A resource for employees of Mounds View Public Schools

June 19, 2020

Temporary Internet outage next week

The District is testing a new Internet provider. Starting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, there will no Internet access at any District building. This includes anything that requires access to the internet to function, such as the phone system. The outage is expected to last a few hours.

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Above and beyond

The summer edition of the District's news magazine will soon arrive in residents' mailboxes. In the latest copy of School Talk, learn 10 ways that illustrate how our students, staff, parents and community members went above and beyond what was required during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also inside:

  • Sharing grief following the George Floyd murder
  • Planning to reopen schools for the fall
  • Construction continues this summer
  • Celebrating the Class of 2020
  • Student news and honors from around the District

Flip through the electronic copy or download a PDF copy here.

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Reopening schools

Considering the extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, the District's primary goal for the 2020-21 school year will be safely reopening schools. Planning will focus on three possible scenarios:

  • A full return of students in all schools for in-person learning.
  • A partial return of students in some schools with a hybrid approach of distance learning and in-person learning.
  • No immediate return of any students and a continuation of distance learning.

Over the summer, the District expects to receive specific guidance on how schools must operate this fall from public health officials and the Minnesota Department of Education. Because districts will operate as state officials require, families can expect that Mounds View’s approach to school will be closely aligned to other public school districts and the requirements of the state.

Families and staff can expect to receive email updates at key times throughout the summer as more guidance is available from the state and as decisions are finalized. In the absence of communication, please understand that planning is continuing and no decisions have been made.

Questions can be sent to and families can visit for updates throughout the summer.

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Watch for upcoming survey from the District

As promised last month, the District plans to solicit community feedback through a survey about spring distance learning and planning for fall 2020. In the coming days, parents and staff will be invited to take an online survey that will be extremely valuable to Mounds View Public Schools. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has created a survey. It’s important to note that while useful for the state, the MDE survey does not allow families to indicate a specific school district or the grade levels of their children -- information that is particularly helpful for Mounds View Public Schools. Stay tuned for your invitation to take the District’s survey.

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Principal position updates

Highview principal joins Brainerd

Highview Middle School principal Sheila Eller has been named a principal in Brainerd Public Schools. Eller leaves Mounds View Public Schools after 12 years of service as a principal in several schools including Chippewa Middle School, Bel Air Elementary School and most recently at Highview for the past seven years.

Sunnyside principal moves to Highview

Sunnyside Elementary School principal Nathan Flansburg has been named principal of Highview Middle School. Nathan has served the District as a teacher and administrator for 23 years across six different schools, including 12 years as a principal, first at Valentine Hills Elementary School and most recently at Sunnyside.

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Elementary students to receive a new StarLab

It’s Mission: Accomplished for the supporters of the Mounds View Schools Education Foundation’s first capital campaign - Mission: StarLab. With the help of donors consisting of parents, alumni and StarLab fans, the elementary school children of Mounds View Public Schools will experience a new StarLab going forward.

“One of my favorite quotes that I have hanging in my classroom is ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!’ says Jean Modjeski, Science Specialist at Bel Air Elementary and StarLab Committee member. “Thank you to everyone who helped us land the funds which will bring a universe of learning to our students!”

“We are grateful for the Mounds View Schools Education Foundation's extraordinary commitment to our students and staff through their investment in a new StarLab, “ says Chris Lennox, Superintendent of Mounds View Public Schools. The StarLab, currently utilized by the six elementary schools in the District, is three decades old and has significant limitations given its age and technological deficiencies. “The new StarLab will benefit generations of Mounds View students as they are provided an immersive, interactive and lasting learning experience.”

A great big thank you to the leadership of Bel Air PTA, Island Lake PTA, Pinewood PTA, Sunnyside PTA, Turtle Lake PTA and Valentine Hills PTO; and Voya Foundation for their commitment to the StarLab campaign. Their early support of the project helped provide important momentum to the campaign.

“We value our continued partnership with the MVSEF,” explains Lennox, “and appreciate all they do to enhance opportunities for the students in our schools.”

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Rock the School House virtually

The 2020 installment of Rock the School House, the Mounds View Schools Education Foundation’s flagship fundraising event, is slated for November 14, 2020.

The Board of Directors approved a recommendation to pivot from an in-person event to a virtual event. Stay connected to MVSEF for more details as they develop.

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Beware of unemployment fraud

With the dramatic increase of unemployment claims in the United States due to economic downturn related to COVID-19, there has been an increase in fraudulent claims. Learn more about unemployment fraud here.

If you are a victim of a fraudulent claim, take these steps:

  • Contact UINMN immediately.
  • File a police report with your local department.
  • Contact an attorney.
  • Check your credit report often (some have insurance for identity theft).

Your employer will:
  • Monitor claims daily and notify staff of the fraudulent claim.
  • Notify the fraud department with UINMN
  • Monitor and make sure no checks have been issued.

Additional resources:

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We would like to announce the following retirees. Thank you for your service, and congratulations on your retirement!

  • Patricia Kelly, orchestra teacher at Turtle Lake
  • Carole Nielsen, Executive Director of Administrative Services
  • Marcia Reed, early childhood special education at Island Lake. Marcia has been in the District for 34 years, 33 of it spent in ECSE.

Do you have another retiree to honor? Send retiree information to Megan at

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