Dear Northfield Public Schools Families:
Thank you for your ongoing support for your children, our staff, and our community. Our Northfield Public Schools community has truly pulled together during the crisis created by COVID-19.
This afternoon, Governor Walz announced Minnesota schools will finish the 2019-20 school year via distance learning. He explained it is a necessary decision to continue fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 infection. Per the Governor’s orders, there will be no distance learning scheduled for Friday, May 1, or Monday, May 4. These dates have been set aside for staff planning and training.
Distance Learning – continuous improvement
Our recent parent survey, with 1,582 submissions, indicates our distance learning plans are on the right track. While the survey results highlighted the successes of this quick transition to distance learning, there are also areas highlighted for improvement. We are taking this feedback and using it to get better at serving our students remotely. While none of us would have chosen to be in these circumstances, our school district team will take advantage of the opportunities it presents to innovate and deepen our skills in engaging students through digital means. We are still processing the voluminous amount of data we received and will share more details with you in a future communication.
Saluting the Class of 2020
We have been considering numerous possibilities about how we can honor our graduating class of 2020. Our district is committed to honoring our seniors and gathering their input on how we can best celebrate their accomplishments. We will share more information when our plans are finalized.
Refunds, events, and getting items back from school
Governor Walz’s decision prompts a variety of questions. Our leadership team has been anticipating the probability of this decision. We have been formulating contingency plans for a variety of logical questions and traditional spring activities.
You can expect to hear more from your school’s principal about things like refunds, what approach will be used for retrieving student items from their school building, and traditional special events.
Roundabout & Building Construction
Since students will no longer be on campus this year, we can expect the City of Northfield and their contractors to begin construction of the roundabout at the intersection of Minnesota Highway 246 (Division Street) and Jefferson Parkway. While this project may start earlier than initially planned, we still anticipate some traffic disruption through the early Fall.
Our school district construction projects continue unabated at this time. We will be accelerating the timeline for the renovation of the Northfield Community Education Center (the new name for the existing Greenvale Park Elementary.)
Taking care of ourselves
During these difficult times, please continue to take care of yourself. The District will be holding a live webinar on Friday at 7 pm with nationally certified health and wellness expert Cindy Boyum to discuss strategies for self-care during this pandemic. Watch your email for a link later this week.
Thank you for your ongoing support, patience, understanding, and forgiveness as we work through changes resulting from the COVID-19 global health pandemic.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools