***en Español***

Dear Northfield Public Schools Families,

I hope this message finds you healthy and safe in this new year. We all hope that 2021 provides a pathway beyond the pandemic and healing in our society. Today’s update focuses on our return-to-campus plan, an update about our 90-day pulse survey, and two items from our child nutrition department.

Return-to-Campus Plan

At this point, our return-to-campus plan remains as we sent it on December 18. We are continuing to observe the county-level data and working with the Minnesota Department of Health to confirm our ability to bring middle and high school students back to campus in a hybrid model on February 2, 2021. Again, all of our plans are subject to immediate change based on the evolving public health situation.

» You can view the return-to-campus plan here. 

The Rice County infection rate has been improving week-over-week for the last month. This latest data shows the two-week infection rate per 10,000 residents was 62.19. Please continue to follow the Minnesota Department of Health precautions so we can return students to school and keep them here!

90-day Pulse Survey Results

Thank you to the 618 parents who took our 90-day pulse survey in December. Your feedback is essential in adjusting our work to meet the expectations of our families.

There were a total of 618 submissions for the parent survey. The results are listed below. Buildings are currently reviewing their data. With the employee survey, the District will create an action plan based on its general themes. As you will see in the table, we have about half as many responses on the 90-day survey than the 30-day survey. Our average score went down for all questions. We have read all of the comments and are working to address the concerns you’ve brought forward as part of a district-wide action plan based on your feedback. We take continuous improvement seriously and will continue to work hard to meet your expectations.


90 Day Average Score

(five-point scale)
618 respondents

90 day “Agree or “Strongly Agree” 30 Day Average Score

(five-point scale)

1,167 respondents

30 day “Agree or “Strongly Agree”
1. I am confident that my child’s school is handling the COVID-19 challenge to keep my child safe. 4.09 79% 4.21 85%
2. I am confident that my child’s school is focused on the social-emotional well-being of my child. 3.54 58% 3.91 72%
3. I have the resources needed to help my child learn. 3.71 64% 3.95 73%
4. I have access to my child’s teacher(s) when needed. 4.01 78% 4.14 83%
5. I receive feedback from my child’s teacher(s) about my child’s learning progress. 3.54 57% 3.57 58%
6. I am confident that my child will not fall behind in school. 2.83 33% 3.44 53%
7. I receive timely communication on changes that occur at my child’s school. 4.07 81% 4.16 86%

Child Nutrition Update

Our free meal program has been extended through the end of school year 20-21, as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. All students enrolled in the school district — regardless of the learning model — can receive free breakfast and lunch every day.

Milk is included in the price of a breakfast and lunch meal. Students who take milk only at meals will be charged $0.50 per carton.  Extra milk is not allowed at this time.  Please know that if your child is bringing lunch from home and ordering milk, they will be charged $.50.

Even though all students will be receiving free meals during this time, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that you complete the Meal Benefit Application (English) (Spanish)  if your family has been approved in the past or if you feel your family may qualify for these benefits.  Our schools receive funding to support students based on the number of families that qualify for free or reduced meals.

Pandemic-EBT Benefits for Families

Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals may be eligible for Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) to purchase food for days they are not in the school building. To be considered, households must submit an application for free or reduced-price meals for the 2020-21 school year or be approved for Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families who received P-EBT benefits last summer are not automatically eligible; eligibility is based on the current school year. Benefits may be retroactive to September 2020, depending on when eligibility for free or reduced-price meals is determined. To ensure you qualify for the most benefits, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Thank You

Your continued cooperation and partnership with us is valued. By working together, we can overcome the challenges ahead of us. I continue to be proud to work and live in this community!



Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools