Raider Update

A Weekly eNewsletter from Hastings Public Schools

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December 20, 2020

Message from the Superintendent

I know the learning model change is a relief for some and creates anxiety for others. I also know the decision makes sense to some, while is a confusing move to others. Regardless of where you might fall on these continuums, I assure you we are taking as much care with our planning as we possibly can. That said, it is important for everyone to keep in mind that this shift in the district learning model is still a month away, and much can change between now and then. This update provides a few more logistical details. It is especially important that elementary families read the entire update as there are opportunities to make some decisions about your elementary student’s experience. I am so grateful for this community’s support of our staff and resilience through this past year. I hope you have a relaxing and safe winter break!

Learning Model Shift

The district learning model uses the illustration of the dial; during this school year, our distance learning model has seen shifts from hybrid to distance learning and beginning January 19, 2021, students in kindergarten, first and second grade will shift learning models from distance learning to traditional in-person learning. What does this mean?

  • Students in grades kindergarten through grade 2 will attend full-time, in-person learning 5 days per week.
  • The school time schedule remains the same as when the district was in hybrid (school begins at 9:40 and ends at 3:25).
  • Any child who participates in the Hastings Online Academy will continue learning virtually 4 days per week with Wednesday Flex Days.

Guidance from the state requires a "rolling start" which means that we plan for children in grades 3 & 4 to transition to full-time, in-person learning 5 days per week beginning February 1.

Elementary Families!

Learning Model Change request

We are offering families of elementary children another opportunity to make a change to their child's learning model. We will plan for each child to continue in their current preference - either the district learning model (which may shift between in-person, hybrid and distance learning) or Hastings Online Academy (full time distance learning). If you would like your child to change, please fill out this form. Please know that by filling out this form, you are committing to your chosen model for the remainder of the school year. We will close this opportunity to change on January 5. If you have questions, please call your child's school.

Transportation Opt-Out

Because of the shift to in-person learning that no longer follows the hybrid cohort model, we will need to reorganize school bus routes. If you know that your child in grades k-4 will not use district transportation, please fill out this opt-out form. We want to work quickly and also be as accurate as possible when rebuilding our routes; please fill out this form by January 5 if your child will NOT be using district transportation during the full-in-person schooling. If you have questions, please call the Hastings Bus Company at 651-437-1888.

We want your feedback!

Thank you to the families who have already shared their valuable feedback! If you haven't yet, please take a few minutes to complete our feedback form. We ask that you submit one survey per child so your feedback allows us to make adjustments specific to grade levels and schools. The survey can be accessed here, it can be found on our website under the "Bridge to Learning" icon found on our website and principals will share the link in their next communication. We will close this feedback form on December 23.

School Meals

For the week of December 21st, one meal (breakfast and lunch) will be provided on Monday for Cohort A and Tuesday for Cohort B to afternoon bus stops. We will resume meal distribution on January 4th.

Meals are also available for pickup at the District Office Monday - Wednesday between 8 am – 10 am. We will have extra meals available (while supplies last) for pickup on Wednesday, December 23rd for families that need meals during break.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and funding from the federal government, we are able to temporarily offer free meals to all families.

Free and Reduced Lunch Forms Needed!

It is important that all families who are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch prices complete and submit their application for benefits; we are still missing many of the anticipated applications. Not only do families benefit from receiving much needed reduced prices on meals (in a typical year) but the district also receives compensatory revenue for the 2021-22 school year based on eligible applications. The Minnesota legislature has a bill to extend the application deadline to January 4, 2021. If you believe you may be eligible for free or reduced lunch prices, please apply online as soon as possible, or call us at 651-480-7127 and we can mail you a form.

Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals may be eligible for Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) to purchase food for days they are not in the school building. To be considered, households must submit an application for free or reduced-price meals for the 2020-2021 school year or be approved for Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families who received P-EBT benefits last summer are not automatically eligible; eligibility is abased on the current school year. Benefits may be retroactive to September 2020, depending on when eligibility for free or reduced-price meals is determined. To ensure you qualify for the most benefits, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Athletics Update

In accordance with Executive Order 20-99, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has adopted a newly amended calendar for Hastings High School winter sports. In-person practices for winter athletics will begin on Monday, January 4. A full informational release for families is posted on the Raiders athletics website, accessed directly here. Student-athletes must be registered no later than 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, December 22 in order to be fully cleared to start on January 4. Head coaches remain the best point of contact for sport-specific questions. A full staff directory can be accessed on the athletics website here.

Please be sure to notify the nurse at your child’s school if your child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, if they have symptoms, if you suspect they might have COVID-19, and/or if they have tested positive. This is especially true for middle school and high school athletes as the Minnesota State High School League has requirements for students participating in sports who have had COVID-19.

Shout Out!

We know that the 2020-2021 school year is unlike any other in history and that has called on all of us to operate differently. This week, we'd like to extend our deep gratitude to our families. We couldn't be a successful district without your partnership and engagement. Take a peek at this great video. You matter!

Hastings Public Schools

The Hastings School District consists of approximately 4,300 students. Please click on the links below to email the building principal or site leader. We've also included the phone numbers to the main offices of each of our district's sites: