Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 


What’s happening at our local schools


March 19, 2020

With the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading, Governor Tim Walz ordered the temporary closure of schools statewide.

The executive order signed on March 15, authorized the closure of K-12 public schools beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. It also requires schools to continue providing meals to students in need. The closure is not only meant as a way to curb the infection rate of COVID-19 but to give educators time to make plans for distance learning in the event schools need to remain closed for a longer period of time.

“Closing schools is never an easy decision,” said Governor Walz, “but we need to make sure we have plans in place to educate and feed our kids regardless of what’s to come.”

“There is nothing more important than the health, safety, and well-being of Minnesotans,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This decision was made with children and families in mind, as well as our educators, to best support our schools and educational system in the weeks and months ahead and make sure that we have a plan in place for our kids who rely on school for meals and other critical needs.”

Of course, school sports have also been affected by the order. State competitions have been canceled. The Minnesota State High School League has issued a directive prohibiting scrimmages, contests, and competitions with other MSHSL programs for spring activities and athletics until April 6. Participation in spring sports is limited to practice and tryouts only. However, there will not be a change in the length of the spring sport season. Inter-school events or competitions for visual arts, music and speech are also not allowed.

Moose Lake Community School

CLOSED March 18 – 27

Superintendent Robert Indihar stated in a letter sent out to student families, “Our educators will be giving thoughtful planning to our distance learning plan, offering careful consideration for students in a variety of areas, including students receiving special education services, multilingual learners, students experiencing homelessness, and students who rely on meals served at school.”

Parents who are emergency personnel (health care providers, first responders, correctional services, etc.) may be eligible for school based childcare services during this period. Those who may qualify can contact Kendra Sickler at (218) 485-4435 x1220 or

Moose Lake Community School will be providing drive-up, curbside pick-up of breakfast and lunch go bags beginning March 18, between 11 a.m. — noon. Those interested in this service should contact Shari Anderson at (218) 485-4435 x1109 or

Barnum Public Schools

CLOSED March 18 – 27

Barnum was already scheduled to be closed the week of March 16–20 for spring break. According to information released by the school on their Facebook page, they will communicate their plan for action after the break via email, text, and social media with staff and families.

Willow River Area School

CLOSED March 18 – 27

“Once our distance learning plan is finalized we will communicate the plan to families using our Student Management System via email or text message, Facebook page, and our school website,” said Superintendent Bill Peel in a posted letter.


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