Columbia Heights Public Schools

Feb. 18, 2021 Update

Remembering North Park Administrative Assistant Karen Crotty

It is with great sadness Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) and North Park Elementary share the passing of North Park Administrative Assistant Karen Crotty after a long illness. Crotty has been a valued employee of CHPS for over 35 years, a lifelong resident of Columbia Heights and a CHPS graduate.

Crotty started serving in the District when she was just 19 years old. She was hired as North Park’s Administrative Assistant in 1985 and has served several generations of students since.

“Karen’s kindness and care for North Park families has been a hallmark of our school community,” said North Park Principal Jeff Cacek. “Her ability to connect with people whether the interaction was routine or challenging is something I learned from every day. Karen is a North Park institution and leaves a legacy that will live on in the DNA of our school.”

Infinite kind words were said of Crotty this week as staff reflected on her multi-decade legacy.

“Karen Crotty was the perfect school secretary. She had a welcoming smile, contagious laugh, heart of gold and a side of spunk. I would tell all of my kindergarten parents to go to the office and ask Karen with the short spikey hair, She knows everything! And she did,” said North Park Kindergarten Teacher Sarah Hanf. “She exemplified Heights Pride. Karen poured her love into North Park for 35 years and even in my sadness I can feel hope that the love she gave to students and families is being shared back into the world making it a kinder and more welcoming place.”

North Park Science Specialist Stan Mraz noted how Crotty created “a powerful first impression with such an authentic grace.”

“Over the past 35 years, thousands of students, families and staff have walked through the main entrance of North Park to be greeted by a charismatic secretary who immediately acknowledged them with sincere kindness and warmth,” he said.

The District does not currently have knowledge of memorial arrangements, but will share information with staff and families as able when notified.

COVID-19 Testing

CHPS recommends students who learn on-site do COVID-19 testing every two weeks. This can be done in person at a doctor’s office (though there might be a charge), at one of the free sites listed below or for no cost through Vault Health. Insurance is NOT required at the below sites/online ordering, but please bring your insurance card if you have one.

Below are saliva testing sites not affiliated with Vault that allow walk-ins during the specified time. More info about testing from the Minneapolis Department of Health.

  • Columbia Manor (Columbia Golf Course), 3300 Central Ave. NE
    4-7 p.m. Thursdays, February 18 and 25

  • Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center, 1250 West Broadway Ave.
    11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, February 20

  • Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, 1301 North 10th Ave.
    10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, February 27

Find Testing Locations - Hmong

Find Testing Locations - Somali

Find Testing Locations - Spanish

Complete Daily Health Screening BEFORE Coming to School

CHPS would like to remind parents/guardians to complete a daily health screening at home prior to coming on-site:

  1. Students must be healthy and symptom-free for the last 10 days and have a temperature under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

  2. Students who have been in close contact with someone who was diagnosed or suspected to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days cannot attend.

  3. Students who appear ill may be removed from school. Returning to the school will be determined on a case by case basis.

  4. If a student is diagnosed or presumed positive for COVID-19, please contact your site immediately.

To the best of my knowledge, my child is healthy and well enough to participate in school today.

Safe Learning Plan Announcement

Yesterday, Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education provided additional revisions to the Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Columbia Heights Public Schools is planning for the implementation of the new guidelines and consulting with key leaders.

Columbia Academy and Columbia Heights High School families will receive a very important survey to indicate their preference for on-site or Heights from Home learning for their student(s). If you have a student in grades 6-12, please watch for an email from the principal and respond to the survey as soon as possible.

Highland, North Park and Valley View families will be asked about their learning preference at conference time.

Read the full announcement.

Activities & Athletics Update


Muja Burton #11 scored his 1000th career point in Basketball earlier this week! Way to go Hylander!

The Columbia Academy and Columbia Heights High School Theater Departments will together present "The Wizard of Oz" this spring! Auditions begin March 1 and 2 and are open to all students in grades 6-12! Audition forms must be submitted by Tuesday, Feb. 23 to get an audition.


2/11 Boys Hockey (1) v. Stillwater (7)

2/11 Boys Basketball (62) v. St. Croix Lutheran (73)

2/11 Girls Basketball (29) v. St. Croix Lutheran (75)

2/13 Boys Hockey (3) v. Woodbury (6)

2/13 Conference Jazz and High Kick Dance Championships 4th Place

2/16 Boys Hockey (0) v. White Bear Lake (7)

2/16 Boys Basketball (62) v. Holy Angels (48)

2/16 Girls Basketball (59) v. Brooklyn Center (38)

2/16 Boys Swim and Dive (66) v. Minneapolis SW (99)

2/16 Gymnastics (124.55) v. Bloomington (129.675)

Live Streaming Options

Visit CHPS Activities on Twitter and the Activities Schedule for Livestream links to home and away events!

Bowling (Girls and Boys)
Registration now Open! Practices start Monday, March 1!

Register for Summer Adventure Club

Summer Adventure Club is for children entering grades 1-6. Open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays June 14-Aug.27 held at the Columbia Heights Family Center.

ENCORE Registration | Coding Club on Specialist Days for Grades 2-5

Coding is an invaluable skill in today’s world. It can open amazing opportunities and set kids up for success. In this on-line Coding Club with a live instructor, kids learn coding skills in a fun and easy way.

The CHPS ENCORE program is excited to offer a virtual Coding Club for students in grades 2-5 on their specialist day, March 1-April 9. Classes will be held live on Zoom with an Instructor from Tech Tac Toe.

The program is split up into six sessions, taking kids from basic block programming all the way to tip toe into Python, one of the world’s most widely used programming languages. Students will learn how to handle user input, deal with motion and direction, and use their own creativity to design their own characters.

Registration is due by Friday, Feb. 19. Class confirmations and Zoom link will be sent on Feb. 23 to the parent email.

REGISTER NOW (ver en Español)

Lifeguard Certification Course for High School Students

Free as part of the CHPS ENCORE Program. All classes will take place in the CHPS Pool.

Training includes both testing of hands-on skills, as well as comprehension on written tests. The certification, which includes First Aid, CPR and AED training, is valid for two years upon completion. Participants must attend ALL days/times. Participants will also be in charge of completing online work that will be sent to them prior to the class. The online work has to be completed before the first day of class. Participants must be 15 years old by the last day of class. A prerequisite swim is also required.

Registration due by Feb. 19. You will receive a confirmation email on Monday, Feb. 22.

REGISTER NOW (ver en Español)

We will do our best to get every student into this Lifeguard Certification course, but due to space may not be able to accommodate everyone.

City of Columbia Heights Centennial Coloring Page Contest

Submissions for the City's centennial coloring page contest are due Saturday, March 6!

The City of Columbia Heights has partnered with Northeast Bank for a city-wide coloring page contest to help celebrate the City’s centennial in 2021.

One winner will be selected from each of the five age groups: four and under, five to eight, nine to 12, 13 to 17, and 18 and up. Each winner will receive a $30 gift card to a Columbia Heights business or restaurant. All winners will be notified by email or phone prior to the formal announcement on Monday, March 15.

In addition, the Columbia Heights school or daycare with the most entries will be awarded a $500 check from Northeast Bank -- the contest's sponsor. If the number of entries is tied, the award will be split equally. Entries must be delivered or postmarked by Saturday, March 6. A panel of judges from the Columbia Heights Centennial Committee will judge the entries.

Meal Delivery Continues through End of School Year

Thanks to funding from the Minnesota Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Columbia Heights Public Schools is pleased to be able to continue offering free meals to all students through the end of the school year.

Meal delivery continues to be available to students in Heights from Home and sign-ups are still open. If and when students return to school buildings, all meals offered at school will also be free. Students who return to in-person learning will automatically be removed from meal delivery.

Healthy Hylanders

We want to see how you’re staying healthy at home! Right before winter break, we shared an opportunity for us all to be Healthy Hylanders to choose activities from five different categories (fitness, outdoors, nutrition, well-being and creativity) and mark them off as you complete them!

Share your photos and videos with us by using hashtags #HealthyHylanders and #HealthyFromHome or send them to your teacher for a chance to see your face on District social media!