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Principal’s Corner: Albert Lea students are smiling

Principal’s Corner by Tonya Franks


Kids are smiling! We may not be able to see the physical smile behind the sea of colorful masks, but we can see it in their eyes, we can hear it in their voices,and we witness that little extra giddy-up in their step as they bounce to their classrooms each morning. School may look a bit different right now, but our staff and district remain committed to ensuring individual academic, social and emotional growth that leads to engaged citizens and lifelong learners.

Tonya Franks

Some changes you may hear your elementary students talking about:

Screening questions

Students are asked three questions each morning. The results of the screening questions are reviewed by the district team, including our licensed school nurses, and follow up phone calls are made to families if necessary. Following the Stay Safe MN guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health, we ask families to watch for fever, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, chills, cough, runny nose or congestion, sore throat, headache or fatigue.


Masks are required for everyone over the age of 5. Most families are choosing to provide their own masks, but we also have plenty available if a student does not have one, a strap breaks or a replacement is necessary. We are happy to accommodate.

Hallway signage

Our schools have signs on the floors to assist with hallway traffic and social distancing. 

Bathroom signage 

Every sink has a reminder for students to please wash their hands.

Cafeteria signage

Students are sitting staggered in assigned locations. Only one grade level is in the cafeteria at a time.

Hand sanitizer

Numerous hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the building. Students are able to access in the hallways, entrances, exits, cafeteria and classrooms.

Thermal scanner

Students walk through the scanner each morning and it takes their temperature. No individual temp checks are necessary, unless the student is 100.4 or higher. Then we follow the Minnesota Department of Health guidance for an elevated temperature.

We are excited to welcome students back to our schools. Schools should be filled with students ready and eager to learn, with teachers at the ready to provide quality instruction. We encourage families to reach out to your child’s teacher, principal or use the welisten@alschools.org email to ask questions. We are here to support our students and our families. We are truly looking forward to another great year of learning. We’ve got this!

Tonya Franks is the principal at Halverson Elementary School.