Yesterday, the Minnesota Departments of Education (MDE) and Health (MDH) released guidance for the 2020-21 school year. As mentioned in previous updates, three options could be used during the school year: 1) in-person instruction, 2) distance learning, 3) a hybrid option where some students would be on campus and others learning from home. Our school district leadership team is reviewing the more than 100 pages of guidance from MDE and MDH and beginning contingency planning for all three options. If you are interested, you can review the guidance here:
We invite you to share any thoughts you might have for the district about the implementation of these three options, based on the guidance. You can submit any suggestions here.
Distance Learning Survey
Thank you to our families for the more than 1,000 responses to our end-of-year distance learning survey. We are currently reviewing the data to use to improve any distance learning periods for the 2020-21 school year. While we are grateful for the feedback that we did well considering the abrupt change and circumstances, we know that there are significant improvements that can be made for the future. I am proud of our students, families, and staff for their efforts during these unprecedented times.
Mentoring opportunities available: Project Friendship
Project Friendship is a non-profit organization serving the children of Northfield since 1965. The program pairs students in grades 2-7 with St. Olaf and Carleton student mentors to ensure every child in the Northfield area has a long-term relationship with a caring adult who believes in them and sees their potential.
Matches are made based on likes and interests, and their relationships last until their mentors graduate from college. Mentors pass background checks and receive training so they know how best to have a strong relationship with their mentees.
Now more than ever, it is important for ALL students to have trusted adults in their lives. The program is free and matches 100% of youth who apply for a mentor.
To get more information about Project Friendship or to apply for a mentor, visit www.
Upcoming changes to free meal distribution
Free meals are still available for families. You can see the current details here. There will be some adjustments to the site pickup locations beginning July 1. We will announce those changes next week.
The district continues to identify and address issues of racial inequity within the school district and community. Our vision is to prepare every student for lifelong success in a world-class learning environment. We believe that a world-class learning environment is anti-racist. Our work to ensure an anti-racist learning environment is far from complete. We will continue reviewing our systems and behaviors to ensure a racially equitable and just school district.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools