Kennedy News

January Edition #KENNEDYBEST

Note from Mr. Rustad: New Year of Learning at Kennedy

Kennedy Families,

Our resolution for the new year at Kennedy is to make sure that all Cubs have access to great learning opportunities. Students and staff are doing an awesome job of making this resolution happen! Students are engaging in their learning and working on being their Kennedy BEST every day.

We are having a great start to the new year but we are also aware that there is a rise in COVID cases throughout our community. We are dedicated to two things as we move through this spike in illness. FIrst, we want to keep our Cubs safe and healthy. Second, we want to keep our Cubs at school and in-person. Sometimes we have to move to a short period of distance learning so that we can keep our students together for as long as possible. In this edition of the Kennedy News, you will find out what the process is for moving a class into distance learning. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to reach out to me.

We have had some very cold days recently that have moved us to indoor recess. Hopefully the weather will warm up soon and we can resume outdoor recess. Parents, please prepare your students for outdoor recess by sending them with a warm jacket, snow pants, boots, mittens or gloves, and a winter hat. If you are in need of any of these items, please reach out to Rachel McNamara, our School Social Worker. Her email is If you have any gently used winter items, please consider donating them to Kennedy. We have a donation box in our front entry.

We are looking forward to a great winter here at Kennedy. Thank you for being part of our community!

Together We Are Kennedy!

Steve Rustad





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What happens if a class at Kennedy needs to move to Distance Learning?

We have had to move three classrooms into distance learning during the month of January. The decision to move a class to distance learning is based on the classroom reaching the threshold of 3 positive cases in a short period of days. If this happens in a classroom that includes your child or children, we will notify you as soon as possible.You will also be notified with the date that all students should return for in-person learning. The first day that students are out of school is a preparation day for the classroom teacher. On that day, you will receive a message from your teacher with the schedule for distance learning. Distance learning will officially begin on the second school day that students are home.

Parents, please make sure that you have the most updated phone number and email in Parent Portal and that you are able to receive messages through email, texting, and phone. Keeping that information accurate is very important so that we can communicate with you as quickly and easily as possible. Also, please make sure that you are connected with your teacher through Remind. Teachers use this system to communicate with families. It will be very important to be connected with your teacher in the event that your student is moved to distance learning.

Kennedy Cubs Have Raised $1,200 for the Backpack Food Program and the Climb to Feed Kids

Kennedy Cubs and their families donated over $1,200 for the Backpack Food Program. Nine staff members from the Kennedy will participate in this years fundraiser event, the Climb to Feed Kids. They will be racing up the tubing hill at Mount Kato and sliding down in a relay race. If you want to come to watch and support our Kennedy team, please join us at 11:20 AM at the base of Mount Kato's tubing hill on Sunday, January 30th. If you can make it, we encourage you to bring signs and Kennedy gear to represent our team. If you would still like to donate to support the Kennedy Climbers and the Backpack Food Program, you can donate online at, donate through Venmo @KennedyClimbers, or send a check to school with your student made out to FOCP.

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December Students of the Month

Below are the pictures of our students of the month for December. Thank you for showing your B.E.S.T.!


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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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Fifth Grade

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Welcome Back Kennedy BEST Assembly

We had a welcome back Kennedy BEST assembly on Friday, January 7th. Many students were honored at the event for showing their Kennedy BEST during the first week back to school.
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Please Remember To Send Your Cub to School with a Mask

Please remember to send your Cub to school everyday with a mask to wear and one to keep as a back up . Students can keep their extra mask in their backpack. There are a large number of students needing masks every morning and we are running short. If you have any extra boxes of child sized masks at your home, consider donating them to the school.


Kennedy families are encouraged to participate in the PTO. To learn more about it and to get the most current information, you are encouraged to follow the Kennedy Elementary PTO Facebook page. Click here to visit the official PTO website.
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Kennedy Winter Clothing Drive

Please consider sending any gently used winter clothing items that are no longer being used at your home to Kennedy. We are always looking for hats, mittens, gloves, coats, snow pants, and boots. Items can be dropped off in the front lobby of the school or sent in with your student. Thank you!
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Job Opportunities at Kennedy

We have a couple of great opportunities available here at Kennedy. Check them out and see if they would be a great fit for you! If so, you are encouraged to email Steve Rustad with questions or apply through the links provided.

  • Substitute Teachers: Do you have a four year degree and would like work the same schedule as your student? Consider applying to be a sub! If you are interested, you can choose to sub throughout the school district or only at KENNEDY! We are always looking for great people to work with our students and that are part of the Kennedy community. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND APPLY TO BE A SUB!
  • Cafeteria/Playground Supervisor: Looking for a couple of hours of work with kids each day? We have an open playground supervisor position at Kennedy. This position is 2.25 hours per day on student contact days. If this is something you are interested in, please click here to fill out the application or email Steve Rustad with questions.

Important Reminders about Arrival and Dismissal

We have just a few quick reminders about arrival and dismissal at Kennedy.

  • Crosswalk: Please remember that students and families should only be crossing the street at the crosswalks at the corners of Kennedy Street and East Main. There is crossing guard there and they will make sure you and your student can cross safely.
  • U-Turns: Please do not make u-turns in the middle of the road. This can be a safety issue and can create traffic issues.
  • Bus Lane: Do not drop off your student(s) in the bus lane. This lane is on the Kennedy Street side and in front of door 14. The bus loop is only for school buses and pre-school parents.

Click the button below to see all of the Kennedy Arrival and Dismissal Procedures.

21-22 Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

This document contains the most updated information about arrival and dismissal procedures at Kennedy.

Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Students

The breakfast and lunch will once again be free for all MAPS students this year. Families should still plan to fill out the Educational Benefits form even if there is no cost for school lunch and breakfast this year. If you have Educational Benefits extend beyond support for breakfast and lunch. They extend in to other things such as athletic fees, technology fees, and community education programs. Funding for many great programs at Kennedy comes out of financial support we receive based on the completion of the Education Benefits form.
ISD 77 COVID-19 News and Health protocols

Click here to learn about the latest COVID-19 news and health protocols from Mankato Area Public Schools.

Upcoming Events at Kennedy

  • Thursday, January 27th - No Cook PTO Night at A&W and Charley's in the River Hills Mall Food Court
  • Sunday, January 30th - Climb to Feed Kids Kennedy Race at 11:30 at Mount Kato
  • Monday, February 7th - PTO Meeting 6PM-7PM
  • Monday, February 14th - No School

It's a Great day to be a CUB!!!

Kennedy Elementary School


Steve Rustad


Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) is committed to working together equitably, with families and communities, so that each learner has the knowledge and skills to be a successful and contributing citizen in a diverse global society.