Saturday was our second week of COVID-19 Community Update programs replacing our lineup of coaches shows on KDHL.  We visited with Superintendents from Waterville-Elysian-Morristown and Zumbrota-Mazeppa.  The Principal of Kenyon-Wanamingo Elementary and Community Education Director for Faribault among others.

Ann Marie Leland is with Faribault and told listeners about the free child care provided for essential workers as defined by the Governor's Order.  Leland says on the Faribault Public Schools website is a page that outlines all kinds of information about the district's response to COVID-19.

The free child care is being offered from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Roosevelt Elementary School.  Families in the tier one and tier two essential categories need to register their kids on the website we have a link to above.  Breakfast and lunch is being served to the approximately 20 kids that have been registered over the last couple weeks.

The child care has been set up to have one adult oversee three children.  Preschool children are also getting to engage in distance learning.  Leland says the district has 175 kids under the age of Kindergarten.  She admits it's challenging for kids in that age group but says, "Everybody has risen to the challenge.  We have a phenomenal early childhood team. Going over there the last couple weeks and seeing them put together these activity kits and the curriculum and everybody's excitement around being able to connect with families and those students on a daily basis, because that is the plan that we will be connecting with those families."

"Checking in on the child.  Understanding the progress the child's been making and digging into the questions the parents or caregivers have around the distance learning plan."

Leland says learners, "Are going to be supported through a weekly learning grid.  It's a plan in place in which early childhood educators have planned activities in areas including literacy and language, match, science, art, motor activities and social, emotional learning.  So we are covering the gamut for those kids."

Native languages are being used for those students in homes where English is not used.  Separate lessons have also been developed for special education students.

K-W Elementary Principal Katy Schuerman told KDHL listeners putting together lesson plans for the elementary students in the district has been challenging also.  She says the educators have done an outstanding job and are ready for distance learning beginning Monday.

Schuerman emphasized physical education will be part of the day and said teachers will let the kids know how much they are missed in the hallways of the school so they know they are valued during this time of uncertainty.

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Superintendent Joel Whitehurst and Zumbrota-Mazeppa Superintendent Michael Harvey applauded their staffs.  Both stated the challenges are many but believe they are able to hurdle whatever obstacles might come their way.

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