Coronavirus Parent Updates

Coronavirus Parent Updates
Posted on 04/01/2020

Our Top Priority Is the Safety and
Wellbeing
Of our Students.

Minnesota Department of Health Public Hotline Number -
(651) 201-3910

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Information Update: 5-21-2020 - Summer Food Program 
The end of the school year is quickly approaching. Many of you are probably wondering what that will mean for school delivered meals.
Click Here to reach a survey to gather information on family needs. If food security is a concern for your family please make sure to fill out the survey so we can determine the need in our district. If you don’t have access to internet and would like to participate please contact Pam Hoffman at 651-480-7127. 


Information Update - Pinecrest Elementary

I want to start with a big, heartfelt THANK YOU! Thank you for supporting your child during distance learning. Thank you for encouraging them to try their best. We know technology does not always work. Stayin home is hard. Many times parents work means children have to wait to do school work. We understand! Finding balance is much harder for all of us these past 2 months. Keep trying your best! We can finish strong! We got this!  

A big thank you to families who completed our survey. The information provided is useful distance learning. Many families shared that the school work is just the right amount of work and not too difficult. Lessons will look the same for the next few weeks.  In spring, we try different types of learning, like plays, projects, and memory books. Specials: music and art activities will be the same day as our Zoom class meetings. If it ever feels like too much work or too many activities, please email, text, or call your child’s teacher.  We really do want lessons and learning to be good for all families. Please contact your teacher if you need more challenging materials. Our teachers support the growth of all students. There were a few families that asked for more support but did not provide contact information. Please reply to me directly if you are still waiting to hear back from us! Paul Bakker, 651-480-72800 or pbakker@hastings.k12.mn.us. Ask for an interpreter!

Students and families across our country and world share in this experience. Our kids are not behind or ahead in school. No one will need to repeat their current grade because of distance learning. We are all doing our best, taking one day at a time, and looking to help kids through this. 

And remember...Teachers have loved seeing their students interact with each other over Zoom! We love the personal video messages they record for us and hearing their voices. I even saw a song a kindergartner performed for his teacher!  We miss seeing them at school every day! We know this is not the same as routine school!

We will share our plan for picking up your child’s belongings, including yearbooks for those that ordered them. We are thinking pick up time on Monday or Tuesday of the last week of school and some type of way to celebrate the year on Wednesday. We will communicate this when the decision is made.

I really appreciated how one parent summed up this experience, "I think this has been a wonderful opportunity to teach children life skills, ‘thinking outside the box’, and being resourceful. It has been difficult and challenging but these hardships help us and the kids grow. Thankful to everyone!"

Stay strong! We can do this!

Sincerely,

Paul Bakker

Principal - Pinecrest Elementary - The best job in the world!


Information Update - McAuliffe Elementary

Wow, what a couple of months we have all experienced!!  Thank you so much for supporting your child(ren) during this pandemic. Keeping all things in life going has been a challenge for many of us!  Personally for my household, keeping up with Seesaw activities and ensuring work is getting done by my middle schoolers in Schoology has its ups and downs.  Just know we are all in this together and value our relationships with you!   As we look at the final weeks of this school year, I wanted to give you some updates on a few items that I know people are thinking about.  

Q. How are we going to create closure for the end of the school year?

A. I know parents and staff have wondered about doing a drive through the school parking lot so we can have some sort of “in person” goodbye. If this can happen, it will be during the last week of school with more details to come.   

Q. I ordered a yearbook, how do I get it?  I didn’t order a yearbook, but we want one, how would I get one?

A.The ordered yearbooks will be available to pick up during the last week of school. The PTC did order a few extra yearbooks. If you didn’t order one, there might be an option to still buy one, please contact Beth at 651.480.7390 for more information.  Please note, there is a limited supply of these extra books to buy.

Q. How can I get my child’s school supplies & other stuff (I can’t even imagine what is all in those desks-ha)?

A. We are going to plan for the last week of school for this to take place.  Exact details to come later.

Q. What do I do with the school’s iPad that I’m using at home?

A. We are finalizing our plans and will message more information in the next couple of weeks.

Zoom

The feedback from having class Zoom sessions has been very positive.  Please encourage your child to attend those opportunities. It supports our personal connections with each other and throughout our school community.

Distance Learning   

We continue to grow in our capacity to design, deliver, adjust, fine tune, and adapt our lessons.  If you need something specific to better meet your child’s needs, please reach out to your child’s teacher. 

Survey results

As far as surveys go, we had great participation and feedback!  Thank You!!  The most important component of our distance learning remains the same, safety.  We want all in our school community to be safe and be healthy.  If you ever want to connect, please reach out to us! Any one of us is willing to help or find appropriate help 651.480.7390.  The information provided is useful as we plan for the last month of school, distance learning style. I passed on the words of thanks and support from the survey to our staff. The majority of families shared there seems to be just the right amount of work with the appropriate rigor. If it ever feels like too much work or too many activities, please, please, please reach out to your child’s teacher.  We really do want this to be a good fit for all families. The same holds true if you are looking for enrichment or challenging materials. Our teachers are great resources and look to support the growth of all students. One last connection to the survey, there were a few families that asked for more support but did not provide contact information. Please reply to me directly if you are still waiting to hear back from us!

Students and families across our country and world share in this experience. Our kids are not behind or ahead. No one will need to repeat their current grade as a result of distance learning. We are all doing our best, taking one day at a time, and looking to help kids persevere through this. 

 
Information Update - Middle School 

If you haven’t picked up locker items (hallway locker or gym locker) you can come anytime 8:00-12:00 or 1:00-3pm Monday through Wednesday next week May 11, 12, 13. This includes all students 1st AND 2nd floor lockers. Gym locker items and nurses office medication are also grouped with student items.

Pull up to the front of the school, tell your student’s name to the people with walkie talkies, and they will have your student’s bag brought out. You will not get out of your vehicle or touch the items.

If you are unable to come these three days, you will need to call and make an appointment to pick up your items (more info on this will follow next week).


Information Update 4-28-2020


As we have previously shared, Governor Walz has made the decision to extend distance learning in all Minnesota Schools for the duration of the school year.  He’s also set aside Friday, May 1 and Monday, May 4 as days for our districts to refine our distance learning plans.  We are inviting your feedback to help inform our revisions.  Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to share your ideas to the questions in this survey: Parent Survey

We look forward to hearing your feedback so we can better serve you in the days and weeks ahead.

Information Update 4-23-2020

Dear Families,

You may have heard the Governor’s announcement this afternoon of a new Executive Order that continues distance learning in schools statewide for the remainder of the school year.  While this was not likely the news we were hoping to hear, it is an important step to keep our community safe.  We want to assure you that we will continue to care for families in our Hastings community.  Breakfast and lunches will remain free for all students on school days; there is no eligibility required.  Critical care workers’ child care will also remain in effect on school days.

We recognize the transition to distance learning was abrupt; our students didn’t know that they were experiencing their final moments within the school building as they left for spring break.  This extension of distance learning causes additional feelings of loss knowing that our students and families will not share in the memories of spring athletics, arts, academics, prom, graduation, and walking down the hallways together for the last time - and these feelings of loss are particularly difficult for the class of 2020.  Our staff is also grieving the daily interaction with students- from the secretaries who greet students as they enter the building to the bus drivers who shuttle kids to and from school and athletic events to the cooks and servers who miss the smiles of kids as they are served their favorite school lunch.  And our teachers - while they have the opportunity to interact with students more than most school staff, they feel the difference and they miss your children! Even with the sadness, loss and grieving, we recognize that Governor Walz is making a decision to help ensure that our families and friends are safe.

As a school district, we will take this announcement to continue distance learning as an opportunity to revisit our distance learning plan and sustain those pieces that seem to be working and take the opportunity to revise those pieces that could use a tune-up. Most importantly, we will continue to make sure that we have personal contacts with families and students who are in need.  There are many plans and decisions that are not yet finalized.  When we feel confident that we’ve outline a safe and well thought-out plan, we’ll let you know about many things including: 

The process for returning school items to families and students.

How to honor our graduating senior class.

The potential to provide Camp Horizon for the summer months.

And, even though we might dream up some excellent plans, we are aware that future guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education and Governor Walz may require us to adjust those plans.  Even so, we will still move forward with our planning and discussion at this time.

So many people in our community have stepped up to support Hastings students, our community, and our healthcare and emergency providers who work tirelessly to keep us safe - for that we want to express our sincere gratitude.  Thank you.

As a school district, we appreciate your understanding and patience as we work together through the issues that arise due to the CV-19 pandemic.