HAWLEY, Minn. — The first graders in Hawley Elementary School have been in the classroom since last fall. Next door at the high school, students have been moving on to the hybrid schedule. Thanks to months long planning here at the school, which included the school's new full time nurse.
"(W)hen they said, contact tracing, all of this, and I didn't even know what that meant, and what to do about it. But you don't have a choice, and you just do it," said Hawley school nurse Addie Harms.
Even outdoors recess had rules, in addition to the additional challenges the school nurse. A new part of Harm's job is trying to keep track of who is in quarantine, and who is ready to come off the list. Contact tracing was no 9-5 job, especially when it came to busing.
"In the beginning, if there was a positive on the bus, everyone had to quarantine," Harms explained. "That's the thing, you get the positive results, it is nights and weekends and you drop everything and you have to figure out who they were around."
After seeing her dedication and sacrifices, teachers in Hawley selected a art teacher, Tara Hager as the traditional teacher of the year, but also named Harms co-teacher of the year. The co-teacher of the year title has never happened before.
Harms knows they are not out of the woods yet, but so far, it has been good to be a small school. Parents, teachers, and administrators are communicating to keep the doors open and students safe during a pandemic.