Teachers and other staff members in the Osakis School District and Brandon-Evansville School have started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

At school board meetings Monday, Feb. 8, in each district, an update was provided by the superintendents.

Osakis Superintendent Randy Bergquist said all staff members have had an opportunity to sign up for the vaccine and as of Monday, all those who had signed up have received their first dose.

Horizon Public Health has done a great job organizing this,” Bergquist told school board members at Monday’s meeting. “It’s been a pretty good process so far.”

Bergquist estimated that between 55 and 60% of Osakis staff members have received the first round of the vaccination.

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Brandon-Evansville Superintendent Don Peschel said about 40 staff members, or about 50%, have received the vaccine so far. He, too, said the process went well.

Those who received the first round will get their second vaccination shots next month, said Peschel.

He also shared some good news with school board members in that the number of COVID-19 cases are down across the whole county and that the school has not had any positive cases for about three weeks.

Both Peschel and Bergquist said they keep in constant contact with the state department of education as well as Horizon Public Health.

Bergquist commented how happy he is to have students back in school full-time.

Both districts have a very small amount of students who are still opting to do distance learning even though the schools are fully open. And they both said teachers are doing a great job of providing education for all students, whether they are in the building or learning at home.

In other action

Osakis School Board members approved retirement/resignation notices from eight staff members, including the following:

  • David Dykema (5th grade) – 35 years
  • Gina Wagner (1st grade) – 34 years
  • Wendy Moore (1st grade) – 32 years
  • Randall Resley (Band) – 32 years
  • Wendy Jennings (5th grade) – 27 years (full time)
  • Carol Larson (special education) – 19 years
  • Gretchen Resley (art) – 15 years (full time)
  • Karen Olson (social worker) – four years (full time) and eight years (Runestone)

They also approved a leave of absence for Darwin Johnson, Spanish teacher, and then hiring Kris Entzi as a long-term substitute Spanish teacher.

At the Brandon-Evansville meeting, school board members approved resurfacing the gym in the Evansville building, bid from Alex Power Equipment in the amount of $27,272.64 for lawn tractors and approving extending COVID sick leave through March 31.