Owatonna Public Schools

District Newsletter

January 2021

Welcome Back!

Happy new year! We are excited to be back to school for another week of distance learning, knowing that next week we'll be able to see our students in person again as we return to our previous learning models on Monday, January 11. Families who chose a distance learning model for their child(ren) earlier in the year will continue to use the distance learning model.


E-5 Buildings

We will be utilizing Governor's Walz's guidance to transition our students back to an in-person learning model on Monday, January 11. On Thursday, January 7 and Friday, January 8 our E-5 staff will be preparing for the transition back to in-person learning to be ready for our start on Monday. There will be no distance learning or childcare provided on those two days.


6-12 Buildings

6-12th grade students and staff will return to school in a hybrid model on Monday, January 11. Friday, January 8 will be a transition day for 6-12 staff and no distance learning will be scheduled on this date.


In an effort to keep our students and staff safe and attending school we ask for your continued vigilance with regard to social distancing, masking up and refraining from attending large gatherings. Thank you for your continued support and flexibility!

Meal Pick-Up This Week

We continue to provide free meals for children ages 1-18. Meal pick up will be from 11:00am-1:00pm on January 4th, 5th, and 7th at these locations:

  • Lincoln Elementary - 747 Havana Drive - Main Entrance / Door #1

  • McKinley Elementary - 1050 22nd Street NE - Main Entrance / Door #1

  • Wilson Elementary - 325 Meadow Lane - Main Entrance / Door #1

  • Owatonna Middle School - 500 15th Street NE - Main Entrance / Door #1

  • Owatonna High School - 333 E School St - Door # 16

Virtual Coffee and Conversation with the Superintendent

The community is invited to join Superintendent Elstad for a virtual “coffee and conversation” on Friday, January 8 at 8:30 a.m. Hear an update on what’s been happening within the school district and bring any questions you have.


RSVP by emailing shoffman@isd761.org by 4:00 Wednesday, January 6 to receive the virtual meeting details. We hope you are able to participate!

Mission Moment

Each month at its regular meeting, the School Board of Owatonna Public Schools recognizes individual students and/or staff members who exemplify the district’s mission of inspiring excellence - every learner, every day.


At the December 14 meeting, Superintendent Elstad recognized our health services staff who are second to none. The pandemic has put us all to the task, but without the work of these individuals, we would not be able to function as a school district right now. We can't thank them enough for their tireless efforts in making everything go as smoothly as it could through the pandemic. These are the heroes of ISD 761!


Health Services Staff:

Amy Jo Havelka, Health Services Supervisor and COVID Coordinator

Julie Brown, LPN, Lincoln Elementary

Judy Wiersma, LPN, McKinley Elementary

Renae Sandsmark, LPN, Washington Elementary

Amelia Howell, LPN, Wilson Elementary

Stacy Kirsch, LPN, Owatonna Middle School

Holly Heathman, LPN, Owatonna Middle School

Anna Durst, LPN, Owatonna High School

Annette Hanson, LPN, Owatonna High School


We are #OwatonnaProud of our health services staff who help to provide a safe and caring community!


Watch the video from the December 14 Board meeting.

Kindergarten Registration

Registration for kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year is now open! All registrations to Owatonna Public Schools, including kindergarten registration, are completed online. The registration form is available in English, Spanish and Somali.


CLICK HERE for more information about kindergarten and to register your child. Please register for kindergarten by February 5, 2021.


Note: Using a cell phone to complete the online registration form is not recommended. If you do not have internet or a computer, you can schedule an appointment to go to Roosevelt Community School (122 East McKinley Street) to complete the online application there. Call 507-444-7900 to schedule an appointment. The student's birth certificate, immunization record, and an early childhood screening is also required.

COVID-19 Testing in Albert Lea

Community testing sites are open to all Minnesota residents, whether or not they have symptoms or have been in close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19. Individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive should wait 5-7 days after their last exposure, or when they develop symptoms.


Individuals and households can make an appointment online for the Albert Lea site. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. More details are included in the flyer and on the state’s COVID-19 Community Testing Sites webpage.


The tests at the Albert Lea Armory are the lower-nasal swab tests. Appointment times are available through the end of January.


INSPIRING EXCELLENCE - EVERY LEARNER, EVERY DAY


View our District Dashboard and l
earn more about our commitments:

Stay Connected!

Celebrate our students, our staff and our schools by following us on social media. If you like what you see, be sure to share it with others. Together, we are #OwatonnaProud!


Follow us:

@Owatonna761

Share OPS News

Feel free to share this newsletter with others interested in the Owatonna Public Schools.

Sign up for news here.