Springfield Public school makes plans for Governor Walz issued shutdown of K through 12 schools
On Sunday March 15, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Keith Kottke sent out a letter to parents in response to the Governor’s announcement of the shutdown of schools.
“Governor Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker announced that all Minnesota public schools will close to students starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 with the plan to resume instruction on Monday, March 30, 2020. However, I believe they are setting this up for the scenario that instruction beginning March 30 throughout the end of the school year be delivered by “distance learning” which will be similar to our “digital learning,” said Kottke in the letter.
Here is what we know:
“Statewide schools will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They mentioned that they want to resume instruction on Monday, March 30. They referred to the March 18 through March 27 time period as ‘planning days’ vs. ‘instructional’.
“Briefly, the governor’s office is demanding our schools deliver:
*Distance learning for all students (defined by student interaction with teachers)
*Provide daycare for essential first responders and health care employees
*Have meals available for students as he said they want to ensure kids get fed who need to be fed
*Hourly employees incorporated into managing school plans and paid for their service.
The public school used Monday, March 16, for staff planning. Having school as normal on Tuesday, March 17, to ensure student have materials and directives from staff as necessary.
“Reality may be, that Tuesday, March 17 might be the last day we have with our students for some time. We will work hard to maximize and improve upon our “distance learning” to ensure learning experiences continue for children because learning matters. I am proud of our staff as they have been the lead school district in delivering instruction remotely to students and has provided guidance to other schools in our region,” said Kottke in the letter.
The letter continued saying, “You may wonder about the status of spring sports—my speculation is that MSHSL will make an announcement as well. If they don’t, the school will make an announcement regarding spring sports practices.”
“The school will continue to communicate through our website and alert system with families, staff, and our community with our “distance learning plan” including meal service logistics for students.
Kottke concleded the letter saying, “Our mindset needs to shift now and process what is being asked of us. We will all need to be nimble as things change daily and will have to respond to the needs placed upon us by the governor, state, and families we serve. Our school community has always made the best of problems presented to us, I am confident this will be no different. This is truly unprecedented and we will need to work together to keep us moving forward.”
A message from St. Raphael School regarding school shutdown
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you. St. Raphael will follow the guidelines issued by Governor Walz and close our school from Wednesday March 18 through Friday March 27. During this time, the staff and I will plan and prepare for distance learning starting on Monday March 30th until further notice. Families will receive details in the coming days regarding the logistics of how everything will work.
I am confident in the ability of our teachers and staff to be innovative and thoughtful about how they will deliver meaningful instruction to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have faith in Jesus Christ who is larger and more powerful than any virus. Pray for me, our teachers, our staff, our students and our families that through this experience we grow closer to God and to each other.
St. Raphael School, Principal