North Branch School News: This is what love does!

Prior to the holiday break, I noted in a message to all families our plan to begin in-school instruction five days a week for K-8 students beginning January 19. 

The North Branch Area Education Center and Sunrise River School will open at a Level 2.

The Life Work Center, Norse Area Learning Center and North Branch Area Middle School at a Level 3. 

You can learn more about our learning levels at

The MDH Regional Support Team required consultation before bringing high school students back into the school setting, which is why the high school announcement was delayed.

Now, we are pleased to announce students will return to the high school on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Level 4, utilizing the same red day/white day schedule in place prior to the remote learn pause over the holidays. We are planning a return to in-school instruction five days a week for the third trimester.

Staff and student safety has been a priority for our return to learn this January, and much has been learned by the state and NBAPS since the original guidance was made public in July. It is accepted knowledge now that schools are not “super spreaders,” a concern that formed the basis of the July guidance from the state. NBAHS has demonstrated effective safety protocols and has data to support a strong foundation for safe learning. 

Returning to high school at a Level 4 will provide a strong foundation to address student needs and provide continuity for the remainder of the second trimester. NBAPS has demonstrated effective safety protocols and has data to support a strong foundation for safe learning which puts the school district in the position to plan for all students, including high school students, to be in school 5 days a week for trimester three.

I can’t wait for students to be back in our schools!

SARA PAUL is superintendent of North Branch Area Public Schools. She can be reached at 651-674-1000 or

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