Dear Northfield Public Schools Families:
Thank you for your continued support as we transition to this second phase of distance learning. Our partnership has never been more critical. I am grateful for this community’s willingness to come together in difficult circumstances like what we face right now.
Distance Learning Supports
In addition to your child’s teachers, principals, and assistant principals, the District has set up supports for families during distance learning. You can access these resources here. Here are a few that I want to call out specifically:
- Distance Learning Questions and Answers: An interactive document designed to support your family’s needs.
- Free Meals: Information about how and when you can access free meals offered by our Child Nutrition Department. Scroll to the bottom and look for the section titled “Distance Learning Menus and Schedule” under the “Menus and Mealtimes” headline.
- Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative Resources for Caregivers: This site offers videos and fact sheets to support our families as instructional partners during distance learning.
Webinars for Families
Thanks to the 80 individuals who attended our first in a series of parent webinars on November 22, 2020. Director of Instructional Services Hope Langston and I shared resources available for families.
This Sunday, November 29, 2020, certified health and wellness coach Cindy Boyum will provide tips for families to manage the stress that comes with the shift to distance learning. Watch for a message later this week with login information.
Free COVID-19 Testing for Staff, Students, and Families
Northfield Public Schools will be a pilot site for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) school-based COVID-19 testing. We have the opportunity to host three free saliva-based testing opportunities for staff, students, and families in December. The testing will be held at Northfield Middle School from 1 pm-7 pm on December 2, 9, and 16, 2020. The purpose of this optional testing pilot is to focus on people without COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic.) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MDH have indicated finding those asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus and having them isolate will be vital in slowing the spread of COVID-19. These tests are optional but encouraged. Look for additional information about the testing dates in a future communication.
Reporting Positive COVID-19 Student Cases and Weekly Email Updated
Please continue to report any positive student COVID-19 cases to your child’s school. Even during distance learning, it is helpful for us to understand how the virus is impacting our students and we hope to use the data as part of our metrics for returning students to campus. For the past several weeks, the District has been sharing a weekly report about the number of COVID-19 cases in our school community. We will pause those reports beginning this week but will continue to update our school’s dashboard with the COVID-19 cases reported to the school or through the MDH.
Raider Mascot Refresh
The School Board had heard a request from the Northfield High School student council about refreshing the Northfield High School Raider mascot before last spring’s shift to distance learning. The Board will consider action directing the high school administration to conduct a process that would result in up to four conceptual designs to refresh the current mascot. This potential action is part of tonight’s agenda, but no action will be taken until December 14, 2020. For clarity, the name “Raiders” is not up for consideration, only refreshing the mascot.
Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving
Once again, thank you for your continued cooperation, flexibility, and grace as we experience the historic COVID-19 pandemic together. This virus impacts every single one of us in some way. Let’s continue to unite as a school district community to combat this virus.
I am grateful for being the Superintendent of Schools here and for living in this wonderful community. I wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools