Students and families picked up school materials and prepared for the new school year in a different manner this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pictured here, handing out masks and answering COVID-related questions is Cheri Lynnes.

Because of the COVID outbreak, the Pelican Rapids schools did not hold traditional open houses at either the high school or the Viking elementary campuses.

Students were warmly welcomed back to the Pelican Rapids schools Sept. 8. 

At the high school campus, a colorful display of “chalk art” decorated the sidewalks as students entered the front of the building. 

Meanwhile, at the Viking elementary school, Principal Derrek Nelson waved to students and directed traffic at the entrance. School staff also directed motorists, as the new COVID-era parking procedure has been implemented. 

The drive through drop off lane is reserved strictly for buses. 

Students who are dropped off by parents are asked to bring them to the parking lot by the football field, above and south of the Viking school grounds.

The sidewalk art at the high school was created by Karla Breen, Teressa Schlieman, Shari VerDorn and Amy Korf.

Total enrollment at the Pelican Rapids schools, from Kindergarten to grade 12, was 855 on opening morning Sept. 8, according to interim administrator Brian Korf.