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The Benton County News is published weekly and has been proud to serve the City of Foley and the surrounding communities of Benton County since 1932.


Foley Public Schools makes switch before year begins 

County case rate recommends hybrid model for secondary students 

By Evan Michealson 

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising within the county, Foley Public Schools has altered its original course for the beginning of the academic year.
The district’s steering committee held a meeting to discuss the case spike Aug. 31 at the Foley Intermediate School media center in Foley, where superintendent Paul Neubauer initiated a hybrid learning model for grades 6-12 at Foley Public Schools, replacing the previous plan of in-person schooling across the board.
            The decision comes as Benton County’s positive COVID-19 14-day case rate per 10,000 people increased. The Minnesota Department of Health reported Aug. 27 a case rate of 6.79 for the period of Aug. 2-15, but current county-level data suggests the case rate is higher.
            According to data released by Benton County Public Health on its website, the county’s positive 14-day case rate per 10,000 people rose to 18.76 between Aug. 17-31 – a threshold that recommends a hybrid learning model for middle and high school students while elementary students continue in person. Twenty-one additional cases have been reported within the Foley zip code since Aug. 20. The active case count in Benton County is 40 – a number that was 17 less than two weeks ago.
            In a resolution passed Aug. 17, the Foley School Board allowed Neubauer to “select and implement a different learning model for the school district or any specific school buildings without school board action if the superintendent reasonably believes that prompt implementation of a different learning model is necessary.”
Foley Public Schools is set to commence the 2020-21 school year Sept. 8.
For more information on county data, visit and locate the Benton County COVID-19 Overview. 

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