Junior High and High School Update from Principal Larson

April 22, 2020

We’ve successfully completed three weeks of distance learning with only a few days left until 4th Q Midterm this Friday, April 24th. A shout out to parents for all that you are doing at home to keep your child engaged in his/her learning during this difficult transition from face to face to alternative delivery methods. I prepared this email to address a couple of reminders as well as provide some additional information as we head into our last month of school.

Please remind your child the importance of communication. What I’m most proud of is how accessible and flexible our teachers have been in order to ensure students are supported and their questions are being answered. I’ve been a part of many examples of how staff are assisting students all hours of the day and night as well as on weekends. We’re hoping your child continues to make a commitment to their learning while being available from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. to stay up to date on their school work. I respect students and the temptation for getting jobs and other activities that may be in direct conflict during this distance learning time. A reminder that your child is to start their day by filling out their attendance form to get credit for their attendance each day. We want to know if you feel your child is struggling; please call or email me should your child need assistance.

All lockers have been cleaned out and we’ve found many items left behind. If your child left items in his/her physical education or sports locker, these items can be picked up this Friday at Door #2 between 8 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. No prior arrangements are needed. This will be the last opportunity for students to pick up these items. All students will be getting this reminder as well.

SENIOR PARENTS – We have some positive news to share during this otherwise challenging time. First, we’re excited to make available a yard sign (see picture) that can be picked up here out at the high school Thursday or Friday of this week. This sign is made available to all senior parents free of charge as an opportunity to share your Laker Pride while recognizing and celebrating your child’s successful completion of 13 years of schooling. Either a parent or their senior child can pick these up at Door #2 (Main Doors) between 8 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Thursday or Friday this week. Extra yard signs can be available for a grandparent or relative for $10. Additionally, our Senior Class Officers and Advisors are working hard at coming up with plans for what their graduation ceremony will look like. Rest assured they have three solid options for what Friday, May 29th at 7:30 p.m. More to come on this.

Minnewaska High School Senior 2020 Yard Sign

All Advisory classes will be meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 a.m. These face to face/live Zoom and Google Meet sessions have proven to be very helpful in keeping connections with our students. Please encourage your child to participate in these meetings. At our faculty sessions we will or continue to have conversations centered around work load, grading options, how we will turn in devices, as well as other end of the year items. Many of these decisions will not take place until after we get an update from Governor Walz on next steps. We anticipate an update coming hopefully by the end of this week or the first part of next week. The decision for bringing students back into school in May seems highly unlikely but no final decision or direction has been given. For now we continue to plan for the worst case scenario but hope for the best. Regardless, our staff continues to discuss the importance for delivering the very best we can during this distance learning as we owe it to our kids, our parents, and the community. There was a article in the paper this week that spoke to how fortunate we were back in 2014 to have a community financially support the technology levy giving our students opportunities that aren’t readily available in other school districts.

We haven’t forgotten about the role parents are playing in distance learning. Thank you for your continued support and efforts in making a positive experience during a challenging time.

Thank you.

Cory Larson, Principal