Raider Update

A Weekly eNewsletter from Hastings Public Schools

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November 22, 2020

Message from the Superintendent

Hello Raider Families!


I truly hope your families are staying healthy during this time. Our secondary students (grades 5-12) have been in Distance Learning for two days, and elementary will transition to Distance Learning on November 30th. While the mode of our instructional delivery will shift, we will continue to deliver food and offer childcare; this pandemic has highlighted the various ways a school district supports its community and meals and childcare have come to be essential functions for us. As you have likely heard, the Governors’ latest executive order has put a pause on all activities and athletics for four weeks, beginning November 21st. We recognize that athletics and activities are a significant value for many of our students and families and we look forward to when we can safely bring students back.


During this distance learning time, we will continue to monitor our local COVID numbers to determine when we can make a transition back to hybrid. In addition to our county numbers, it’s important to understand that our ability to have teachers in classrooms becomes a critical factor in making these decisions. At the time of this writing, we had 75 positive COVID cases across our buildings, and an additional 57 staff and 260 students who are unable to attend school due to COVID-related situations. Our county's positivity rate (the percent of COVID tests that come back as positive) is now over 14%, and within the bounds of our school district, our case rates are at 139.7 per 10,000.


Please take time to read the information in this update. Raider Updates, along with building specific messages, our website and our Facebook page continue to be our primary sources of communication. I wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Attendance During Distance Learning

During distance learning, we ask parents and guardians to follow the same process when a student is ill or will be absent; please contact the attendance line. If your student has COVID-like symptoms, it is important to share that information so that our nursing staff can partner with you and your family to provide any needed supports or access to resources.

Distance Learning Tip of the Week

We recognize that shifting to distance learning can take a little getting used to. To that end, we're prepared to offer a "Distance Learning Tip of the Week" for the next few weeks to support you in this journey. This week's tip is "Establishing and Sticking to a Routine". For many students, the schedule and structure of a school routine is comforting and one way to ease the transition is to partner with your child to create (or invite your child to draft their own routine) for their day. Begin with the synchronous academic expectations - when is your child expected to be on Zoom with their teacher? Then, make sure to include breakfast and lunch breaks as well as opportunities for non-screen break times. Don't forget to include scheduled movement breaks! If you're interested in modeling a schedule after one that has already been created, simply google, "Sample Schedule for Distance Learning" and there are hundreds available for you! Once the schedule is made, talk with your child about the best ways to stick to it. For many students, using the calendar reminders on their iPads or Chromebooks might be the perfect complement!

Support for Students and Families

We recognize that a shift to distance learning may increase the sense of isolation and may be a catalyst for increased anxiety, depression, behavior challenges or other mental health concerns; we are thinking about your child's mental health during these times, and we have staff who continue to be here for your family during the distance learning phase. For information on how to connect with us during distance learning, along with mental health resources, check out our resources below.

Dakota County Resource Guide

Hastings High School Counseling Page

Hastings Middle School Counseling Page

Parents of elementary students can contact the school's Social Worker:

School Meals

During distance learning, school meals will be delivered to bus stops based on the regular elementary and secondary afternoon routes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays following the schedule seen below. If your child receives alternative transportation, they can pick up meals at their neighborhood bus stop. You are welcome to use either the elementary or secondary drop off times (whichever best meets your family schedule). During Thanksgiving week, meals will be delivered Monday and Tuesday only. Please use this map for students in the non-bus zone or call the District Office at 651-480-7003 to confirm your child's bus stop.

  • Cohort A: pick up 3 meals (breakfast and lunch) each Monday. Pick up 2 meals (breakfast and lunch) each Thursday.
  • Cohort B: pick up 3 meals (breakfast and lunch) each Tuesday. Pick up 2 meals (breakfast and lunch) each Friday.


We've made a couple changes to our meal plans:

  • We are exchanging the small pints of milk and offering 1/2 gallon containers with each bag on Mondays and Tuesdays; unfortunately, chocolate milk will no longer be available
  • Both an elementary and secondary meal option is available. To find the menus or see an image of an example lunch bag, please visit our webpage. Menus are also available on the Nutrislice app.


If it is more convenient, or if your child misses the meal pick up, you can stop by the District Office between 8 am – 10 am to pick up your bag(s) while supplies last. Please only take 1 bag per child 18 or younger.


This meal program, funded differently than our typical school year program, invites any child who is 18 or under to participate. There are not a limited number of meals available to our district and there are no family income requirements to participate. If your child is interested in eating a school meal, they should grab one!

Seesaw and Schoology - our parent partner tools

All student coursework will be housed in each level's "Learning Management System". Find all coursework for students in grades K-4 in Seesaw and all coursework for students in grades 5-12 in Schoology. If you haven't yet signed up for a parent account, please reach out to the contacts listed below:


Contact Information Update

Infinite Campus, our Student Information System, is where we house all of contact information that allows our District to keep you informed. These Raider Updates, emails from principals and direct contact from teachers use the Campus system. Please make sure to update your information - particularly your email and phone number- so that you have access to the most up to date information.


Click this link for directions on how to update your information in Campus.

Click this link for general support with Infinite Campus.

Equity Action Planning Team

A group of 21 staff representing each school in our district has begun meeting to determine the next best steps in supporting our district in its equitable practices. The group's charge is to collectively design, deliver, and be champions of anti-racist actions and systems to actively provide a safe and supportive place for all our current and future students to learn. The group has begun to identify its long term outcomes and is beginning to develop a common understanding of equity-related terms.

Preschool & ECSE Programming Update

We want to provide you with some quick updates from Tilden:

  • Tilden Community Preschool will have virtual conferences on November 23rd and 24th. Classes will resume on-site on December 1st.
  • Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) offers virtual classes and they can be found on our Hastings Community Education website under the ECFE class tab.
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services will be provided on an individualized basis during distance learning. Parents of students in ECSE should reach out to their child's case manager with any questions.

Athletics and Activities

Executive Order 20-99 from Governor Walz has initiated restrictions on all organized youth and high school sports. All MSHSL athletics are on hold for four weeks effective at 11:59pm on Friday, November 20. This means that HHS in-person winter sports activities will not start as originally scheduled. Instead, in-person activities are tentatively set to start on December 21. More information will be shared in mid-December as we receive additional guidance in the coming weeks.


Coaches are allowed to have virtual contact with registered student-athletes. Plans to connect will include a bi-weekly personal check-in with each individual athlete and other team activities to connect as a group online. These plans will be posted on team web pages on the www.hastingsathletics.org website and will also be communicated directly to the athletes via Schoology or the BAND app.


Students must not engage in indoor or outdoor recreational activities where they will come in close proximity with others from different households. Open gyms, captain’s practices, and/or any kind of coordinated supplemental training is not allowed per this current order. Individual fitness and skill development is encouraged. Student-athletes can workout in their homes or neighborhoods, but they are not to gather together with others in any format.

Stay tuned to the Raiders athletics website and Twitter account for more information in the coming weeks.

Need Translation?

When calling the school, if you are in need of translation, please call the following:

  • Kennedy: Contact the Building Secretary at 651-480-7221
  • McAuliffe: Contact the Building Secretary at 651-480-7390
  • Pinecrest: Contact the Building Secretary at 651-480-7280
  • Hastings Middle School: Contact the Counseling Office at 651-480-7084
  • Hastings High School: Contact the Counseling Office at 651-780-7489

Communications

Our usual communications plan involves sending out weekly Raider Update emails, ensuring up-to-date information on our website and we frequently share important updates on our District Facebook page. Further specific communication is shared by building principals in their family updates. If you have questions related to any communications, please reach out to your child's school office or building principal. Those methods of communications are linked at the bottom of this Raider Update.

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: