Dear Wildcat Families,
I wasn’t expecting to send out another communication this week, but we received some good news today. I had communicated in early January that our K-2 students would return to full, in-person learning on February 9th and our Grades 3-5 on February 22nd. At that time, we had appealed to MDE to start all of our K-5 students on February 9th and this proposal was rejected as they were only allowing three grade levels to return fully, in-person at one time. However, District Administration appealed that decision as we continued to analyze local, in-district COVID data and also viewed examples from around the State where schools were starting fully, in-person more quickly than we were initially allowed to. Today, MDE accepted our proposal to begin our Grades 3-5 fully, in-person on February 9th. We are excited about the opportunity to start these students two weeks earlier and have all students Grades K-5 fully, in-person on Tuesday, February 9th!
Now, I must caution, all of this continues to hinge on or ability to stay healthy and maintain our staffing. COVID is still a threat and the numbers of positive cases and quarantined students and adults does have an impact. Thank you in advance for the steps you take each and every day to support the basics: handwashing, covering coughs, social distancing, staying home when you are sick and wearing a mask. If you would like COVID tests at home, follow this link. It may be good to have these on hand for your students and others in your home. Possibly, catching things at home will be another help to keeping us all in school.
Our Little Wildcats Preschool program will continue to operate on their same Hybrid (Gold/Green days) schedule for the remainder of the school year due to space and staffing.
Our next steps will be to revise the calendar we sent in January as it pertains to Grades 3-5. Principals will send this out soon. The calendar for Grades K-2 and 6-12 will stay the same.
We continue to keep an eye on our in-district COVID data and our County Data and if there is an opportunity to return our Grades 6-12 fully, in-person, we will pursue it through the structures that are in place to approve our Learning Model. Grades 6-12 are still governed by this chart and COVID numbers would have to drop significantly to get us there, but if we can make a case for a return, we will.
On a different note, if you tuned into our Board Meeting tonight, we did have an initial discussion about our school’s Budget. The pandemic has impacted our enrollment and will likely impact school funding for next year as the financial impact is being felt state-wide. COVID relief funds have been accessed, but with various strings attached to how the funds can be spent, it doesn’t necessarily match rising operational costs or make up for our drop in enrollment. In the next two months we will work to create a plan to ensure our finances support our budget for the coming school year. A recording of the board meeting will be available from our School Board’s page later this evening.
A good news, not so great news communication, but as with everything we’ve been dealing with since March, we have to keep moving forward with hopeful determination on behalf of our students and each other.
As always don’t hesitate to reach out to your Principals or Admin or use this email and we’ll connect you to answers: email@example.com
Dean A. Jennissen, Superintendent
Tomorrow is a big day for us as a community… we are excited to welcome students in Grades PK-5 back to school!
I have some items of information to share with you this evening:
We have had many questions about Quarantine procedures and travel during Spring Break. No doubt, a key for our schools to stay open will be staying home when you are sick or when you are exposed to someone who is. This slideshow should help explain things and will be posted on our website should you need to refer back to it.
As we restart bus routes and students driving to school in winter weather, please review District guidance for Winter Weather Calls
Please review this flyer and feel free to forward to your networks. We’d love to have a long list of community members ready to help in keeping our schools open!
Please refer to this flyer to learn how you can enjoy a Virtual Cup of Coffee with the Board and Superintendent There is an opportunity for dialogue tomorrow afternoon.
I hope this communication finds you well and as excited as we are to see movement in the right direction. Please continue to connect with your student’s Principal(s) as needs arise or use this District email and we’ll get you connected to an answer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean A. Jennissen, Superintendent
As we return to in-person learning, our technology needs are changing as well.
While we are in a Hybrid Model, we need technology access both at home and in school. As we transition to full In-Person Learning, our needs continue to change so that we can support teaching and learning with technology in classrooms. The following plans are outlined by grade level.
Wildcat Digital Learning: A Device for Every Learner
Grades Pre K-2: Students will return any school-owned device the week of February 9th (First in-person week).
Grades 3: Students will return any school-owned device the week of February 23rd (First in-person week).
Grades 4-5: We intend to Provide 1:1 devices while they are in-classrooms to students in grades 4-5. Any 4-5th grade students will return the school-owned device the week of February 23rd (First in-person week). We are asking any 4-5th grade student who does not have a school-issued device to fill out our Device Agreement by 1/15/21: CLSD Device Agreement (link).
Grade 6-7: We are expanding our Bring-Your-Device program to Grades 6-7, and also checking Chromebooks out to any student who does not already own a portable device they can bring to school. We intend to continue this plan through the 2021-22 school year and beyond. For those who already own a device they are comfortable with their child bringing to school, please do so. We will check out a school-owned Chromebook to any student who does not have a technology device they can carry back and forth to school while in Hybrid or In-Person Learning. That device travels with students between school and home. If your student needs a Chromebook, please fill out the following Device Agreement for a school-issued Chromebook by the end of 1/15/21: CLSD Device Agreement (link).
Grades 8-12: BYOD Program - Students will continue to bring their own devices to school for learning.
Special Programming: Determined based on need.
Eric Simmons, Director of Technology Services
Chisago Lakes School District