Update from Ely Public Schools Superintendent Erik Erie

Our Ely Safe Learning Plan Advisory Council is meeting weekly to examine the latest COVID-19 data from St. Louis County Public Health. Local COVID-19 data and conditions are also considered.
This data is used to make decisions on staying in our current learning model or moving to another model. Currently, students in our Memorial building are in the hybrid model which splits the students into two groups where students are in school two days a week and distance learning the other three days.
The Washington Elementary remains with in-person learning where students are in school every day.
The decision to move the Memorial students to hybrid was based on data provided by St. Louis County Public Health and guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Education which recommends hybrid learning for secondary students when the greater St. Louis County bi-weekly case rate reaches 10.
We actually waited another week before moving to hybrid on the recommendation of St. Louis County Public Health to wait for another week of data, to confirm a trend.
If that number dips below 10 we hope to move the Memorial students back to in-person learning.
St. Louis County Public Health has arranged for a free COVID-19 testing event in Ely on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Ely Public Works Facility at 2210 E. Sheridan St.
On the same day the Memorial moved to the more restrictive Hybrid model, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) voted to reinstate volleyball and football for a fall season.
Knowing that a decision by the MSHSL was forthcoming, the coaches, activities director and administration had scheduled a meeting that Monday to discuss the possible outcomes. Given that we had just moved to a more restrictive learning model to limit exposure to COVID-19 and MSHSL would stand to increase exposure for our athletes and coaches, a decision was made to take some time to research the issue and figure out how to proceed.
We took one day to process and then communicated that Ely Public Schools would follow the MSHSL decision and field volleyball and football teams while following strict protocols to do our best to protect students and coaches. To find out the new schedules for volleyball and football go to:
https://www.arrowheadconference.org/ and link to the Ely page.