Glencoe-Silver Lake Schools prepare for return while superintendent recovers from COVID-19

Students in the Glencoe-Silver Lake school district, about 50 miles southwest of the Twin Cities area, are beginning the school year in a hybrid model this week as the district’s superintendent deals with a positive COVID-19 test.

Grayson Abrams is a 5-year-old who is starting Kindergarten this week in the district. He will have to wear a mask along with the rest of students when he is in the classroom twice a week and learning from home the rest of the time.

“I think as long as we go the right way about it and he gets his schooling, he gets his education and learns every single day, that’s what needs to be done,” said Wes Abrams, Grayson’s father.

The superintendent said he feels “pretty good,” and just has a little bit of a cough. His illness has forced four other district administrators into quarantine to start the year, including the principal of the Junior-Senior High School.

Further complicating the situation is the district’s home in McLeod County, which was one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in Minnesota. About 37 per 100,000 McLeod County residents have the virus.

It’s a level that state health and education officials have said should mean middle and high schoolers learn from home.

The numbers are trending in the right direction, the Superintendent says. The outbreak in the area came after at outbreak at a local food processing plant. He said he’s confident his district can weather this fall.

“Overall, I think our families want to get our kids back to school,” he said. “But at the same time, obviously, you need to have the safety precautions in place. You have to find that balance.”