Sartell-St. Stephen schools switch to distance learning for grades 6-12

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com Dramatic increases in Covid-19 cases forced the Sartell-St. Stephen school district to move to distance learning starting Tuesday, Nov. 10, for middle school and high school students. The last day for in-person student athletics and activities will be Saturday, Nov. 7. The county case rate is 46.36 cases per 10,000 people over a 14-day period and

School board adds factors for opening schools during Covid-19

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com Decisions on future changes to learning plans during the Covid-19 pandemic will now be based on more factors than just county-wide case numbers, the Sartell-St. Stephen school board decided at its Oct. 19 meeting. As the school year began, whether students would learn in person, in a hybrid model or distance learning was based on the

Fewer younger students in school

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com There are fewer younger students attending school this fall and parents’ concerns about Covid-19 are at least part of the reason. There are 250 kindergarten students this fall, compared with 311 at the end of last year. Sartell-St. Stephen school district leaders expected a year-to-year decrease of about 35 students instead of the actual drop of

‘Snow days’ are most recent victim of Covid-19

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com Even snow days are getting a new look in the time of Covid-19. With some students learning at least part time from home and others in schools, how to handle the traditional Minnesota routine of calling off school for extreme winter weather needed an update, the Sartell-St. Stephen school board decided at its Oct. 19 meeting.

Funeral for Violet ‘Vi’ M. Bidinger, 78, of Sartell

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Violet “Vi” M. Bidinger, 78 Sartell July 25, 1942-Oct. 14, 2020 Violet “Vi” M. Bidinger, 78, died Oct. 14 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sartell for Violet “Vi” M. Bidinger, 78, who passed away Wednesday at the St. Cloud Hospital. The Rev. Ronald

Funeral for Virginia A ‘Ginny’ Pfannenstein, 87, of St. Joseph

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Virginia A “Ginny” Pfannenstein, 87 St. Joseph Jan. 3, 1933-Oct. 14, 2020 Virginia A. “Ginny” Pfannenstein, 87, of St. Joseph, died Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Her funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Joseph. The Rev. Jerome Tupa, OSB, will officiate. Burial will take place in

Following school board vote, equity audit moves forward

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com The first steps in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district’s long-debated equity audit will begin in a few weeks when a newly formed Equity in Education Committee meets with the outside consultant hired to conduct the study. The equity-audit idea arose earlier this summer after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and a renewed interest on

High school football finally returns

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photo by Mike KnaakSartell High School football players and socially distanced fans cheer a score as the Sabres hosted the Apollo Eagles for the season's first home football game on Oct. 9. Sartell won the game, 35-13. Covid-19 restrictions limited attendance to 250 people. During the game, fans watched from outside the fence and from vehicles lined up on Second