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Beulah superintendent’s blog highlights ‘silver linings’ during pandemic

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 3:13 PM CDT
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BEULAH, N.D. – It’s been a challenging year for school districts across the nation, and its only October. From distance learning, to hybrid schedules, full time face-to-face instruction, mask requirements, quarantined students and teachers; it’s been one thing after another for large and small schools.

Sabrina Volk is making up for lost time in her FACS class. Volk missed a few days of school after testing positive for the coronavirus.

“I couldn’t taste or smell anything, that’s how I figured it out,” said Volk, a junior at Beulah High School.

She’s not the only student in Beulah who has had to quarantine.

“We have 94-95 kids out quarantined,” said Beulah Superintendent Travis Jordan.

Phone calls take up most of Beulah High School Principal Carl Blackhurst’s day.

When there’s a new positive test result it’s his job to call all the close contacts. Coronavirus sidelined the entire Beulah volleyball team as well as several football players and cross country runners.

Senior Elijah Barbot hopes he can stay healthy long enough to finish the football season and get to his favorite sport: basketball. The Miners made it to a state tournament that never happened last spring.

“I want to get a chance to get back to state tournament,” said Barbot.

Jordan says this school year hasn’t been easy for students, or for teachers.

“It’s been exhausting,” he said.

A week ago, after a long day of contact tracing phone calls and meetings Jordan sat down at his computer and started writing.

“I have blogs that have hardly any views at all, but this one took off. It thinks it’s on the minds of everyone,” Jordan said.

In his blog post, “Random Thoughts from a School Superintendent,” he shared advice to get through COVID. His tips include wear a mask, have empathy and be kind. And through it all, he hopes his students learn some important life lessons.

“Kids are learning things aren’t handed to them and not to take things for granted,” said Jordan.

Lessons Jordan calls “silver linings” which he says sometimes come at the most unlikely times.

The Beulah volleyball team comes off quarantine this weekend.

You can read Superintendent Jordan’s blog at tjordan.org.

Beulah has been on a four-day week all school – students in K-12 are in school for face-to-face instruction Monday through Thursday, and distance learning on Fridays. Jordan says he’d like to get kids back five days a week but doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.

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