**en Español**

Dear Northfield School District Families,

The 2021-22 school year begins next week. We are excited to welcome our students back! This message contains important reminders about family conferences being held on Sept. 7 and 8, vaccination opportunities, the district’s COVID-19 safety measures, and an update from our child nutrition department.

Family Conferences [reminder]
We are hosting family conferences on Sept. 7 and 8. You should have received information about how to sign up for a time slot from the principal at your child’s school. Please connect with your school if you still need to sign up for a conference. We believe that relationships between parents and the school are essential for each student’s success. Family conferences are intended to be a conversation about how we can work together this school year to support your student. The first official day of school for students is Thursday, Sept. 9.

Vaccination Clinic [new]
In partnership with Rice County Public Health, the district will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Northfield High School on Tuesday, Sept. 7 from 3 pm–6 pm in the upper cafeteria. The clinic will use the Pfizer vaccine and is open to anyone in the community 12 years old-and-older. You can pre-register here:

https://prepmod.health.state.mn.us//appointment/en/reg/0967251958

**Walk-in appointments are also available.**

You can also learn about other vaccination opportunities here.

COVID-19 Safety Measures [reminder]
As shared in Summer 2021 updates no. 4 and no. 5, the district has adopted COVID-19 safety measures for the 2021-22 school year. The purpose of our safety measures is to prioritize uninterrupted, in-person learning.  You can view the safety measures here. These protocols include a universal indoor face covering requirement. You can review the procedures for face coverings here and the procedures that govern Minnesota State High School League interscholastic activities here.

We will return to updating the district’s COVID-19 dashboard this week.

Child Nutrition Department Update: Food Supply Chain Disruptions and National School Lunch Program [new]
There is disruption in the national food supply chain that is affecting all aspects of food service including but not limited to school programs.  This disruption is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This disruption is due to one or more of the following contributing factors:

  • Lack of availability of raw ingredients to produce the products
  • Labor – there is simply not enough active workforce to produce the food products and to unload incoming raw and finished products
  • Transportation – There are insufficient numbers of drivers to haul the food throughout our nation

These factors will have an impact on the school lunch and breakfast programs in our district. Our child nutrition department will be working closely with our food distributor to source healthy menu options that meet the federal guidelines. However, all meals served at our district are subject to change based on availability, so we are asking you to keep this in mind when reviewing the printed and online menus for the upcoming school year.

School meals are free to all students again this year. Even though completing the meal benefits is not required, it is critical that families complete the form. Our schools receive funding to support students

based on the number of families that qualify for free or reduced meals. You may also receive reduced rates for fee-based activities. You can find more information here.

Talking Points [new]
We are committed to effective communication with families. Talking Points is a new tool the district will use this year to promote effective communication between school staff and families. Talking Points allows for two-way communication with families via text message and for real-time translation of messages into the student’s home language. You can expect to learn more about Talking Points at family conferences and as the school year begins.

Thank You
Once again, thank you for your partnership as we prepare for the upcoming school year. I acknowledge we have been down a hard path due to the pandemic and that we are all tired of it. At the same time, the new school year holds incredible promise and potential for our students and community. As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any feedback about our school district.

Sincerely,

Matt


Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools