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GFW board OKs learning model change

GIBBON — After some discussion on just when to do it, the Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) School Board unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday for students in grades 9-12 to return to in-school learning on Monday, Jan. 11.

Action came on a motion by Jason Haas, seconded by Phil Klenk to take a school day off on Friday, Jan. 8 so staff can accommodate the scheduling change from distance learning for high school students.

Superintendent Jeff Horton said the 14-day (COVID-19) predictive case rate for GFW students is showing a downward trend.

“We asked people to tell us if they test positive. Since we went to distance learning (in December), we have not heard of any students with any new COVID cases,” said Horton.

Board members agreed it was better to get high school kids back in school sooner than later.

Horton favored returning to in-school learning for high school students on Jan. 18 in order to allow for a possible COVID case spike after the New Year’s holiday.

“If the high school league and Minnesota Dept. of Health say its safe enough to do sports, it’s safe enough to do school,” said board member Mike Kuehn.

“I agree with Mike and Jason. Kids need to be in school,” said board member Marisa Lee.

“It (COVID) went through Winthrop, Gibbon and Fairfax,” said Haas. “I feel that kids that want to and need to be in school, should be in school.”

It was noted that students that prefer to use distance learning after Jan. 11 still have the option to do so.

The board unanimously approved holding all school board meetings in 2021 in the Gibbon school, motion by Kuehn, seconded by Lee. Board meetings are also live streamed on the school’s Facebook site through Zoom and YouTube.

Horton thanked outgoing board members Phil Klenk and Becky Vos for their years of service.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it,” said Horton.

Klenk thanked board members for their support and work over his 12 years on the school board.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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