Bridgewater Friday Update

Bear Pride: Respect, Responsibility, Be Safe, Do Your Best

September 11, 2020

Welcome Message from Mrs. Antoine

First Day of School

Monday, September 14th is the first day of school for students. Please mark this on your calendar. We are excited to have students return!!

Bus Information

Bussing information has been sent out to each family and should have arrived in the mail. Please contact Benjamin Bus if you have not received this postcard in the mail. 507-645-5720


Due to the Covid environment, visitors are not allowed in the building during the school day. Unfortunately, this does mean that parents are not able to walk children to class nor come in to have lunch with students. Our enrollment is high enough where we will be using the commons area and hallway to distance students during lunch. We will not have room for guests. Thank you for understanding!


At the elementary level, we will begin the school year in-person, five days per week. The Middle School and High School begin the year in a hybrid model with students attending two-days per week. We are happy to have our students back in-person so that we can get to know them and build relationships with them.

School Hours

The school hours for Bridgewater are 8:20-3:20. We will serve breakfast for students every morning, and they will be able to eat in the cafeteria. We are asking that students arrive at school no earlier than 8:10 a.m. unless they are eating breakfast. Students arriving to eat breakfast may arrive at 8:00 a.m. After breakfast, students will go directly to their classroom. We are trying to eliminate the large groups of students. The playground will not be a morning option. It will take all of us working together to help keep school open and successful for students. Kid Ventures will still be available, and know that this is fee based and you must register before sending your child.

Free Meals

The free meal program has been extended through December 31, 2020, as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. All students enrolled in the school district -- regardless of the learning model -- can receive free breakfast and lunch every day. It is possible that the program could end before December 31 if the funding is depleted.

Even though all students will be receiving free meals during this time, it is essential that you complete the meal benefit application if you feel that your family would qualify. Families will return to paying full price for meals on January 1, 2021 (or earlier, if the funding is exhausted) if they do not qualify for free or reduced meals.



Temperature Checks

Thermometers were passed out to each family during conferences. We are asking that parents take the temperature of your child each morning before sending them to school. If your child's temp is 100 degrees or higher, they must remain at home. Please let us know if you still need a thermometer.

Roundabout Information

As previously communicated, construction of the new roundabout at the intersection of Highway 246 (Division Street) and Jefferson Parkway will continue beyond the start of school. The current timeline has the project concluding in mid-October. Please plan your travel to school accordingly. Please also understand this is a short-term inconvenience. We value your patience.

Vehicles are not allowed to use the Bridgewater Elementary parking lot as a shortcut from Jefferson Parkway to Highway 246 (Division Street.) School busses will be permitted to pass through the Bridgewater parking lots to help with the bus route times for students. We thank the Northfield Police Department for their assistance in supporting our traffic management.

Medical Information

Please make sure to share medical needs for your child with either Nurse Melody Leidall or Nurse Lucy Archibald. Any and all medications need to go through them as well. Please do not send medications on the bus with students. Thank you!

Arrival Information--Parent Drop Off

We are asking for your help in having students arrive no earlier than 8:10 a.m. each day (9:10 a.m. on Wednesdays). Students will go to their classroom or breakfast at this time, and not to the playground; there is no morning recess. Kid Ventures is still available for childcare before and after school; this is fee-based and your child must be registered before they may access this program. We will have staff inside the front door who will help your child find their way to the classroom or to breakfast.

When you pull up into the drop-off lane, please pull ahead as far as you can before letting your child exit your car. If there is a long line, please don't wait until you are directly in front of the door before letting your child out of your car. There is enough space for at least eight cars to drop off at the same time, and the children can walk up the sidewalk to the front door.

End Of The Day-Parent Pick Up

The end of the day is a busy time. You can only imagine trying to dismiss 500 students at the same time in an organized fashion making sure students get to the correct place. These are the things that keep me awake at night and give me nightmares. We dismiss at 3:20 pm each day. Due to the construction, we will have extra bus activity in our parking lot. It is most helpful if you arrive to pick up after 3:05 p.m. This will keep you out of the way of the bus traffic.

As in the past, we will provide you a pick-up tag for your child. Please write your child's name and grade clearly on this tag, and place it so that it is visible through your windshield. This way you will drive up, we can read your child's name and make sure that your child gets to your car. Please remain in your car and in line. This is similar to a drive through, were you place your order and receive your happy face. Please be patient, alert and courteous. Everyone has a schedule with places to go.


Students who live within the walking boundaries should leave home no earlier than 8:05 a.m. each morning. This will keep them out of the way of high school traffic, and this is a safety issue. Crossing guards will be at their post at Raider Drive and Jefferson Parkway in the morning at 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Wednesdays), and at 3:20 p.m. in the afternoon. Students should always cross with the patrols and not at other places on Jefferson Parkway. Please talk to your child about going directly to school in the morning and directly home in the afternoon. We have found several students at the park in the afternoon since they didn't walk directly home.

Family Conferences--Thank you!!

Thank you for taking the time to attend Family Conferences!! It sure was great to see everyone! We have miss you dearly over the last six months.

Orchestra Update

4th Grade Orchestra information will be available during the September 8-11th Family Meetings with classroom teachers. Information as well as an electronic sign-up form can also be found on my school website for 4th Grade Orchestra:

5th Grade students who participated in Orchestra last year will have a letter waiting at the Family Meetings and an email from Mrs. Kruger on Tuesday, September 8th. Information for 5th graders returning to orchestra as well as an electronic sign-up form can also be found on my school website for 5th Grade Orchestra:

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I can be reached via email ( or a phone call to your child's school.

I look forward to making music with orchestra students this year!

Natalie Kruger

Elementary Orchestra

Letter from Benjamin Bus

Greetings Bridgewater Elementary Families,

Benjamin Bus is hard at work getting routes ready to welcome our students back, whom we have missed terribly. Due to COVID-19, Benjamin Bus has new guidelines and protocols we must put into practice. I am communicating to all families in the district with this new policy.

· Per Govenor Walz, our fleet will be transporting students at 50% capacity—(38-40 students/regular size bus). What this entails is, siblings will sit together in a seat—(max. 2 students per seat). Other students will be asked to sit singly by the window.

· All drivers and students must wear a face mask or face shield while on board.

· If your student shows any symptoms, please keep your student home.

· Drivers will be responsible of disinfecting high touch areas between routes. At the end of morning and afternoon routes, all vehicles will be sanitized with a high grade sanitizing system.

· Bus cards with your student(s) bus information will arrive via mail the week of September 8th. All previous bus expectations are still in place (Inside voices, stay in your seat, no eating or drinking).

Even though we are all experiencing differences during this unprecedented time, Benjamin Bus will continue to provide SAFE and professional transportation to all we serve.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at (507) 645-5720 or

Thank you and take care,

Jenna Dardis

General Manager

Benjamin Bus, Inc. –Northfield

Annual Notifications & Student Citizenship Handbook

Attached are the annual notifications. All notifications, except the State-Required Background Checks, are posted on the district website

The Student Citizenship Handbook is available online.

Also attached is the Parent Signature Return Form (English and Spanish) needed for the parent/guardian of elementary students. We will continue to collect the parent signature forms even though the handbook is available online. Please bring to your Family Conference or drop off at the Bridgewater Office.


Wearing a face mask is an expectation this fall, as they fall under Governor Walz mask mandate. It is best to have your child become comfortable with this practice before school starts explaining the why behind wearing a mask. We want to keep everyone healthy and safe. We will have two fabric masks and three disposable masks for your student along with a thermometer for each family who needs one. These will be distributed next week at conferences.

Bridgewater Elementary School

World-class Learning for Elementary Students Grades K-5 Bridgewater Elementary School, situated on a 14-acre campus just south of downtown Northfield, is a K-5 public school serving approximately 600 students. It serves the neighborhoods on Northfield's southern side, Dundas, and the rural area south of Highway 19 and west of Highway 246. Students benefit from an active Bridgewater Booster Club and many parent volunteers.

The staff is intensely dedicated to offering a high quality, well-rounded education that strives to meet the specific needs of each student. We focus on empowering our students in their learning and building a solid foundation for their educational journeys.