Barnum's BEST

Barnum Elementary School News January 2021

News from the Principal

Hello BES families,

At BES, we eagerly anticipate the return to in person learning, for those choosing this learning model. For families choosing Distance Learning for the 2nd semester, the next opportunity to return to in person is April 12th, with requests due to the building principal by April 2nd.

Below you'll find details to ensure that our return to school is as safe as possible for everyone.


First of all, thank you for working with the school as we navigate continued COVID-19 health protocols. We understand the challenges these requirements pose to our families. As in the fall, please keep your child home if they are not feeling well, no matter the symptoms. Please inform the school nurse, Melissa Johnson, of the illness and symptoms so we can determine the "next steps" for your child. Melissa Johnson can be reached at 218-389-6976 x 1017 or

In the event your child will be absent for multiple days due to COVID protocols, please contact your child's teacher. Due to HIPAA laws, the office staff is unable to do that on your behalf.


While many of these healthy and safety protocols were put into place this fall, it's worth a review. Some protocols are new as we follow the most updated guidance.

Water bottles: Drinking fountains are closed, but we have 4 water bottle filling stations throughout BES. Please send a water bottle labeled with your child's name to school so he/she can remain hydrated throughout the day.

NEW! PE: Masks are required for indoor Physical Education. Students will bring their water bottles to PE class.

Masks: Staff, students, and visitors must wear a mask at all times (unless working in a space independently). Shields are highly recommended for staff, and staff will be provided this extra layer of protection. Students do get mask breaks by going outside, and during lunch and recess. We recommend packing extra masks for your child. Masks often need to be replaced throughout the day. Please contact your child's teacher if you have questions regarding masks.

Hand Washing Routines: Hands will be washed and/or sanitized multiple times throughout the day, and teachers will build time for this into the daily schedule.

Desks/Tables: Desks will be spaced all facing the same direction when possible. Plastic dividers will be used if this is not possible and during small group instruction.

Lunch: Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 5th grade will eat in the cafeteria. Students sit facing the same direction, 3 students/table, and 1st & 5th graders must sit with students from their classroom (limited mixing of cohorts). Tables are sanitized between groups. For those grade levels that eat in the classroom, desks are sanitized after eating.

Entry & Exit: Students will enter and exit the building at staggered times before school and after school. This routine was established this fall when we came back to school in September. If you have questions regarding drop off and pick up routines, please call the office.

COVID testing: All staff and substitute teachers have the opportunity to test for COVID every two weeks, beginning January 13th.


If morning pick up times or afternoon drop off times have changed, or you are new to Barnum Elementary School, a bus driver will call you with route information.

Barnum Public schools will follow the most updated bus guidelines from MDE:

1. Passengers and bus drivers must keep a distance of 6 feet. Therefore, the front 4 seats (2 on each side) cannot be used for passengers.

2. To allow for improved air circulation, windows will be down 1-2 inches with heaters running. Please make sure your child has adequate winter gear to stay warm on the bus.

3. Students may not change seats during transportation during regular routes or for extra curricular activities.

4. Absolutely no eating or drinking on the bus, during regular routes or extra curricular activities.

5. Masks must be worn at all times.


Even though Distance Learning is coming to an end, parents may find the need for continued support. Local Circle Keepers are offering Parent Support Circles to serve parents during the COVID 19 Health Crisis. For further information and to register call 218-390-1707 or 218-380-4923.

As always if you have questions, concerns, or just want to stop in to visit, I enjoy connecting with you.

In Partnership,

Mrs. Vitito

Mark your Calendars!

January 19th - Return to Learn! In person learning resumes.

January 28th - Picture Retake Day

January 29th - End of Semester; Teacher Inservice Day; No School for Students

February 9th & 11th - Parent Teacher Conferences (virtual)

February 15th - President's Day - No School

March 22-26 - Spring Break - No School

Barnum PTO - Making BES the BEST it can be!

Many hands make light work - John Heywood

Are you new to BES? Are you looking for ways to get involved? Our PTO is seeking volunteers for various events throughout the year. Can't make the monthly meeting? That's OK - there is always the behind the scene work that needs to be accomplished.

Interested in volunteering? Send us the following information to, text 763-568-2816 or find us on facebook.

Areas you can help:

Box Tops...Fundraising...All Arts Day....Community Calendars....All School Shirts....

Open House...Teacher Appreciation....Conference Meals....Spring Fever Days

You Matter!

At BES, we value our people...little people and big people. We look forward to connecting with you!