With all classes, extracurricular activities (including practices) and public events at Detroit Lakes Public Schools being suspended from March 17-29 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, school staff and administration have taken steps to ensure that students dependent upon the district for regular meals won't go hungry.
School Superintendent Doug Froke outlined the district's plans for offering free meals for parent pickup at Monday's meeting of the Detroit Lakes School Board.
Starting Tuesday, March 17, families will be able to pick up meals for students enrolled in the district at any of three locations:
- The front entrance of Detroit Lakes High School,
- the parent pickup lane at the Middle School/Roosevelt Elementary
- and the Richwood Store in the village of Richwood, north of Detroit Lakes.
Meals will be offered for curbside pickup only, as no in-school meal venues will be available.
Families can come pick up student meals at any of the three designated sites between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on weekdays, starting Tuesday, and between 7 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at the high school starting Wednesday, March 18.
"Each (meal package) will include lunch for that day, and breakfast for the following day," Froke said, adding that the district's food service staff had nine meal options "ready to go," and would be rotating them as needed should the school closure continue indefinitely.
Though no classes will be in session through at least Friday, March 27, Froke said that teachers will be coming in to work every day at least through Friday, March 20, finalizing plans for offering distance learning options to their students should the state-mandated school closure last beyond March 27.
But until that time, he added, the closure would be treated as an extended "spring break" for the students, with "no instruction taking place over the next 9 days."
Froke also noted at Monday's meeting that the district would be offering child care to district-enrolled, school-age children (12 years and younger) of emergency care workers in the following categories:
- Health care staff: All health care providers and systems, including hospitals and clinics; post-acute and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities; and other health systems and organizations, such as home care workers, personal care assistants, ambulance and EMS workers, direct care and treatment providers and mental health providers.
- Other emergency staff, including: First responders, firefighters, correctional services (aka probation) personnel; and essential city, county and state government employees.
School-age care will be provided from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the building where your child typically attends school: Roosevelt, Rossman, Detroit Lakes Middle School or high school. For middle school students in fifth and sixth grades, go to Roosevelt School. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be provided during this care time.
Frazee-Vergas schools also offer free meals for pickup
Frazee-Vergas Public Schools announced Monday that they will be offering lunch for pickup at the high school in Frazee anytime between 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., starting this Tuesday, March 17 and continuing through Thursday, March 19. No sit-down meals will be offered during the state-mandated school shutdown, however. Call 218-334-3181 for more information.
As a public service, we have opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.