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Horse Creek School doesn’t feel effects of COVID-19

Horse Creek School in McKenzie County has only 11 students from five different rural families, so testing positive for COVID-19 isn’t as much of a concern to the teacher or students.
Horse Creek School in McKenzie County has only 11 students from five different rural families, so testing positive for COVID-19 isn’t as much of a concern to the teacher or students.(KFYR)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 2:09 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Most schools in North Dakota have had to make a lot of adjustments to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak, but some are fortunate to have a reduced risk of catching or spreading the virus.

Horse Creek School in McKenzie County has only 11 students from five different rural families, so testing positive for COVID-19 isn’t as much of a concern to the teacher or students.

The one-room school house doesn’t require masks, doesn’t necessarily social distance, and hasn’t had one positive case of COVID-19 or had any close contacts since the pandemic began.

“A lot of us, we live on ranches, so we don’t go into town or interact with a lot of people, so just, I don’t really think we’ll get it, and if we do we’ll shut down for two weeks and then we’ll come back,” said eighth-grader Iris Waltner.

There are policies in place to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus. In between instructional time, K-8 teacher Katie Tosch sanitizes more often, takes temperatures and students complete daily sanitization chores.

“We wash our hands before and after lunch, we wash our own spots, and when it’s cleanup time, we vacuum our own spots,” said third-grader Henri Haugen.

Students and Miss Tosch are glad they have been able to do full face-to-face learning this whole school year, and they say they aren’t worried about getting COVID-19.

“With just five families here, really you’re… kind of just, it makes your circle even smaller,” said Katie Tosch.

If someone in the school tests positive for COVID-19, they will switch to online learning, which is challenging because Miss Tosch teaches seven different grade levels.

The Horse Creek School Board is made up of mostly parents who created all of the policies for the school that had to be approved by medical professionals.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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