The Roadrunner

Ben Franklin Elementary School

November 2020

We continue to be grateful for every day we are together at Ben Franklin. We greatly appreciate our families doing their part by screening their child(ren) for symptoms before arriving at school and being properly masked. Your efforts are helping us remain at school. One thing that we have learned during this pandemic is how things can quickly change. The staff continues to work on our goals to support students in a face-to-face setting or distance learning. Those goals include building relationships and routines, increase digital competency, and complete assessments to plan effectively for all students. In fact, many teachers are on a second or third round of assessments. The teachers are also continuing to refine their practices while teaching during a pandemic. I wish all of you could see the amount of creativity that went into setting up a new environment and the amount of time the teachers spend planning for all content areas. There are many additional things teachers need to consider when preparing lessons now. Our students are truly blessed with the best staff!

Please read the information regarding how we determine if a child should quarantine or self-monitor after being identified as a close contact (found under the Covid-19 Resource section).

Continue to keep yourself and others safe! For those participating in trick-or-treating, please visit the ND Department of Health website for additional safety tips. Remember, at school, we do not dress in costumes for Halloween.


Leslie Bjelde

Mask Up

In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community, Grand Forks Public Schools is requiring that all employees, students, and parents/guardians (during pickup which includes the blacktop area) wear masks while on school grounds.

We have cloth masks (generously donated by local residents and organizations) and disposable masks available in our school for your students. To help your child remember their mask, some have found it helpful to put on when leaving the house.

We understand through reading your input in our survey this summer that some have varying opinions on wearing face masks. We have looked at the scientific evidence and spoke with medical professionals and they have determined that the wearing of masks helps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread within our school community, as well those interacted with beyond the walls of our school.

Our collective efforts will make an impact on slowing the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding as we all work together to keep our students, families, employees, and schools safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please contact our school office at 701-746-2250.
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Classroom Highlights

Breakfast Reminder

Now that the colder weather is upon us, we want to remind our families that due to CDC guidelines, we have limited space for breakfast. A survey was sent home earlier in the year that helped us define who would arrive at particular times. Based on that information, we were able to create seating charts for students who signed up for breakfast at particular times. We know how important breakfast is for our students and want to make sure it is available for all who need it. During the pandemic, we need to try to make each area where students eat as safe as possible.

Please help us keep our breakfast attendance at a manageable level (during the pandemic) by following the timelines for arriving at school:

7:40 am - 8:00 am~ for families who have a less flexible work schedule and need to arrive at work by 8:00 am.

8:00 am - 8:15 am ~ for families who have a work schedule that allows for arrival within this timeframe. These families may have to report to work between 8:15-8:30.

8:15 am- 8:25 am ~ for families who have a morning routine/work schedule that allows for arrival within this timeframe. Breakfast is still offered at this time if needed when students arrive.

Students not eating breakfast should arrive closer to the first bell at 8:20, if possible.

October 28th ~ Distribution day for Distance Learners

November 4th~ Early Out 1:30 pm

November 9th ~PTO Virtual Meeting at 5:30. Please email our PTO president, Casey Norby, at so she can send you the link for the meeting.

November 10th ~ Distribution day for Distance Learners

November 11th ~ Veteran's Day- No school

November 18th~ Early Out 1:30 pm

November 24th~ Distribution day for Distance Learners

November 26th & 27th~ No School

December 2nd ~ Early Out 1:30 pm

December 4th ~ Report cards are emailed home

Distance Learners Distribution Days

Please go to Door #1 from 9:00am-11:00am on the Distribution days. The materials will be placed on a table near the front door. Please take the materials labeled for your child, there is no need to ring the door unless you need assistance.

Distribution Dates:

October 28

November 10

November 24

December 9

January 6

February 3

February 17

March 3

March 24

April 7

April 21

May 28 -Materials Returned

Daily At Home Covid-19 Screening

Before arriving at school, families are asked to screen their child(ren) using the guidelines shown below. If your child has any of the symptoms, please contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance. If a child becomes symptomatic during the school day, families will be contacted immediately.
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Covid-19 Resources

Keep up-to-date on COVID-19 guidance by checking the district’s website. Look for the tab on the top toolbar on any of the school websites.


In the event of a COVID-19 case in a face-to-face classroom: individuals identified as close contacts within the school setting will receive a notification, which will be sent by your student’s school/Grand Forks Public Schools on behalf of Grand Forks Public Health. If an individual is not notified, the individual was not considered a close contact. Close contact is defined by the CDC as, “anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.”

Your child may also receive a notice of being a close contact but be asked to self-monitor for 14 days from exposure. If that notice is received, they are still allowed to be in school. A self-monitoring notification will be determined if individuals were properly masked during their encounter with an individual during the infectious period.

A child may receive a close contact "quarantine" letter if they were unmasked and within 6 ft for 15 minutes (cumulative) of a person during the infectious period. At this time, that may only be during lunch or if the student had removed their mask for another reason (due to their age and ability to keep their mask on properly).

A child may receive a close contact "self-monitor" letter if they were masked but within 6 ft for 15 minutes or more of a person during the infectious period. This may be due to working with a person in small groups, playing with them at recess, or being a partner for a project. At times, it can not be determined how long and with who the child encountered during recess during the infectious period. Out of precaution, we will send a "self-monitor" letter to students in the class who were present during that time.


District Information

District Communication/Information

Believe it or not, you’ve been a role model for your kids since they first entered this world. This
means that every time you say something, behave in a certain way, or react to someone or
something, your kids are observing your behavior. From preschoolers learning how to manage
frustration by watching you to teenagers observing how you handle your personal relationships
or work stress; your kids are always watching. The good news is that teaching by example is
often easier and more effective than forcing your kids to obey rules by scaring, threatening, or
bribing them with rewards. How do I role model? Visit for more information.

Thank you!

School Cancellation and Postponement Procedures

Click here to learn about how school cancellations/postponements are handled.

School Meals -- Free and Reduced Application

Even though meals are being offered to our families at no cost until December, it is still important to complete the Free & Reduced application.

An application is available online at, or download the form below, fill it in, and submit it to the Wilder Office. After the application has been reviewed by the Child Nutrition Department, you will be notified by letter of your status. All information is confidential - names are never disclosed. A copy of the application will also be sent home the first day of school.

The My schoolbucks tab is a website for families to pay for their child's school meals or other expenses using a debit or credit card. Select the My Schoolbucks tab to connect to the site.
Our Mental Health Hub now has an additional section related to Covid-19. Please visit the page by going to the Grand Forks Public School website >Mental Health Hub> Covid-19 Mental Health resources. There are many valuable resources we hope you will find helpful during this period of time.

Information from our School Nurse

Ben Franklin Elementary Vision

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