West Side Story 2.0

November 13, 2020

Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.

Our Move to Distance Learning

Earlier this week, our school district announced that the time has come for us to move to Distance Learning. While we were so excited to have students back in the building this fall, we knew this day would come as the number of COVID cases is growing in our area, our state and our nation.

Monday, November 16th, will be the last “in person” day for our A group students. Tuesday, November 17th, there will be no school as this will be a transition day for teachers to prepare for distance learning.

Distance Learning will not be like last spring. Last spring, our entire state was under a stay at home order. Our distance learning plan was an emergency plan in response to the stay at home order.

Unlike last spring, we have courses built in Moodle that can accommodate in-person learning, hybrid learning, and distance learning. Our state has provided guidance on how to deliver a distance learning plan and our district has adopted a plan following this guidance. Here is what the plan will include:

We no longer have Group A, B, or distance learning only. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, students will log in to a google meet for each class. We will follow our 7 period day schedule. Teachers will begin each hour with the students in a google meet.

On Wednesdays, students will have assignments and activities to engage in their Moodle courses. This is also a day when students will be able to make an appointment with a teacher if they have specific questions or need additional support.

The Distance Learning plan will start next Wednesday, November 18. Thursday will be our first synchronous day where we will follow our 7 period day.

Every day we have been in school has been a gift. We love having kids in the building. While we have to go to distance learning next week, it won’t be for the rest of the school year. Our district will continue to monitor the data, and bring students back as soon as it is safe. We are asking everyone to help us and please do your part. Mask up, stay socially distant, and wash your hands. Let’s all work together so we can get our kids back in the building.

Big picture

Students with Other Responsibilities

Many students have already asked about this change in the school schedule and are worried about the impact this has on their work schedules. We understand that many students have used the distance learning or hybrid schedule as an opportunity to work more hours at their jobs.

We stress that if this were a regular school year, attendance during the normal school day would be the expected priority for all students. However, we know this isn't a normal year. Given this, we will strongly encourage students to do everything they can to arrange their work schedules to fit within the school day schedule we have provided.

Absences will be tracked, but we will verify those absences with student log-in to Moodle, learning task completion, and passing grades. Verified absences will be converted to present in the attendance tracking system.


Students can be in attendance in the following ways:

EASIEST OPTION: Log in to the Google Meet at their class time per the schedule. The teacher will take attendance.

SLIGHTLY MORE WORK FOR THE STUDENT: Let the teacher know (email) that they won't be able to attend the Google Meet, but they will log in to Moodle to do their work. The teacher will verify your Moodle work and mark your attendance.

STUDENT IS AN INDEPENDENT, MOTIVATED LEARNER: Student completes work in Moodle, stays on top of their classes, and keeps grades consistent. Their attendance will be verified based on their work and grades. They will be marked as present for daily attendance.

Study Halls

Study halls will not meet in google meets and attendance will not be taken.

End of the Quarter - Grading

Today is the last day of the quarter. Next week we start fresh with 2nd quarter. The 1st quarter grade will be 50% of the semester grade. The 2nd quarter grade will make up the other 50% of the semester grade. At the end of the semester, we will not have finals as we have had in the past.

First quarter grades will be posted by the end of next week.

Congratulations to Bri Stoltzman

Congratulations to Bri Stoltzman who will be taking her basketball talents to the next level at Southwest State University!

A Message from our Scarlet Health Office

As the district transitions to distance learning, the Health Office Staff will be available to answer questions or concerns from students, parents and staff in regard to symptoms of illness and Covid-19, including isolation and quarantine guidelines and the Mankato testing sites.

The Health Office phone number is 507-387-3488.

SRO Survey

Mankato-Mankato Area Public Schools has launched a community engagement survey as part of ongoing efforts to gain feedback on the use of school resource officers within the district. The survey will be available through November 23, 2020. Mankato Area Public Schools' families and the public are invited to participate.

Important Dates

November 16

Last "in person" day for A students

November 17

No School - Teachers prepare for transition to Distance Learning

November 18

First day of Distance Learning - Asynchronous learning day

November 19

First day of Synchronous Learning for all students

November 25 - 27

No School - Thanksgiving Break