Somerset E-News

October 9, 2020

Quick Calendar

Upcoming Dates:

Mon-10/12: Distance Learning Day for ALL

Tue-10/13: Distance Learning Day for ALL

Wed-10/14: No School-Professional Development Day

Thr-10/15: No School-MEA Break

Fri-10/16: No School-MEA Break


Mon-10/19: 3rd/4th grade Hybrid A Returns On Site (Pending Board Approval)

Tue-10/20: 1st grade Dodge Visits-Group A (Hens/Roosters) 9:00 & 9:30

Wed-10/21: Packet & Spirit Wear Order Pick-up Day 7:30am-6:30pm

(Will be notified by classroom teacher if there are Distance Learning Materials to pick up)

Thr-10/22: 3rd/4th grade Hybrid B Returns On Site (Pending Board Approval)

1st grade Dodge Visits-Group B (Hens/Roosters) 9:00 & 9:30


Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on November 12 & 17. Stay tuned for sign ups to come from your child's teacher in the next couple of weeks.

What's Happening @ Somerset?

Next Week: Distance Learning and MEA Fall Break

Next week, students will have distance learning on Monday and Tuesday (October 12 and 13). All students will be distance learning as there will be no in-person (in school) instruction. Teachers are using these two days to plan for the transition of the remaining grades to hybrid. There is no school for students Wednesday-Friday (October 14-16) due to Fall Break. Following is what students can expect for Monday and Tuesday.

Elementary Students (Grades K-4)

All elementary students will be in distance learning and can expect morning instruction from their teachers in their A and B groups. Afternoons will be independent learning activities. More schedule details will be provided by your student's classroom teacher. Attendance will be taken at the morning meeting like usual.

Somerset Star Helpline

As more and more grade levels transition into Hybrid, we want to let you know about the Somerset Star Helpline! When your child is in the Hybrid model, they are not able to access their teacher with questions throughout the day, as they have the opposite cohort of students on site. For all of your Distance Learning Day needs, we have the Somerset Star Help Line! Enter Google Code: StarHelp each day (with the exception of Wednesday) from 10-11:45 or 1-2 each day and a Somerset Staff member will be available to help you with an assignment, tech question, etc.
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Connect: Somerset Family Directory

Somerset will again compile a Somerset Family Directory this school year. Families that would like their information included in the Family Directory should complete the linked form for each of your Somerset Stars. We will send out the link to the Family Directory next week. Updates will be made throughout the year as more families add their information.

Click here to provide your information for the directory.

We are off to a slow start, but here is the start to our Somerset Family Directory! We will update with new submissions weekly until the end of October, at which point updates will become less frequent.

2020-21 Somerset Family Directory

DEADLINE APPROACHING: Fill Out the Free/Reduced Lunch Form

Even though meals are free for the first few months of school, you still need to fill out your Free & Reduced Application form. This ensures you’ll have help paying for meals after December 31 (or earlier if funding runs out), and also helps you cover costs for other school-related activities. In addition, it grants our district access to state funding to support our schools. Complete the 2020-2021 Free & Reduced Meal Application online here or request one by calling 651-403-7320.

Please Note: Families MUST fill out a new application for benefits at the beginning of each school year or benefits will expire on October 22, 2020!

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Read-A-Thon is Coming!!!

Get ready to read!

The annual Somerset Read-A-Thon is coming. It will look a little different this year, but we will still have fun.

The Read-A-Thon is a way to boost Somerset students' reading skills and love for reading. Throughout the course of four weeks from mid-October to mid-November, students will read or be read to. They record the amount of time reading and submit the weekly totals to an online form.

Every student can set a personal goal to meet for a week and/or the whole event, classrooms will have their own goals that they set, and the school will have one goal combining everyone’s reading minutes. In addition to reading, students can ask for pledges of support from friends and families. We are solidifying details for monetary donations to be made in an online format, so stay tuned!

There will be more information coming soon about Family Reading Nights with Ms Huettl and how to record minutes read. For now, get some of your favorite books ready and stockpile some new ones.

Somerset Playground Usage

During the hours of 7:30am-5:30pm, the Somerset playground is reserved for students on site in Hybrid and our students attending Emergency Childcare. We respectfully ask that students in Distance Learning and community members refrain from using the playground during these hours as we work diligently to disinfect the playground between uses in an effort to keep our Somerset Stars safe during the Covid Pandemic. Thank you for your understanding.

COVID Screening Tool

Please use the following checklist to screen for Covid symptoms before sending your Somerset Star to school each day.
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Covid Procedures


All students and staff at Somerset will be required to wear face masks when inside of the school building and while riding the school buses. Masks may be removed while outside when social distancing of 6 ft. or more is in effect and while eating or drinking indoors. We will spend the first few weeks of students being on site to review and practice these expectations.

All students are being provided with cloth masks from the state of MN. Additionally, all Somerset students will receive a custom Somerset cloth face masks, funded by our fabulous PTA. The masks (shown in picture) have a Somerset logo and a blank rectangle, where your student's name can be added with a permanent marker. We don't want masks ending up in the Lost & Found, we want them returned to their owners as quickly as possible. Please be sure to label ALL masks your child will be wearing while at school.

Parent Drop-off Procedures

As part of our Covid-19 mitigation efforts, parents driving their children to school at Somerset Elementary must remain in the car for both drop off and pick up. Please do not park your car and approach the school to drop off or pick up your child during our arrival and dismissal times.

EDIT: If your child is still in a car seat, we absolutely understand the need to hop out for a quick buckle/unbuckle in the parent drop off lane. Your child's safety is our number one priority.

Drop-Off: Parents will enter the parent loop from the South driveway of the Somerset parking lot. Follow the lane around to the sidewalk, once you are safely parked next to the curb, your child may hop out of the car and follow the sidewalk down to the main entrance. There will be stars spray painted on the sidewalk to help students visualize the 6 ft. distance while entering the school. There will be several Somerset staff members assisting with parent drop off and greeting students as they enter the building. Parents, please create a drop off routine with your child that does not involve you getting out of your car. We will need to continue to have the line of cars moving through the parking lot. In addition, to help with traffic flow, we ask that all parents plan to exit the Somerset parking lot heading South to alleviate cross traffic if at all possible.

Pick-Up: Enter the parking lot and follow the parent pick up lane along side the sidewalk. We will have students stationed 6 ft. apart as they wait for their rides. Parents will be provided with a Somerset Parent Pick-Up sign to put on your front dash. The sign will have space for your children's names, grades, and teachers. This will give our staff the information necessary to get your child to your car as quickly as possible. Again, please plan to exit the parking lot heading South if at all possible.

Bus Procedures

Students riding the bus to school must wear a masks while riding the bus. Hand sanitizers will also be placed on all busses. Upon arrival at school, all students will remain on the bus until they have been dismissed by a Somerset staff member. We will space out the dismissal of busses to help with social distancing. There will be stars spray painted on the sidewalk as a social distancing visual as well.

Transportation Information & Bus Route Times will be sent out late next week. If you are unsure if you have registered for transportation and would like your children to ride the bus, please call Transportation at 651-403-8320.

Breakfast/Lunch Procedures


Breakfast and Lunch will be consumed in classrooms this school year. Depending on the grade level, lunches will be delivered to the classroom OR students will walk with their class to the cafeteria to pick up their lunches and return to their classrooms.

We will not be able to have the fruit and vegetable bar this school year. Instead, fruits and vegetables will be pre-packaged for students. There will still be both a hot lunch and sandwich options for students each day.

We will also have a touch-free checkout system, so students will not use the keypad to type in their lunch PINs.

Curbside Pick-up

Curbside Pick-up will be available to families on the days their children are home for Distance Learning. More information regarding curbside meal pick-up will be shared soon.

Please visit the Child Nutrition website for more information on setting up a lunch account, signing up for free/reduced priced meals, and more!

Recess Procedures

Students in the Hybrid model will receive 30 minutes of outdoor recess each day. Our recess area is broken up into sections. Each class cohort will be assigned to a certain section of the playground, which will rotate on a daily basis.

Students will not be required to wear masks while outside at recess. We will have recess paraprofessionals supervising recess and helping to teach students to remain social distanced while outdoors. There will be one para outside assigned to each cohort of students.

Locker Procedures

Each Hybrid student will be assigned their own locker to use while at Somerset. Our lockers for Hybrid group A and Hybrid group B will alternate, allowing for social distancing while at lockers. There will be no sharing of lockers.

Covid Case Notification

When notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving staff or children, we will follow the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health. Their team will complete contact tracing and determine any exposure through close contact (anyone who was within 6 feet of the person who is sick while they were considered to be infectious, for 15 minutes or more, regardless of whether either person wore a cloth face covering or face shield). The individual with the confirmed case will be isolated at home for at least 10 days, and for 24 hours with no fever (without fever-reducing medicine) and improvement of respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) whichever is longer. Anyone with close contact (as defined above) will be guided to stay home for at least 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

Students in school who are demonstrating symptoms (fever of 100.4+, severe headache, sore throat, uncontrolled coughing that causes difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of smell or taste) will be assessed by the school nurse and directed to the “Special Care Zone," an isolated area, until being picked up; the parent/guardian will contact the office upon arrival; the school nurse or designee, wearing personal protective equipment, will escort the student to the car and strongly encourage testing for COVID-19.