DMMS: In the Middle

Edition #1 - August 4, 2020

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Welcome DMMS Families 8/4/20

Welcome To DMMS!

August 4th, 2020

DMMS Families,

We are so excited to have your student join us for the 2020-2021 school year and are grateful that they, and your family, are members of our DMMS Community. Though this school year will look different, DMMS continues to be dedicated to creating a safe and caring learning environment where students can connect, grow, and demonstrate PRIDE! District and building administrations have been working throughout the summer on plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Although there is still a lot of movement in what September 10th will look like, we know more now than we did prior to the governor’s unveiling of the Safe Learning Plan last week, and are anxious to share the details of what we know so far about the upcoming school year.

As Superintendent Peterson shared last week, county public health data regarding COVID-19 will play a significant role in the 2020-2021 school year. If the school year started today, current infection rates would place MAPS in a hybrid model at our elementary schools and distance learning at the secondary. However, the MAPS school year does not begin until September. This means there is time for our community’s infection numbers to improve so more students can safely return to in person learning. By mid-August, a decision will be made regarding how we will start the school year. It is also important to note that the learning delivery model in MAPS schools may change during the school year. Again, these decisions will be based on local COVID-19 data.

Since we may cycle in and out of the three learning scenarios throughout the year, it is our goal that this update give you as much information as we can about what each of the three will look like. We know these are unsettling times and that anxiety is bound to creep in along with uncertainty. We are here for you, look forward to working through challenges together, and couldn’t be more grateful for our DMMS Community.

Stay safe, be healthy, and hold tight to hope!

Carmen Strahan, Principal

Kai Sill, Assistant Principal

Julie Larkin-Spies, Dean of Student

News for YOU!

Health and Safety:

Although we are anxious to get students back in all of our buildings in our district, the safety of students and staff is our #1 priority. Many of the non-negotiables are included in the infographic below. There are expectations that ALL schools MUST follow.

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MAPS Learning Models

Which Do You Choose for YOUR Child/Family?

Be watching for a message through the Parent Portal including the Census Verification form that will include an opportunity to indicate which option you are going to choose with each of your children this fall. Please complete the census form and questionnaire as soon as your family is ready to make the decision. The accuracy of our plan is based on the results of your survey responses, and this information will be significant as we plan for the fall.


A reminder that if current infection rates were used, this is the learning model at the secondary under which we would begin the school year. Following distance learning last spring, we learned from our challenges and will capitalize on our successes. Regardless of the scenario, distance learning will be an increasingly important part of our students educational experience. One clear message shared by students, teachers, and families following distance learning last spring, was the need for a common online platform used at each level in our system. After deep investigation and careful consideration with district leaders from our Department of Educational Technology and Information Systems, we determined it would be best to use Google Classroom as our platform for online delivery at the middle level. We are committing to increased collaboration with teachers and peers, a high level of engagement, and rigor in our online environment.


District facilities and operations personnel have been working through capacity issues at each school to determine the maximum number of students who can safely attend in person under a hybrid model that states we can operate at 50% capacity. 50% capacity does not mean 50% of students come on any given day. Instead, it means 50% of the space can be filled while maintaining social distancing requirements. Using these expectations, it was determined our middle schools would be able to bring in 50% of our students. District and school leadership are developing plans that will allow us to meet health and safety requirements. More information to follow if we move to the hybrid model.


This is defined as every student coming to school every day. We are not as bound to the occupancy requirements as we are in hybrid. In both the Hybrid and In-Person Learning, multiple health and safety measures from the Safe Learning Plan will be put in place. There will be very specific changes to every aspect of your child’s day. Some of the major changes to remember are:

  1. Students and staff will wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines at school.

  2. Students will be assigned entry doors based on their grade level or trail.

  3. After entering the building students will go directly to their advisory.

  4. Students will remain within their Trail for the entirety of the school day.

  5. Breakfast and lunch will be delivered to classrooms.

  6. Student passing and dismissal times will be staggered.


Consistent with the MN Department of Education Safe Learning, Mankato Area Public Schools has a deep desire to keep our students and families connected in our school community. Therefore, every family has the option to choose distance learning beginning this fall if that is their preference. If your family chooses distance learning, your child may or may not have a teacher from his/her home school and may or may not be grouped with students from his/her home school.
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Technology News

Infinite Campus Parent Portal

Please make sure you are able to log into your Infinite Campus Parent Portal account.

If you have problems logging in or need to set up an account, please contact our Infinite Campus support team at

Device Repair (Grades 6-12 Only)

In preparation for the upcoming school year, if your child's chromebook is in need of repair, please send an email to and set up a time to get it repaired or replaced. Please take care of this as soon as possible.

Stay Tuned!

In the next two weeks, we will be sending a back to school letter that contains information about student placement onto trails, assigned advisor, 6th grade Chromebook pick-up, entrance conferences, school picture information, school supply lists, the first two days of school, and a school calendar.

WE CARE for the educational, emotional, and physical health of all students and take each component seriously. We are committed to providing a quality experience regardless of the challenges we face and look forward to providing you with more detailed information throughout the coming days and weeks.