We are living in unprecedented times. Not only have we faced a worldwide health crisis, we are also facing an educational crisis for our children. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our teachers and families have partnered to provide academic support for students to ensure that all students would succeed during the school year. All employees of Bemidji Area Schools, parents and guardians, and our community gave their very best to ensure students continued to learn, received nutritious meals, and were provided whatever additional supports were needed.  Everyone involved in this effort deserves our gratitude. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives and changes the way we conduct our work, commerce and social activities, we must find a way to continue to provide the educational services our students deserve. Through the 2020-2021 school year, the school district leadership team worked with stakeholders and listened to the advice of health care providers to develop a plan to provide a high quality education for our children in a safety-enhanced learning environment.

Based on guidance from federal, state and local health officials and considering input from stakeholders, school district leaders developed the 2020-2021 School Safe Learning Plan around three scenarios outlined in the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools.  Those three scenarios were: 

Scenario One: In-person Learning for all students;

Scenario Two: Hybrid Model;

Scenario Three: Distance Learning.

Moving forward into the 2021-2022 school year, ISD 31 will be returning to a fulltime In-Person model similar to what was offered in years prior to the pandemic.

General Health and Safety Considerations during Summer and the 2021-22 School Year

Recommendations for mitigating COVID-19 transmission in K-12 schools

The following sections briefly highlight recommended strategies that reduce the risk of getting sick from or transmitting COVID-19. K-12 schools are encouraged to consider these recommendations when crafting local policies and plans. Minnesota also recommends following CDC K-12 guidance: CDC: Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention.


For a summary of evidence on the impact of COVID-19 among children and adolescents, as well as what is known about preventing transmission in schools, school communities are encouraged to review the CDC Science Brief: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 Schools (

Face coverings:

  • It is strongly recommended that all unvaccinated people present in school buildings and district offices wear a face covering.
  • The face covering recommendation does not apply to children under 2 years of age or people of any age who are unable to tolerate wearing a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.

Child Nutrition – Meals:

● Meals will be available at all schools. Students may also bring  their lunches as in the past.


● Regular transportation routes will be used. However, we encourage parents to bring their child(ren) to school if personal transportation is available.

  • Students, bus drivers and bus monitors/paraprofessionals will be required to wear cloth face coverings while riding on buses.

Extracurricular Activities & Athletics:

● Each activity/sport will provide parents/guardians and students with additional guidelines.

● The District will implement mandates and guidelines as issued by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) regarding activities and athletics. 

● Season length and number of competitions may be reduced. 

● Travel may be reduced or eliminated. 

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