Dear Northfield School District Families:
I hope this message finds you warm and healthy. As we continue the 2021-22 school year, I am grateful for your partnership so we can meet the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic together. As outlined in last week’s family update, we remain committed to uninterrupted in-person learning. We recognize that increasing cases can raise concerns. We collaborate closely with Rice County Public Health, an epidemiologist, and local medical professionals about our school district situation. We are grateful to read that Mayo Clinic’s modeling shows that Minnesota’s latest increase in COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant will peak next week. As always, you can monitor our situation through the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.
School Finance 101 Webinar
The Northfield School District will be conducting a budget prioritization process over the next several months. To help families understand how school finance works in Minnesota, the district will be hosting a School Finance 101 webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, at 6:30 pm. Deb Griffiths, Director of Communication and Community Outreach with Schools for Equity in Education (SEE), will present Minnesota’s school funding system. SEE advocates for fair funding systems, especially for communities with lower property wealth. Northfield is one of its 54 member school districts. Live Spanish language interpretation will be available.
The webinar will be recorded and shared via the district’s website.
Reminder: changes to district protocols
Our last family update included information about recent changes to the district’s COVID-19 protocols. We know that there is always an adjustment period when changes are made. We appreciate your grace and understanding when changes are made.
KN95 masks available
As a reminder, the district is offering KN95 masks for students and staff. Students can pick up one of these masks as needed from the school office. KN95 masks can reduce virus particles by up to 95%. According to the University of Maryland’s Department of Safety, Sustainability, and Risk: “With proper care, your KN95 should be reusable for an extended period of time. To keep your KN95 clean between uses, store your mask in a safe location that other people cannot access and where it will not get wet or be subject to direct sunlight or excessive heat. A dry paper bag works well for storing your KN95.”
As a reminder, each school now has an ample supply of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits for students and staff. You can request a test kit through your school office or the district office. The district’s Cue drive-up rapid molecular testing site is open on days when school is in session. You can learn more about the Cue testing center here. You can schedule an appointment here.
Upcoming vaccination clinic
Rice County Public Health will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Northfield Community Education Center for people five years and older on Feb. 3, 2022, from 3:30—5:30 pm. You can learn more about this vaccination clinic and others offered by Rice County Public Health here. You can find other vaccination opportunities through the State of Minnesota vaccine finder website.
Once again, thank you for your continued support. Your partnership is valued.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools