Perham-Dent School Board hears distance learning plan

The Perham-Dent school Board heard the plan for the change in learning models.

Perham High School (Focus file photo)

The Perham-Dent School District announced its plans to move grades 3 through 12 to full distance learning starting on Nov. 30. The announcement came on Nov. 18, that same day the Perham-Dent School Board heard the plan for the new learning model at the regular school board meeting.

Currently, the plan is for students to return to the preschool through sixth grade all in person and seventh through 12th-grade hybrid learning model on Jan. 18.

High school Principal Erhen Zimmerman said students in Cohort A will attend in-person classes on Nov. 23 and Cohort B on Nov. 24, students will begin full distance learning after returning from Thanksgiving break on Nov. 30.

Once distance learning starts students will remain in their cohorts which will dictate when they will be required to be in live online classes.

Students in preschool through second grade will remain in full in-person learning until Jan. 4, when they will do distance learning until Jan. 18, to allow for two weeks of self-regulation after the Winter Holiday break.


Superintendent Mitch Anderson said unless something changes and it becomes necessary to make another change before the winter holiday break, preschool through second grade will remain in full in-person learning as they are in a vital learning stage that makes in-person learning important as they build skills such as reading.

Perham High School math teacher Jeff Morris said grades 7 through 12 will be using a program called Notability, which will allow students to see their teacher make live edits to their screen, in their math and science classes. The program will allow the teacher to use their iPad to make changes to a worksheet in a similar way to as if they were showing the class the work on a whiteboard. These classes will also use a virtual graphing calculator, which will also be shared on students’ screens so that teachers can demonstrate the functions to the class.

Morris said screen sharing will be helpful to students in math and science classes to see the steps in the process.

Perham High School speech teacher Kasey Wacker said in the humanity classes, such as speech, social studies, and English, most classes will be using Google Classroom to assign classwork and Google Meet to hold live classes.

Wacker said GoGuardian will be used in alignment with Google Classroom to allow teachers to monitor their classrooms and live classes.

Fifth and sixth grade will also be using Google Classroom and Google Meet to assign classwork and hold live classes. Go Gardien will be used for teachers to monitors their classes.

Paper packets will be provided for students who do not have Wi-Fi access.

Other business discussed by the Perham-Dent School Board:


  • The board accepted two monetary donations to the school. A $20 donation was made by Dr. and Mrs. Mike Hamman in memory of Mrs. Dolores Schik and $6,324.67 was donated by Perham’s Promise for the school’s hygiene project.

  • The board voted to renew their collaborative agreement with West Central Minnesota Communities Action Head Start. This year’s annual agreement between the school and Head Start contained no changes from previous years.

  • Dec. 21-22 will be used as staff planning days for preschool through second grade to allow teachers to prepare for distance learning starting on Jan. 4. These staff days will not need to be made up at a later date.

  • The next school board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 9, via teleconference, and will be followed by the Truth in Taxation meeting at 6 p.m.

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