Greetings, Northfield Public Schools Families:
I cannot write this message without acknowledging the death of George Floyd. We mourn this tragic loss of life, along with our state and nation. Regardless of where they take place, these incidents demonstrate the impact that systemic racism has on our society. We often feel helpless and do not know what we can do. At Northfield Public Schools, we are continuing with cultural competency training for all licensed teaching staff. Improving our collective understanding of race and culture is critical in pursuing our vision to prepare every student for lifelong success within a world-class learning environment. A world-class learning environment is much more than the brick and mortar of our schools. Social/emotional safety is as critical as physical safety.
These situations can prompt questions from our students. This National Association of School Psychologists resource has guidance for discussing violence with children. This NASP resource contains information about how to help children cope with trauma, which will be activated when events like this occur.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our administrators or counselors if we can help you process this tragedy.
End of the School Year
While the school year does not officially end until next Friday, today is the last day of formal instruction. Thank you for your partnership in our transition to distance learning. Overall, there have been significant success stories associated with this different way of teaching and learning. I also know it has been hard for everyone. I think we can be proud of how we’ve come together to effectively finish our school year given the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As previously communicated, next week will be used for elementary school teachers to hold closing conferences with their families. Secondary teachers will be supporting students who need additional assistance to complete their fourth quarter assignments successfully.
The district has created a menu of activities students can choose to use next week and throughout the summer to pursue their continued growth.
Early next week, you will receive a second survey about your family’s distance learning experience. Earlier survey data prompted modest modifications to the distance learning plan.
Please remember that students (except seniors and students who don’t plan to return next fall) will keep district-issued iPads for the summer unless families prefer to return it. Please see this previous communication for additional details.
Once again, thank you for your continued partnership and support in these difficult times. We value our relationship with our parents and our community.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools