Greetings, Northfield Public Schools Families,
I am sure you are all enjoying the more extended amounts of daylight and the warmer weather we continue to experience as we progress toward spring. The purpose of today’s message is to remind you of our distance learning day for all students on March 11, to remind you of the transition plan to have middle school, high school, and Area Learning Center (ALC) students attend classes on campus five days a week beginning on March 31, and to share guidance about travel during spring break.
Distance Learning for All Students on March 11
As announced in 2020-21 Update No. 28, all K-12 students will have a distance learning day on March 11. On March 10, over half of our staff (308 people) will receive their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. We understand that up to 30% of people experience some temporary side effects from the second dose of the vaccine. While many people’s side effects would not disrupt their daily activities, there is not enough data to accurately predict how it temporarily affects our staff. While I understand the inconvenience, I also understand that families prefer a proactive approach to these situations. Having our school employees vaccinated will dramatically improve our staffing consistency.
Middle School, High School, and ALC to return full-time on March 31
As highlighted in 2020-21 Update No. 28, middle school, high school, and ALC students will return to the in-person learning model on March 31. The in-person learning model means that students will attend classes on campus five days a week. Please review the timeline for return here.
We know many Northfield families take spring break trips. As mentioned in 2020-21 update No. 26, we ask families to review the Minnesota Departments of Education and Health guidance about travel consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, we are emphasizing the importance of testing for COVID-19 if you travel for spring break. COVID-19 testing is now widely available in Minnesota. Testing, whether you feel ill or not, is critical to ensure we have the safest environment as practicable for our students when they return to the in-person learning model.
Many locations can provide a free test kit. You could also consider ordering a test at home kit before leaving, so it is ready when you return.
» Click here to see a list of Minnesota COVID-19 testing sites, including instructions for order test at home kits.
Following the MDH Decision Tree
It is essential to follow the MDH decision tree when someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms. While it can create inconvenience, keeping students home when there is someone else in the family displaying COVID-19 symptoms protects us all.
Once again, thank you for your continued cooperation and support. We will continue to meet the challenges of this pandemic together.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools