Oak Grove Lutheran to begin school year with in-person learning

Unlike Fargo public schools, which are implementing a hybrid learning model

FARGO, N.D. — Oak Grove Lutheran School students and educators will be back in the classroom on Thursday.

Unlike Fargo public schools, Oak Grove is planning a full in-person return.

For a couple seniors, beginning their final year of high school amid a pandemic is disappointing.

Yifan Fan and Ben Phan say, at the very least, they’re happy with their school’s decision to bring back in-person learning.

“Our school, Oak Grove, they’re adapting very good with the environment,” said Phan. “They practice very good social distancing, we have to wear a mask all the time. I think they did a good job, I feel safe coming here.”

Oak Grove Academic Dean Aimee Zachrison says masks will be required, social distancing inside and outside the classroom is expected, and upgraded ventilation systems have been installed in classrooms.

The school did consider a hybrid learning model, but Zachrison says in-person interactions are a big need for students, especially the younger ones.

“We do everything we can to build that relationship with our kids, and so there’s a little piece of that relationship that’s missing,” said Zachrison. “It doesn’t mean it’s bad. It doesn’t mean that we would never do it because, obviously, we may have to, but we want to start with that foundation that includes all of the pieces of learning.”

She says that since the school has a smaller student body population and extra room on campus, keeping people apart shouldn’t be an issue.

Some students are optimistic it won’t be.

“I still hope that it turns out to be well because this is our last year also, we want it to be a happy ending for our last year,” added Phan.

If there is an outbreak at the school, Zachrison says back-up learning plans like a hybrid model and full distance learning are readily available.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News