By: Charli Mann
I had the opportunity to talk with Shelly Koenig one of the prom board members earlier this week. We discussed how planning prom was this year when having to follow all of the COVID regulations and guidelines. I asked her if it was hard planning prom with the Covid regulations and guidelines, and if it was, what was the hardest part. She said “Planning prom this year was different, that is for sure. We have a lot of regulations and recommendations to follow that were passed down to us from MDE and MDH. The hardest part for us, I believe, is trying to make this as safe as possible and still have prom feel as normal as possible.”
By: Mary Barry
I paired up with Ms. Youso, our school social worker to discuss student mental health issues during the pandemic. We discussed ways to cope and help students who are struggling. Here are some helpful tips to remember:
Depression is real and can affect anyone. Possible causes of depression include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Increasingly, research suggests these things may cause changes in brain function, including altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.
The constant feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be partnered with thoughts of suicide.
Below is an addition form school social worker Laurie Youso. Students can reach out to Laurie at any time.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life.
Things that can cause mental health problems include biological factors, (your genetic makeup or brain chemistry), negative life experiences such as trauma or abuse, or a family history of mental illness, such as depression.
Early warning signs of mental health issues may include any or some of the following:
Eating or sleeping too much or too little,
Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and again if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or depression, I want you to know that you are here for a reason and your struggle is just as important as anyone else’s.
By: Isabelle Hemstad
After over five months of using the hybrid learning system, Falls High School will be returning to in person classes for four days a week. Students will be in the school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday will remain as a work day and students must Zoom into their homeroom at noon.
All staff and students are asked to follow Covid-19 guidelines and stay home if they, or a family member have any symptoms of the virus. Please remember to wear your mask properly, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
Written By Nora Sullivan
So far, 2020 has been hard on the International Falls School District. With cases rising it has been difficult for many parents and students to decide which way is the safest for schooling. The leaders of the school have been deciding what’s the best and most safe way for students, teachers, parents. I was able to email Falls High School’s nurse Leah Bacon and School Board Clerk Jennifer Windels. They were both able to give me very informational emails explaining many concerns about how Covid-19 is affecting the school, how they are handling it, and what we should do to remain physically in school.
How are cases tracked?
There have been 9 cases since school has started. If someone has tested positive, they are considered contagious 2 days before symptoms start. For Leah Bacon to be able to track cases, she needs to know when symptoms started, where they were 2 days before the symptoms started, and who they were around for longer than 15 minutes and were less than 6 ft apart. Quarantining helps prevent the spread of Covid-19, so Leah Bacon keeps a running list of people who have symptoms to determine whether it’s safe for them to return to school/work based on test results.
What happens when there is a case?
When Leah Bacon is notified of a case she finds out when their symptoms started, where they were 2 days before, and who they were with for longer than 15 minutes and were less than 6ft apart. While keeping the infected anonymous, she contacts those who were around them and tell them to stay home from school/work.
How can you protect yourself and others?
Wearing masks properly, washing your hands, social distancing, and cleaning and disinfection. “It's important to follow the mitigation strategies to decrease the chances of spreading or catching Covid-19.” Leah Bacon wrote “There are "holes" in each strategy but offer the most protection when the layers are combined.” It is also important to stay quarantined if you have tested positive. “If someone comes to school with symptoms or when someone in their home is sick, putting on a mask won't protect his or her classmates or the staff. They all matter and are important.” Jennifer Windels explained in her email. Wearing a mask alone reduces the risk of Covid-19 by 65%.
What can you do to slow the spread?
Though it is difficult not being able to see family and friends, it is important to follow the guidelines. Video chating, calling, or texting others is a great way to stay connected. “Humans need to connect but being up close and personal is pretty tough right now. Many kids (and adults) are finding new ways to connect.” Jennifer said.
Going for a walk rather than eating with someone, video chatting with a friend or a group, or even writing a letter are better ways to stay connected and safe. Most are finding comforts in social media right now, but it is also important to stay active and be outside. Going for a walk, doing a short work-out, reading a book or even playing a game has proven to lift one’s mood.
Reaching out and asking for help is important now more than ever. Whether it’s about a question on zoom or if you're struggling or upset, talking to a friend, parent, or teacher will help. If you don’t get help from the first person you reach out to, keep reaching out. It really is important to stay positive right now.
Being able to get such informational emails from Leah Bacon and Jennifer Windels has helped me understand more what the school is doing to fight Covid-19. If you want to look up information regarding Covid-19 and the risks, symptoms, or any other general question, here are some websites:
By Jakob Clifford
It all began on November 26, 1621. When the pilgrims of Plymouth and the local Wampanoag tribe shared a feast. They had food like birds, corn, and other fairly common foods at the time. That was the first instance of Thanksgiving.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, it was then a tradition of prayer to god until around 1769. In 1769, a local reverend trying to promote tourism in New England made a footnote in a poem that stated, "This was the first Thanksgiving, the great festival of New England." People soon noticed this footnote and widely accepted that fact. In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln ( in an attempt to promote National Unity) declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday(On both August 6th and November 26th). But Presidents still had to declare it a National Holiday. Every President Declared it on the last Thursday of November, Until 1939 when FDR declared it on the 4th Thursday of November. Then in 1941, Congress established it as a yearly National Holiday. Then in 1989, George H. W. Bush started the tradition of "pardoning" a turkey.