population is at the core of who we are and why we take the actions we take.

Like protecting our seniors and vulnerable, ensuring the very best for our future generations is also a core tenet of the Anishinabe identity. In the middle of this pandemic, these suitables must be stabilized to make sure the biggest good for all our individuals. As we go into the fall season, and school districts start to consider their educational options for the fall semester, we encourage schools to re-open meticulously and slowly. We understand that range learning is not perfect in all situations, and hybrid models have actually been recommended that enable some in person interaction in between students and teachers while providing some measure of security for students, teachers and personnel. Importantly, our own Leech Lake Tribal College and Bugonaygeshig School are utilizing a range learning model as they both resume.

We comprehend the Governor of Minnesota has actually provided guidance to school districts in considering their plans as a brand-new academic year starts. We provide this public declaration of as our own assistance to school districts that are responsible for educating our Band members. Please consider the effects of reopening on households who have multi-generational families, and families who have underlying health conditions within the home. We ask school districts, at a minimum, to utilize hybrid models that restrict close interaction and permit students to gain from a distance as much as possible.

At this time, we highly prompt the school districts to open the academic year in a range learning design. We comprehend the intricacies of finding out in distance designs and supplying access to fair education settings at any time. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will work across programs and departments to guarantee we partner with our students and families to make sure routine and timely participation during the distance knowing period. We will continue to partner with our Local Indian Education Committees to guarantee connection of services to our trainees throughout this time. The Leech Lake Education Department remains dedicated to partnering with the school districts to guarantee our trainees get the supports they need in order to succeed in a range learning model.

Given the uptick in cases we have seen in northern Minnesota in recent weeks, we see no requirement to hurry to reopen. As a tribal federal government, we have actually delayed reopening our own government and services from Phase 1 to Phase 2 numerous times, and will continue to press back a Phase 2 resuming date as sometimes as we feel needed. It is far easier to remain closed than to reopen and be required to closed once again. We ask the school district to use this very same logic. Reopening gradually will highly likely conserve lives within our community and continue to curb the spread of this virus in our communities.

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