Bridgewater Friday Update

Bear Pride: Respect, Responsibility, Be Safe, Do Your Best

September 18, 2020

Week 1

Week 1 went better than expected. It is wonderful having the students back in the hallways of Bridgewater. I didn't realize how much we really missed them until they were here and back in class. Your child's teacher has done an amazing job of preparing for students and keeping the students safe. This has been a stressful week for them working to meet all of the safety criteria. Food service has also done a lot of heavy lifting this week serving lunches to all students. Parents have been great partners adapting to new procedures and helping to explain details to children so they are prepared and not scared. I have never lived through a global pandemic before, and I cannot imagine going through this with a better team of people. Thank you so very much!!

Message from Mrs. Antoine

Change of Plans

It is always best when you establish a consistent routine with your child to follow at the end of each school day. If you have a change in plans, please send a note with your child just in case there is a guest teacher that day. During the day, calls may be made to the Bridgewater Office. It is very challenging when the office is called after 2:30 pm. Please call before 2:30. If a student does not have a note, they will be sent on their normal route.

Temperature Checks-A Must

Thermometers were passed out to each family during conferences. Parents are to take the temperature of your child each morning before sending them to school. If your child's temp is 100 degrees or higher, they must remain at home. Please let us know if you still need a thermometer.

Picture Day

Picture Day is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2nd. We will get picture packet information out to you very soon. We are using Strawbridge as our photographer this year, and hoping for a better outcome.

Attendance Line

Please call the Bridgewater attendance line if your child is going to be absent from school. This number can be accessed 24 hours a day. 507-664-3306 is the number and this is at the top of your Bridgewater magnet that you received at your Family Conference. We will place a phone call to families that we don’t hear from by the morning; this is done for the sake of safety. Thank you for your help!

Benjamin Bus Company

The phone number to Benjamin Bus Company is 507-645-5720 if you are in need of assistance. We work together quite closely, but we are not driving the busses and dropping off students.


Due to the Covid environment, visitors are not allowed in the building during the school day. Unfortunately, this does mean that parents are not able to walk children to class nor come in to have lunch with students. Our enrollment is high enough where we will be using the commons area and hallway to distance students during lunch. We will not have room for guests. Thank you for understanding!

Free Meals

The free meal program has been extended through December 31, 2020, as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. All students enrolled in the school district -- regardless of the learning model -- can receive free breakfast and lunch every day. It is possible that the program could end before December 31 if the funding is depleted.

Even though all students will be receiving free meals during this time, it is essential that you complete the meal benefit application if you feel that your family would qualify. Families will return to paying full price for meals on January 1, 2021 (or earlier, if the funding is exhausted) if they do not qualify for free or reduced meals.



Roundabout Information

As previously communicated, construction of the new roundabout at the intersection of Highway 246 (Division Street) and Jefferson Parkway will continue beyond the start of school. The current timeline has the project concluding in mid-October. The curbs and gutters have been poured, so we can see the finish line!!

Vehicles are not allowed to use the Bridgewater Elementary parking lot as a shortcut from Jefferson Parkway to Highway 246 (Division Street.) School busses will be permitted to pass through the Bridgewater parking lots to help with the bus route times for students. We thank the Northfield Police Department for their assistance in supporting our traffic management.

Arrival Information--Parent Drop Off

Here are the rules/guidelines that need to be adhered to in order for us to keep students in person:

  • Students may arrive at 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Wednesdays) if they are eating breakfast in the morning.
  • Students may arrive no earlier than 8:10 a.m. each day (9:10 a.m. on Wednesdays) otherwise.
  • Stay in your car and in line to drop off your child. Don't park and walk across the parking lot.
  • Students walking to school should leave the house no earlier than 8:00 a.m.
  • Do not drop your child and hurry away; be the positive role model for your child.

When you pull up into the drop-off lane, please pull ahead as far as you can before letting your child exit your car. If there is a long line, please don't wait until you are directly in front of the door before letting your child out of your car. There is enough space for at least eight cars to drop off at the same time, and the children can walk up the sidewalk to the front door.

End Of The Day-Parent Pick Up

The end of the day is a busy time. You can only imagine trying to dismiss 500 students at the same time in an organized fashion making sure students get to the correct place. These are the things that keep me awake at night and give me nightmares. We dismiss at 3:20 pm each day. Due to the construction, we will have extra bus activity in our parking lot. It is most helpful if you arrive to pick up after 3:00 p.m. This will keep you out of the way of the bus traffic.

As in the past, we will provide you a pick-up tag for your child. Please write your child's name and grade clearly on this tag, and place it so that it is visible through your windshield. This way you will drive up, we can read your child's name and make sure that your child gets to your car. Please remain in your car and in line. This is similar to a drive through, were you place your order and receive your happy face. Please be patient, alert and courteous. Everyone has a schedule with places to go.

We have about three times as many parents picking up this year. Everyone will need to be patient and respectful please.

  • Please don't arrive before 3:00 since we have busses going through the parking lot to the Middle School. This is done to keep route times down for all students.
  • Pull up when you can without leaving a huge gap in front of your car.
  • Make sure your tag is visible in your windshield hanging from your rear-view mirror.
  • Our K, 1, 2 students are dismissed first, and they will be ready to be picked up right away. The older students will be down shortly afterwards. You will want to plan accordingly.
  • Stay in your car and in line to pick up your child. Don't park and walk across the parking lot.
  • We are trying our very best to get your child to the correct car in a timely fashion while looking out for the safety of all.
  • Students walking home that need to cross Jefferson Parkway must cross with the safety patrols for their own safety.


Students who live within the walking boundaries should leave home no earlier than 8:00 a.m. each morning. This will keep them out of the way of high school traffic, and this is a safety issue. Crossing guards will be at their post at Raider Drive and Jefferson Parkway in the morning at 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Wednesdays), and at 3:20 p.m. in the afternoon. Students should always cross with the patrols and not at other places on Jefferson Parkway. Please talk to your child about going directly to school in the morning and directly home in the afternoon. We have found several students at the park in the afternoon since they didn't walk directly home.

Bike Riders

Please send your child with a bike lock to lock their bike when they ride their bike to school. We have had some bikes stolen in the past, and this is not what I want for your child. Better to be safe. I would appreciate students parking in the larger bike racks on the flagpole side of the building.

Who is Mrs. Antoine

I thought I would take a moment again this year to share a little bit about myself so that you may get to know me better. I am originally from a small town on the North Shore, Lutsen, MN. I graduated from Cook County High School, and had the pleasure of seeing Lake Superior every day on my ride to and from school on the bus! This is my 14th year at Bridgewater as the principal. I was a head principal for five years in Worthington. I also worked in the Robbinsdale School District, and taught in Minneapolis and in Texas. I am married to my husband Doug and we have two children, Chris and Jen. My little mother, Muriel Lyght, has also lived with us for the past twenty-three years. My son, Chris, is completing his last semester at St. Cloud State University where he is majoring in communications and business management. He played four years of football for SCSU until they cut their football program last winter. Jen is a senior at St. Cloud State, and is majoring in early childhood education with a minor in special education. It seems like just yesterday when they were students at Bridgewater, and I am very proud of them. Some Bridgewater students may know my kids as Thunder and Squiggles from the summer YMCA programs as they worked with the campers.

I also stay busy professionally trying to stay current across the state and nation. I am the Past-President of the MN Elementary Principals’ Association and serve as the chair of the Board of School Administrators. I also serve as the elementary principal representative on the MN Teacher of the Year Judging Panel. I was also asked to represent seven states on the NAESP National Racial Equity Task Force. I have learned so much through all of these experiences and it is great to see what happens in other school districts across the country. Locally, I serve on the YMCA Board of Directors.

I thoroughly enjoy working with students, staff and families, and try my best to learn the names of all the students. I cannot imagine not being around children; they are such great gifts and bring happiness with lots of energy! I am also a huge sports fan and that is why you may see me at many local sporting events when they are in session.

Bridgewater Elementary School

World-class Learning for Elementary Students Grades K-5 Bridgewater Elementary School, situated on a 14-acre campus just south of downtown Northfield, is a K-5 public school serving approximately 600 students. It serves the neighborhoods on Northfield's southern side, Dundas, and the rural area south of Highway 19 and west of Highway 246. Students benefit from an active Bridgewater Booster Club and many parent volunteers.

The staff is intensely dedicated to offering a high quality, well-rounded education that strives to meet the specific needs of each student. We focus on empowering our students in their learning and building a solid foundation for their educational journeys.