Dear Northfield School District Families,
I am writing to you today with a couple of school district updates. I hope your summer has been enjoyable to this point.
The Minnesota Department of Health provided information to school districts on Wednesday about COVID-19 safety considerations for the 2021-22 school year. The information includes guidance for schools, not requirements. We are closely reviewing the details of the guidance and are finalizing our protocols for the fall. We will provide this information as soon as practicable but no later than August 10.
The good news is that we are in a much better position to start this school year than last school year. While there is a resurgence of the virus fueled by what is commonly known as the delta variant, we know that increasing vaccinations are making a significant difference. While the pandemic is not over, we have more tools to protect ourselves against infection.
Here is what we do know:
- We will have a fully in-person schedule for all schools and grades.
- We will have an all-the-time-online option for families who want it. Click here for more information about Portage.
- Fully vaccinated people will not have to quarantine if exposed to a positive COVID-19 case.
Again, we will communicate our planned protocols as soon as practicable but no later than August 10. It is also vital to remember that the pandemic can change plans quickly. While we strive for consistency, we will modify our protocols if circumstances change.
Vaccination — many opportunities available [reminder]
The most effective tool we have against the pandemic is vaccination. Vaccination is currently available for people 12 and older. The district maintains a vaccination opportunities page as a resource to families. We strongly encourage families to have their eligible children vaccinated prior to the start of school.
Family conferences [reminder]
We will begin the school year with family conferences on Sept. 7 and 8. The first official day of school will be Sept. 9. You can expect to hear from your school about their schedule in the coming weeks. You can view the 2021-22 school calendar here.
Buildings and Grounds Department transition [new]
Jim Kulseth, our Director of Buildings and Grounds, retires from the district this week. Jim has served in this role for the past six years after more than 30 years in the Edina Public Schools. Jim made remarkable contributions to the district, including the management of our recent elementary school bond projects. Jim will be missed.
Cole Nelson is our new Director of Buildings and Grounds. Cole joins our Northfield School District team after serving five years as the Assistant Construction Manager for Rochester Public Schools. We are excited to welcome Cole to the district!
As always, thank you for your partnership. You can always contact me directly with any feedback about the Northfield School District. Have a great weekend!
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools