Viking Newsletter

January 2022

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Forward Together in 2022!

Dear Families,

Thanks for another great week at North Branch Area Public Schools! We are so thankful for the due diligence of staff, students and families for self monitoring for COVID symptoms and staying home when sick. This week marked our highest week of staff and student absences, yet numerous examples of the “all hands on deck” support for one another was truly inspiring!

The Minnesota Department of Education has sent a communication to schools affirming its belief that children learn best when they are in the classroom. They referenced the benefits to mental health and emotional well-being when students can attend in person. Please consider sending a quick note if an employee comes to mind that is making a positive impact!

Local public health officials anticipate that we might be at the peak of this current wave. While the Omicron variant is highly contagious, it is said to be significantly less severe relative to previous strains. This information has informed some changes to our protocols.

Change to five day isolation

After consultation with local public health officials and the COVID Advisory Team, NBAPS will move forward in alignment with the new CDC guidance to reduce the isolation period from 10 days to 5 days. While face masks are optional, CDC guidance encourages wearing face coverings, particularly after returning to school after isolation.

In the meantime, we will continue to practicing the following layered mitigation strategies:

Health and safety mitigation strategies

  • Check your child for symptoms daily and keep them home when they are sick.

  • Get tested regularly, especially if you or your child are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to the virus. At-home test kits are available at your child’s school. Ask your school about getting a test sent home with your child.

  • We encourage sanitizing, hand-washing and physical distancing as much as possible.

  • More information is available about our Safe Learning Continuum.

  • A testing site has been opened at the Shops of Gateway North in the old Nike store (38500 Tanger Drive) offering saliva and rapid tests. Site hours are Mon. - Fri.: 11 am - 6 pm., and it will be open 1/17 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Schedule an appointment here.

  • Public Health vaccine clinics: Every Thursday through March. Clinics are regularly updated on the county website.

It is an honor to work in partnership with you!

Sara Paul


Reminders and Community News

NB park and trail user survey

The City of North Branch is in the process of developing a strategic plan for its Parks, Trails and Open Space System and is requesting feedback from the community to identify park usage and help identify and prioritize improvements to the system. If you would like to participate in the survey, click here!

Ice Rinks are open! Rink Attendants needed!

Rink attendants are still needed for the warming houses to open. If you are interested in a fun way to earn some extra money working as a rink attendant, please contact:

Landmark Personnel


COVID resources

State of Minnesota resources can be accessed here, and Chisago County resources here. The NBAPS Covid Dashboard, available at the district homepage, shows district cases and is updated early each week. Anyone with questions is encouraged to use the school district’s COVID Questions and Input form, also available at the district homepage. Chisago County Public Health posts upcoming COVID vaccine clinics at its Vaccine Information page.

Educational benefits

Though breakfast and lunch continue to be provided to students free of charge for the 2021-22 school year, there are other benefits to applying for free/reduced lunch benefits, such as reduced fees for activities. To learn more, look for the form and instructions along the right side of the Food Service website.