Raider Update

A Weekly eNewsletter from Hastings Public Schools

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January 31, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Good afternoon Raider Families,

Tomorrow marks a milestone in our COVID response as we bring back ALL of our elementary students for the first time since last March. Fifth grade also returns to Hybrid learning tomorrow. Our numbers continue to decrease and we are projected to be below 30 per 10,000 by the end of the week. I anticipate having information for you this week regarding what it will look like to bring secondary students back to our buildings, hopefully in the near future. I cannot say it enough how grateful we all are for the continued support and patience as we continue to make calculated adjustments to schedules.

Robert McDowell, Ed.D.


Focus on Equity

Part of the Hastings Public Schools mission is to educate individuals ... to thrive in a rapidly changing, culturally diverse, global society.

Our community and our schools are becoming more diverse: Dakota County is projected to grow from 19% to 28% people of color in the 20 years from 2015 to 2035. Much of that growth is in our young people. While the city of Hastings is approximately 6% people of color, our schools are approximately 15% students of color. With that diversity comes different lived experiences, different cultures, different learning styles and needs.

While much of the past year has focused on our response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have also reinforced our commitment to addressing issues of equity, racism and meeting the needs of all Hastings Public Schools students. Many local and national events in the past year have been a clear reminder that systemic racism is a potent, negative and divisive force that affects all of us, including our students. Our call as a school district is to be anti-racist and equity-focused. While Hastings staff have engaged in various individual and group efforts over time, in the past several months the district has engaged in a more cohesive and systemwide approach to issues of equity and systemic racism.

This work has included the creation of a 23-member Equity Action Planning Team, composed of staff from each of our schools. This team has been meeting bi-weekly since late October to collectively design, deliver, and be champions of anti-racist actions and systems to actively provide a safe and supportive place for our current and future students to learn. In addition to supporting all school district staff in their equity journey, this team is looking at how we deliver education in ways that work for all students. Creating expectations, common understanding and supports for staff is one way the district will help ensure that we are more intentional in our anti-racist work. Our overall goal is to do better and be better.

Learn more about the district’s commitment to equity here. If you have questions, please contact Jenn Reichel, Director of Teaching and Learning, or (651) 480-7011, or Gabe Moreno, Equity Coordinator, or 651-480-7482.

Help Reduce the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19:

As we welcome back 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders into our schools, we have again started to track our numbers of cases and student and staff outages. These will be updated weekly on our website. Early identification of cases and isolation of those cases are key to stopping the spread. Our top priority is keeping our students in our buildings in a safe learning environment. To do this, we ask for your help.

Ways you can help reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19:

  • Wear your mask (needs to fit close to your face and cover your mouth and nose) when around others outside of your household
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Monitor for symptoms. If your child is doing in-person learning and symptomatic, keep them home from school if they don’t feel well following the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Decision Tree.
  • Bring your family to get tested for covid-19 (FREE community saliva testing sites with results 24-48 hours). State officials have prioritized people age 12 – 26* to get tested. *The MDH “recommendations expand the category of people who should get tested to include students returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities; college and trade school students returning to campus or classes; and anyone who regularly interacts with people outside of their family unit or household.”
  • Communicate with the nurse at your child’s school regarding any illness, quarantine, and/or positive results.

Covid-19 is affecting us longer than most of us ever thought possible. The more prevalent covid-19 is in our community, the more impact it has on our schools. This makes it all the more important to be vigilant and practice the precautions listed above. This is a challenging time for all of us, and we want this to end. The precautions you take help to stop the spread of covid-19. Thank you for keeping our community safe!

Hasting High School Conferences

Hastings High School Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 5-9 PM. A live link to schedule your conferences will go out to high school parents/guardians on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. You will schedule your conferences using PTCFast (online scheduling program) and all of our conferences will be on zoom. Please look to schedule conferences with your students 1st hour, 3rd hour, 5th hour and 7th hour teacher. You will have 8 days to schedule your conferences.

Transportation Update

Updated transportation routing information for students in grades 3-5 is available in the Campus Portal by clicking “More” and then “Bus Information”. If your pickup or dropoff location is not accurate, please contact your child’s Building Office.

Courtesy bus routes will start running again on February 1st. The courtesy bus stop schedule is available here.

Meals Update

Starting February 1st, meals will be served in school for students in grades K-4.

Grade 5

Hybrid learning (Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, Friday) meals served in school when in the building.

Grab N Go breakfast will be available in the mornings at door 1 and door 16.

Meals needed when not in school will be available at the end of the day for pickup by door 1 and door 16: (No signup required);

  • Cohort A

    • Tuesday – breakfast and lunch for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

  • Cohort B

    • Friday- breakfast and lunch for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Grades 6-12 (including HOA Students)

  • Pickup 1 breakfast and 1 lunch daily at any of the following locations: (no signup required)

    • Middle School (door #22) between 8:00-10:00 am

    • Middle School (door #24) between 2:30-5:30 pm

    • High School (lower student entrance) between 10:00-12:00 pm

    • Pinecrest, McAuliffe and Kennedy (main entrance) between 3:45-4:15 pm

    • For families preferring to reduce frequency of pickups, meals can be ordered for pickup twice a week (Monday and Thursday) at the Middle School (door #24) between 8:00-10:00 am and (door #24) between 2:30-5:30 pm (signup required). Click this link to sign up.

  • Students in school can bring home meals for siblings daily (signup required). Click this link to sign up.

  • Sign-ups will be reviewed as students return to in-person learning, there is no need to cancel your previous signup.

  • You only need to fill out the sign-up form one time. We do not need a weekly order. If something changes, please contact Brittney Hirschauer at 651-480-7126.

Hastings Public Schools

The Hastings School District consists of approximately 4,300 students. Please click on the links below to email the building principal or site leader. We've also included the phone numbers to the main offices of each of our district's sites: