Dear Northfield Public School Families,
I hope your family continues to be healthy and safe during this historic COVID-19 pandemic. Today, I want to remind you of some important dates and information as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Decision Date for Learning Models
We continue to work closely with Rice County Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota Department of Public Health as we prepare to announce what learning model we will use to begin the 2020-2021 school year. We plan to announce the learning model by the end of the day on Monday, August 17, 2020, based on the latest available infection rate data. To be clear, August 17 is four weeks prior to the first day of school, and we must be prepared to shift to a different learning model if the data, combined with guidance from public health, suggests we do so. It is clear that our local collective effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 will determine whether or not students can attend school in-person. Please take reasonable precautions such as wearing a face-covering in accordance with Executive Order 20-81, frequently washing your hands with soap and hot water, and staying home when you are not feeling well.
We also have three videos produced by our outstanding T.O.R.C.H. team that provide an overview of the learning models. You can see them here:
All-The-Time-Online Option (Portage)
We have had significant interest in our online-only option called Portage. If you were unable to attend one of the informational webinars about how Portage will work, you may view a recording of the webinars. Also provided is an FAQ document for both elementary and secondary options. You can officially register for Portage by completing this form. The deadline to enroll your child(ren) is Monday, August 17, 2020.
We plan to hold opening-of-the-year family conferences with each family during the week of September 8 – 11. You will hear from your school to register for these meetings. We strongly encourage each and every family to participate in these conferences. Our first day of formal instruction will be Monday, September 14, 2020.
Thank you for your continued support, patience, and forgiveness as we adapt to the challenges presented by the novel coronavirus. We will get through this pandemic together as a community.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools