Greetings, Northfield Public Schools Families:
I hope this message finds you and your family healthy. This week’s message includes updates about district progress on staff vaccination, spring break, COVID-19 testing, Governor Walz’s latest announcement revising COVID-19 restrictions, and our third “pulse” survey of the school year.
Over 300 educators and school bus drivers received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. This milestone is significant because it will help make our staffing more predictable. Once 14 days have elapsed since the second dose of the vaccine, a person no longer needs to quarantine if they are considered a close contact with someone who tests positive for the coronavirus. Next week, there is another clinic when additional staff, substitutes, and athletic coaches will receive their second dose. Once again, our heartfelt gratitude goes out to Northfield Hospital+Clinics for prioritizing educators with their vaccine supply.
If you haven’t already signed up for the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, you can learn more here.
Spring Break, COVID-19 Testing, and Return to Full-Time Schedule Timeline
As previously mentioned in 2020-21 Updates No. 26 and 29, we understand that some people plan to travel during spring break. 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 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.
We are still on track for returning middle school, high school, and ALC students to a full-time on-campus schedule beginning March 31. Please review the timeline here.
Also, MDH is now recommending middle and high school students test at least once every other week. MDH is also recommending student-athletes test weekly. Again, consider using the list of Minnesota testing sites or request a test at-home kit.
We are also closely monitoring the rise in COVID-19 variants, such as the recent outbreak in Carver County. Frequent testing is one way we can ensure to keep school and activities moving forward.
Governor Walz Announces Revised COVID-19 Restrictions
Today, Governor Walz announced revisions to COVID-19 restrictions. While these revisions aren’t specifically aimed at schools, some modifications do pertain to us. We are reviewing the updates and determining their impact on our operations.
Pulse Survey No. 3
Your feedback has been vital to our school district planning and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are offering another opportunity for your feedback through our third “pulse” survey of the school year.
» Click here to take the parent/caregiver pulse survey
The survey will remain open through 9:00 pm on March 19, 2021.
Once again, I thank you for your continued support as we mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to follow the safety protocols: wear a mask in public, wash your hands, maintain social distancing, and avoid large gatherings. We need to keep working together to bring an end to this pandemic.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools