Dear Northfield School District Families,
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. These have been challenging times and I am proud of how our community consistently demonstrates resilience. Our students have been fantastic. They have worked hard in the classroom, performed well on stage, and represented our community admirably through Raider athletics.
Last week, districts across the country responded to an alleged threat of school violence because of a TikTok social media trend. As stated in a previous email, the district worked with the Northfield Police Department (NPD) closely and there were no threats specific to Northfield Public Schools. The district has a close working relationship with NPD and is grateful for their support. Student safety is our top priority and we will continue to take appropriate precautions to maintain a safe, welcoming, and inclusive school learning environment. As always, please call 911 or use Rice County’s Tip 411 service if you have concerns about any suspicious or potentially harmful activity.
I also have a few COVID-19 testing notes to share with you today:
- Our district Cue COVID-19 testing center does not operate when school is not in session. We will not offer any testing appointments over the winter break.
- Our district office has BD Veritor rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits available for families to use at home. These kits are available for free to families over winter break. You can pick up one free test kit per student (each kit contains two tests) from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Dec. 27-Dec. 30 at the district office. The district office is located at 201 Orchard Street South. You can pick the tests up at the main entrance on Orchard Street. The BD Veritor test requires a smartphone app and is completed at home. The school provides these to help increase testing capacity within our community but cannot provide technical support for the test.
- Shortly after winter break, we will implement a “test-to-stay” program. Unvaccinated students who would have been quarantined because of close contact at school with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 may continue attending if they do not have any symptoms and receive two negative COVID-19 test results during what would have been the quarantine period. The school will provide the tests for families who wish to take advantage of this option. The district will provide more details shortly after winter break. This “test-to-stay” approach will add another tool to prioritize uninterrupted in-person learning.
If you are still seeking a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, you can find a location here. You can also see the clinic schedule for Rice County Public Health here.
A couple of other items:
- Community Education’s winter/spring brochure is now available. Learn about all of the great programs that Community Education offers for people of all ages!
- The Minnesota Twins are presenting a winter break reading challenge for students. You can learn more here.
- As a reminder, the board of education recently approved the district’s new strategic plan. You can view the draft that the board approved here.
Once again, thank you for your partnership and for trusting us with your child’s education. We take that responsibility seriously. I wish all of you a joyful and refreshing winter break. Happy Holidays!
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools