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Important update on in-person learning from Superintendent Ben Barton:

Our Pathway to Return

As we bid farewell to 2020, we can be confident that 2021 will bring new hope, optimism, and opportunities...including a return to in-person learning. Please tell your children we can’t wait to see them in person next month!

Last week Gov. Tim Walz updated the executive order and Minnesota Safe Learning Plan to prioritize bringing our youngest learners back into our schools.

There is strong medical data showing that young children are not transmitting the virus as adults do and complications are less severe.

Moving forward, our elementary will no longer be decided by county case rates and instead will be based on local school factors.

We are also adding a few more safety protocols, including that all staff must wear both face masks and face shields at all times in school.

There is evidence that this greatly reduced spread in schools where this is already the norm.

Primary and intermediate schools will return on Jan. 19.

With the updated guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Department of Health, we will be bringing students in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade (K-5) back in person beginning Jan. 19.

We are very proud that many of the measures added to the new guidance were already being done in Princeton, including keeping students in small pods, eating lunch in classrooms, and assigned seating on school buses.

The state will not allow us to return in person before Jan. 18, so students will remain in distance learning the first two weeks of January; then please plan to put your K-5 child on the bus on Jan. 19 (with masks required).

It will be an exciting day to see friends and teachers again. Please note: we are allowing families to continue distance learning as desired; please contact your school to request any changes to your learning model.

January Timeline

Jan. 4: Athletics and activities can begin practices (per the governor’s executive order).

Jan. 4-13: All students in distance learning (Early Childhood classes are still in-person)

Jan. 14-15: State Mandated Staff Development Planning Days (No School for K-5 students, Tiger Club Primary closed)

Jan. 18: MLK, Jr. Holiday - No School

Jan. 19: Primary and Intermediate Schools Return to Every Day In-Person Learning

Middle, High School, ALC, and Princeton Online Planning

The state has been very clear that elementary and secondary schools are now on two different decision trees.

We are hopeful that we can work toward returning secondary students to a hybrid model, if our county case rates continue to decline as they have been in recent weeks.

We are scheduling required meetings with MDE and MDH officials to assist us in developing a timeline for our middle school and high school; however, we do not expect to be able to make an announcement until after Winter Break.

We will send a communication once a timeline is determined.

High school activities will be restarting on Jan. 4 for practices only at this time. Coaches and advisors will be communicating directly with participants once schedules are set.

After Winter Break, please check our Princeton Playbook website for commonly asked questions or to remind yourself of specific protocols.

We will be asking families to screen students for symptoms each morning before school and keep home anyone who is sick.

With the winter weather in full swing, I hope our students are getting outside, enjoying some fresh air and looking forward to the magic that only Minnesota snowfall can bring. Stay safe this Holiday Season! Here’s to new hopes and dreams in 2021!

Nutrition Services Meal Update

Meal pickup will continue to be available every Wednesday through December at Princeton Middle School. This includes Dec. 23 and Dec. 30 when there is no school.

We want to ensure that every child has access to meals throughout the long holiday break.

The hours for pickup are 6:30 a.m. to noon  at Door No. 4. Please arrive early as we do close promptly at noon.

If you are picking meals up for multiple students, please bring a box to carry meals back to your vehicle.

Meal Service Changes Starting Jan. 4

Beginning Jan. 4 we will change our meal distribution days to provide meals bags for 7 days a week.

Distribution will be like we did this summer. We will be open every Tuesday and Friday at the Middle School from 6:30 a.m. to noon at Door No. 4.

Nutrition Services does it's best to follow the menu posted on our website.

Challenges in delivery or availability of specific food items may cause changes without notice.

If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding allergens or heating instructions, please contact nutrition@isd477.org.

If your student has a specific dietary accommodation, please contact Nutrition Services so we may have the correct meals ready for you.

If you have already done so, no need to do it again.

The opposite is also necessary - if you have registered for special meals and will not be picking up a certain day, please let us know.

Superintendent Ben Barton

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