Kennedy News

10/11/2020 MEA Break Update #KENNEDYBEST

Note from Mr. Rustad: Showing our B.E.S.T. - Staying Safe and Healthy at Kennedy!

Kennedy Families,

If we turn back our calendar to one month ago, we had so many unanswered questions. How would students and staff do with masks? What would the shortened day look like? What would a hybrid class look like? What would online learning look like? What happens when someone is sick? We had more questions than answers.

Fast forward to today. Masks are routine. Students need reminders but have a strong understanding of how they fit into the "B" of Kennedy B.E.S.T. (Be Safe). They understand that if we are to stay together in school we all have to do our part with our masks. The shortened day keeps students moving and helps with the "E" in Kennedy B.E.S.T. (Engage). Students are getting so much great time with their teacher and really engaging in the routines and academics of a school year. COVID-19 gives our students and staff a chance to work "S" in Kennedy B.E.S.T. (Show Empathy). We are not only focusing on our own health and safety but we are also able to be compassionate and concerned about the health of our classmates and staff members. One easy way we all show empathy at school is by wearing masks. We know that wearing masks isn't just about us but rather about our concerns about sharing germs with others. All of these things help us demonstrate the "T" in Kennedy B.E.S.T. - Together we are Kennedy!

I could not be more proud of our Kennedy community for how the start to this year has gone. Families, you have been amazing at following drop off and pick up expectations as well as following health and safety protocols when it comes to your children. Students have come ready to learn and they are enjoying the opportunity to be with their friends at school. They have done a wonderful job of following the new expectations and routines. Finally, I am continually impressed with our Kennedy staff. Teachers, paras, cooks, janitors and all others that spend time with our students have done such a great job of making Kennedy a safe, welcoming, and engaging place for all students.

I am so thankful for all of the families that make up our great school. We will continue to be our Kennedy B.E.S.T. throughout this school year. Together we are Kennedy and together we are a family!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

We Are Kennedy!

Steve Rustad






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


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First Grade

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Second Grade

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Third Grade

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Fourth Grade

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5th Grade

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School Pictures from Strawbridge for Safe Learning Option (Hybrid) Students

Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 8am-12pm

2600 East Main Street

Mankato, MN

Students will be taking their school pictures by class on Tuesday, October 13.

Click here to order online:

Online Code: FM353697

School Pictures from STrawbridge for Distance Learning Students

Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 4-6pm

2600 East Main Street

Mankato, MN

Distance learning students from Kennedy will have pictures from 4-6 pm. Look for more details to come out on Monday, October 12 about where to drop off students to enter the building.

Click here to order online:

Online Code: FM353697


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

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 very close to capacity at 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.

Reminder of Kennedy Arrival and Dismissal Information Fall 2020

Here is a reminder of the Arrival and Dismissal Procedures at Kennedy.



If walking or dropping off please follow the staggered arrival times by last name:

Last names A-H 7:45

Last name I-P 7:50

Last name Q-Z 7:55

Students must enter and exit through the designated doors for their grade level. Siblings who are not assigned to the same door will have to part ways outside.

All Kindergarten - Door 2

All 1st - Door 1

All 2nd + 4th - Door 14

All 3rd + 5th - Door 13

  • Please park only in the designated areas for drop off (see map below).

  • Parents and other visitors will not be able to enter the building.

  • Parents who are walking their students to school must stay on the sidewalk during drop off.

  • Students will not be allowed to enter the building until 7:35.

  • Students will go directly to their classroom (no outdoor morning recess).

  • School breakfast will be served in the classroom, but should be requested the day before.


  • Students will be walking out with their classroom teacher and gathering in their outdoor pod spot.
  • Students will tell their teacher when they are leaving.
  • Siblings should choose a meeting location on the sidewalks away from the other pods.
  • We will begin our dismissal process at 1:30.
  • If you are waiting for your child outside of a car, please wait on the sidewalks along the roads and your child can meet you there.

Thank you for your help and cooperation to make this run as smoothly as possible. We appreciate your patience as we all learn this new routine. Let us know if you have any questions!

Drop off and Pick Up Map for Kennedy

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Daily Home Screening for Students

Please click here to view the Daily Home Screening for Student document. It is very important that students do this check every day before coming to school.

Important Information from the MAPS Health Service Office

Parent Information regarding Covid-19 and Health Services

As we start the 2020-2021 school year amidst Covid-19 pandemic, please be aware that we will need to follow established guidelines in order to promote the health and safety of all staff and students. These guidelines are developed with an abundance of caution in order to prevent transmission of the Covid-19 virus. The protocols we will follow are in alignment with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health. In order for schools to be open for in-person learning, it is essential to do all that we can to prevent and/or slow the spread of the virus.

Here are the things you need to know:

  1. Please check your student for signs or symptoms of illness every morning before they come to school. If they are ill or have a fever (100.4 F or more) they need to stay home. Please do not give them tylenol, advil, or any other fever reducing medication, before school as this may mask a fever and possible illness. Students who develop a fever at school will be sent home. If they have a new onset cough OR shortness of breath, keep them home. These may be signs of Covid-19.

  2. If your student has at least two of any of these symptoms or one symptom and a fever, they should stay home as these also may be a sign of Covid-19: Chills, Muscle pain, Sore Throat, Fatigue, Nasal or chest congestion, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Loss of smell or taste, Any other new symptom of illness with no other diagnosis. Contact your primary clinic to find out if your student needs to be seen and if and where they can be tested for Covid-19.

  3. Please call the attendance line to report an absence due to illness and include the reason for the absence, including your student’s symptoms.

  4. When a student becomes ill at school we will need to contact you. Please provide the school with at least 2, and preferably 3 emergency contacts, with up to date phone numbers. This can be added to the registration process in Infinite Campus. Ill students will need to go home as soon as possible to prevent the spread of illness. Please make arrangements to be able to have your student picked up promptly.

  5. Students who are ill and need to go home will be escorted by staff out of the building to the parent or emergency contact. Parents will need to call when they arrive at school to pick up their child, as they will be instructed to not enter the school building.

  6. Students who are ill with Covid-19 symptoms will need to be home for at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for at least 24 hours without pain reducing medication. Siblings and household members, including those in other school buildings, will also need to be picked up and stay home for at least 14 days, to monitor for symptoms of Covid-19.

  7. If your student has a known health condition, please contact the school health office and fill out an Individual Health Condition/Emergency Plan Form. If symptoms are related to the health condition we will discuss this with parents. We may require a note from your healthcare provider which indicates a specific diagnosis, if other than Covid-19.

  8. Students will be required to wear masks in the building. This can be a cloth mask made of at least two layers of material, and should not be a gator style mask or mask with a vent. All students will be expected to wear a mask. If there is a health condition that prevents the student from wearing a mask, the school will require a note from the student’s Primary Care Provider. Staff from school will contact you to discuss alternative protective measures.

  9. If you plan to have medication at school for your student (prescription AND nonprescription) we will need a Primary Care Provider to complete the Consent Form For Administration of Medication During School Day form. Please call the school to arrange for a time to drop off medications. Please be aware that you will need to keep a supply of medication at home also, in case the school transitions to distance learning. If at all possible, medications should be given at home

  10. We know that this year will be like no other. We ask for your patience and understanding as we go through this together. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Health Services at your child’s building.

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