Kennedy News

November Newsletter #KENNEDYBEST

Note from Mr. Rustad: Transition to Distance Learning

Kennedy Families,

Unfortunately, today is the last day that we will all be together at Kennedy for a little while. Next week we will be home for the Thanksgiving break and then on Monday, November 30, we will start distance learning.

Here at Kennedy, our students have spent a lot of time learning about Kennedy BEST and what it looks like. As we move to distance learning, being Kennedy BEST is more important than ever. Your student may wonder “What will it look like to be our Kennedy BEST during distance learning?” Here are some ways that our Cubs can show Kennedy BEST during the time we are apart:

B - BE SAFE - Being safe during distance learning means that students are logging in for every class meet, small group session, and individual time everyday. By coming to every lesson, teachers get to see their students and know that you are doing well academically, socially, and emotionally. Also, being safe means that students are getting enough food to eat everyday. Our district has some great FREE options for meals while we are apart. Check them out here. If you are experiencing barriers to getting food, please reach out to the school. We can work together to get you what you need. Finally, being safe means getting enough sleep. It is so important for growing bodies and minds to get good sleep. This will keep all Cubs safe and healthy while we are away!

E - Engage - Engaging during distance learning means that all Cubs are joining class meets, doing all of their assigned work, and talking to their teachers regularly. Staying engaged in learning while we are away is how we will be ready to be at the right place in our learning when we return. Additionally, make sure you find extra time to read. Reading is so important in developing young minds and a great way to pass the time while we are at home.

S - Show Empathy - Parents and guardians, we know this may be a very difficult time as you try to balance your own work while supporting your students with their schooling at home. We have encouraged our Cubs to show empathy and understanding to your situation by listening, following directions, and helping out as much as possible around the house.

T - Together We Are Kennedy! For our Cubs to be together, they must be logged in for school. We don’t want them to miss out on opportunities to be with their teacher and their classmates during distance learning. It can be lonely to be home and not see your friends. Showing up to class meets will keep our Cubs together with their friends during each school day.

We can do this and we can do it well! Our Cubs have learned so much from their teachers during the past three months. We want them to keep the learning going by being in class, online, everyday.

Our Kennedy teachers love and care for all of their Cubs so much and it will be so hard to be apart. Families, know that if you need anything, you can always call the school. Additionally, teachers will be available online during every school day. We want our Cubs to keep working hard and being their Kennedy BEST!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

We Are Kennedy!

Steve Rustad





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CONGRatulations to the October Kennedy B.E.S.T. Students of the month!

October - Kindergarten

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October - First Grade

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October - Second Grade

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October - Third Grade

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October - Fourth Grade

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October - 5th Grade

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November - Kindergarten

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November - 1st Grade

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November - 2nd Grade

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November - 3rd Grade

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November - 4th Grade

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November - 5th Grade

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Sign Up your Cub for Reading Corps Support During Distance Learning

Reading Corps is offering the opportunity for parents to request a virtual tutor for free! Requests are not guaranteed a placement, but it would definitely expand the intervention possibilities for our students! Reading Corps interventions are very similar to the interventions that we use at Kennedy and are appropriate for any student who needs extra help in reading. Please see the website for more details and for families to sign up for a consultation.

Information about School Lunch and Breakfast During Distance Learning

Click here to see the newsletter from Food Service Director Darcy Stueber in regards to meals during distance learning. Meals are free so we encourage families to take advantage this great program!


Veteran families that have incurred a negative financial impact by implementing their schools hybrid/distance learning plan, or choosing to homeschool their children due to the current pandemic are eligible for a $3000 grant (per household) that the Minnesota State Department of Veterans Affairs is offering. To learn more about this opportunity, please click this link and scroll down to COVID-19 Distance Learning Support Grant.

Important Information About Capacity at Kennedy for When We Return to Hybrid Learning

We are constantly monitoring our capacity numbers at Kennedy. Limiting capacity is one of the main ways that we are able to maintain our hybrid status. At this time, we are below capacity at Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade. We are at capacity for 1st, 4th, and 5th grades and would not be able to take any transfer students from distance learning at this time. However, if you are a distance learning family and you are considering moving to the hybrid model, please call Kennedy at (507)387-2122 so that you can talk through your decision with Mr. Rustad and get your student(s) on a waiting list.

If you would like to be considered for a transfer from the Safe Learning Plan to the Distance Learning Option, please contact the Kennedy office by 3:00 Thursday each week.

If you would like to be considered for a transfer from the Distance Learning Option to the Safe Learning Plan, please contact both the Kennedy office and Jody Ritmiller by 3:00 Thursday each week.

The elementary administrative team will review requests on a weekly basis every Friday.

After your transfer request is received in the school office, you may be contacted by Mr. Rustad to talk through the reason for the request.

Depending on the capacity at both the school and distance learning class, staffing could be impacted. Approval to change options may come as early as the following week, but could also take weeks.

Register for the Backpack Food Program

Please use this link to sign up for the Backpack Food Program. You fill out this short form (7 questions) and when you are finished, it will link you to the registration form.
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Important Information for Kennedy Families

Kennedy Elementary School


Steve Rustad


Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world