School News

2020-21 Elementary School Supply List

June 29, 2020

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2020-21 Middle School Supply List

June 11, 2020

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Minnesota Approved to Offer Food Service Benefits to Eligible Families

June 8, 2020

Greetings,

On May 28, 2020, Minnesota was approved to offer food benefits to families whose children were between the ages of 5 and 18 on September 1, 2019 and received free or reduced-price meals during the 2019-20 school year. This program can provide $325 per child in additional funds to help pay for groceries. These funds are available regardless of whether your family is enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).

If a child in your home was receiving free or reduced-price meals when schools closed in March, your family is eligible for this important benefit. If your child was not receiving free or reduced-price meals but was part of your family’s SNAP or MFIP case, you are also eligible for this benefit. To access these benefits, please see the instructions that match your specific situation below.

If your family was receiving SNAP or MFIP benefits on March 18, 2020: You are eligible for these benefits, and $325 per child will be added to your EBT card balance. You do not need to apply for these benefits or take any additional action, as this benefit is automatic.

If your family received free or reduced-price meals during the past school year and does not receive SNAP or MFIP: You will need to complete an application for benefits at the following website: www.mn.p-ebt.org. When you are approved, you will receive your card in the mail, and you can use it to purchase groceries at any EBT-approved grocery store. You will receive $325 per child, which will be preloaded onto the card. If you do not complete the short application before June 30, 2020, you will not receive these benefits.

These benefits are intended to replace the benefits your child would have received if they had been able to attend school through June. These benefits are available even if your child continued to receive meals through your school. By signing up for these benefits, you will not be enrolling in SNAP, MFIP, free or reduced-price meals or any other program.

If you have questions about requesting or using these benefits, please contact the P-EBT Hotline at 651-431-4050 or 800-657-3698.

If your family is struggling to afford healthy food to eat, please contact your local county or tribal human services agency, apply for additional benefits at ApplyMN.dhs.mn.gov, or contact the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 651-486-9860 or 888-711-1151.

 

Sincerely,

Chip Rankin

Superintendent

crankin@isd2149.org  w 320.239.4820 x1470  c 218.851.9039

 

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COVID-19 Update: Distance Learning Plans, Meals for Students in Need, Childcare for Emergency Personnel, and Device Drop Off

April 28, 2020

Dear Minnewaska Students, Families, and Staff,

Thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate the coronavirus situation. As each of you is aware, Governor Tim Walz announced that all Minnesota schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Minnewaska Area Schools plans to continue distance learning through the end of the school year. There will be a pause on distance learning for two days for staff development, May 1 and May 4, returning to teaching students on May 5.

Distance Learning Plans

Minnewaska Area Schools plans to continue distance learning through the end of the school year. There will be a pause on distance learning for two days for staff development, May 1 and May 4, returning to teaching students on May 5.

SERVICES PROVIDED

  • School-Age Care for Emergency Personnel Minnewaska Area Schools will remain open to supporting students of Healthcare, Emergency Personnel, and Educator Families through the remainder of the 19-20 school year. Childcare will continue to operate between 7:30-3:30 each day with our school personnel staffing it. 
  • Laker Legends We know you are anxious to learn about decisions for programming of summer childcare. As of today we are planning to have the Laker Legends as normal, but we must wait for a decision to be made by the Governor’s office on health guidelines and safety requirements for the summer months.  The current schedule will look much different than past years, with many field trips and outing sights closed. However, the Laker Legends staff will do their best to continue to engage and entertain young children. Registration is online under the Community Education tab; the deadline is May 1st. Any questions, feel free to contact Kaitlyn Silver at ksilver@isd2149.or or 320-305-0795.
  • Food Service will continue to provide meals to all MAS students through the end of the 19-20 school year. Meals will be available for all children 18 years and under who attend or reside in ISD 2149. Meals will be available at Glenwood Elementary and the WIN Academy in Starbuck between 10:00 a.m. and noon. 
    • Curbside pickup
      • Breakfast and Lunch picked up at the same time
      • Directions on how to prepare and most items will be shelf-stable
      • 10:00 a.m. – noon.
    • No one has to order, they just show up
    • All meals are “FREE” to children 18 years and under
    • Meal delivery will still be available as well, with the final delivery date of May 20. Registration will be available until May 17.
    • Questions can be directed to Deb Nelson at dnelson@isd2149.org or 320.239.4800 ext 1478

Technology/Supplies/Devices

Device Collection – May 26-28  Any student items that were left at school can be picked up at this time.

Drop off locations:  Minnewaska Elementary and Intermediate/High School

Grades 2 – 8 will be required to return drop off at the building that they belong in.  The device charger also needs to be returned.

Grades 9 – 11 will have the option of keeping their device until next fall.  If they currently have insurance, it will remain in effect until the first day of classes in the fall.  If they do not have insurance, they will be responsible for the cost of any damage.  If they chose to turn them in for the summer, they should be returned during the scheduled times.

Hours of Drop off: 

Tuesday, May 26   8:00 – 3:30 PM  Senior devices MUST be turned in;

Wednesday, May 27  10:00 AM – 7:00 PM 

Thursday, May 28  8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Additional Information

  • Last Day of School will be Friday, May 22, 2020. Graduation will take place on Friday, May, 29, 2020.
  • Grades and Graduation Requirements: We are working to finalize details on grading and graduation requirements.
  • All buildings remain closed to visitors.
  • MSHSL: Minnesota State High School League spring athletics and fine arts have been canceled for the remainder of their seasons. This includes all participation in MSHSL events including, but not limited to, practices, tryouts, scrimmages, contests and competitions as well as postseason tournaments.

This has been an incredibly challenging time for our entire school community. I wish to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with this unprecedented situation. Please be assured that we will be working to serve the best interests of every MAS student.

We will continue to keep you updated via email, text, social media and our website.

Sincerely,

Chip Rankin
Superintendent
crankin@isd2149.org  w 320.239.4820 x1470

Additional Resources and References

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K-1 Update from Principal Suchy

April 22, 2020

Laker Families,

We will be having another Packet Pick Up for your child’s materials at Minnewaska Elementary from 10 a.m – 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd and Friday, April 24th. We continue to encourage social distancing as you enter our building. Preschool families will pick up at the PreK/1st Grade doors, Kindergarten at main doors and 1st Grade at the west gym doors. If you have anything to drop off, you can do that at these locations as well.

At this point in our Distance Learning experience, Governor Walz has Minnesota schools returning to school on May 5th. However, we are cautious with that plan as we know there have been numerous changes in the response to COVID-19. Therefore, teachers have created packets for the next two weeks. Once Governor Walz lays out the next steps of the COVID-19 response, we will be in contact with all families regarding Minnewaska’s next steps.

We so appreciate your hard work and commitment to learning through this experience!

Mrs. Suchy

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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

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Virtual School Board Meetings

April 20, 2020

Notice:

Due to the current federal and state emergency declarations and guidance about limiting person-to-person contact due to COVID-19, by the action of the board chair and school board of Minnewaska Area Schools, all future meetings of the MAS School Board will be conducted in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 13.D021-Meetings by Telephone or Other Electronic Means, until further notice.

The school board has determined that it is feasible for at least one board member, the superintendent, or the school district’s legal counsel to be physically present at the regular meeting location. Members of the public are not permitted to attend this meeting due to the current health pandemic and Minnesota Statutes 13.D021.

Meetings will take place via video conferencing and will be available on the Minnewaska YouTube Live channelPublic comments will be monitored during the virtual school board meeting. Submit your comments to this email address communications@isd2149.org.

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Distance Learning Updates

March 27, 2020

Please review this video from Superintendent Chip Rankin for distance learning updates.

http://somup.com/cYetoG12M0

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MAS response to Governor Walz “Shelter in Place”

March 25, 2020

UPDATED MAS COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN

Laker Family,

In response to Governor Walz “shelter in place” ISD 2149 will begin Distance Learning Monday, March 30 through Thursday, April 30, 2020. The final approved plan will be provided to families on Friday, March 27 with detailed instructions. The current plan has all teachers reporting Friday, May 1 and Monday, May 4 to prepare for return of students on May 5, 2020. Obviously, the return of students will be conditions based and at the continued direction of Governor Walz.

REMINDERS

  • MAS schools will be closed for SPRING Break Wednesday, March 25-27.
  • Following Spring Break; all MAS offices will remain open to answer your questions or provide support during “Distance Learning”
  • All MAS staff will be available to provide support to all students during Distance Learning

CONTINUED: SERVICES PROVIDED

  • Updated: School-Age Care for Emergency Personnel.

    Minnewaska Area Schools will only be open to support students of Healthcare, Emergency Personnel and Educator Families (View Full List) during the COVID-19 shut down. Childcare will operate between 7:30-3:30 each day with our school personnel staffing it. Breakfast, lunch & snack provided. Bring outdoor gear to play outside.

    If transportation is needed, please call Palmer Bus Garage (634-3272) for pick up and drop off locations.

    Click here for instructions on how to register →

    Click here to register →

  • Food Service provides meals to all MAS students during School Closure: Meals will be available for all students who attend or reside in ISD 2149. Meals will be available at Glenwood Elementary the Starbuck School between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
      • Curbside pickup & roster checked for those who pick up
      • Breakfast and Lunch picked up at the same time
      • Safe Food Handling directions will be posted on the Food and Nutrition Services Webpage
      • Directions on how to prepare and most items will be shelf-stable
      • 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    • No one has to order, they just show up for curbside pickup
    • All meals are “FREE” to all students
    • Parent has to have all children present
    • Delivered meals will consist of 2 breakfast and 2 lunches per child age 18 and under.
    • If you are unable to stop by one of the curbside pick-up locations (MAES in Glenwood or WIN in Starbuck) starting March 30, we will be offering free meal delivery. Please fill out this survey for meals to be delivered to your students’ bus stop. If your student does not ride the bus, you can still sign up for meals to be delivered at a location at or near your home. You will be contacted once the anticipated drop off time is determined.
    • Please fill out this survey ONLY if this is a service you will need for your child. If you have already signed up for delivery you do not need to complete the survey again. Please click on this link to sign up for meal delivery: MAS Meal Delivery
    • Contact Paulette Noel at pnoel@alexschools.org

Sincerely,
Chip Rankin
Superintendent
crankin@isd2149.org w 320.239.4820 x1470

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COVID-19 Update

March 18, 2020

Dear Minnewaska Students, Families and Staff,

Thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate the coronavirus situation.  As each of you is aware, Governor Tim Walz announced that all Minnesota schools will be closed March 18 through March 27.

Minnewaska Public Schools will be closed Wednesday, March 17 and will continue to be closed through Friday, March 27. This includes community use of facilities and evening events and classes.  The Minnesota Department of Education has directed all public schools and charters to cease all academic services during the closure. It is highly likely that Distance Learning will commence starting Monday, March 30 until further notice. 

Distance Learning Plans

Our staff has been busy planning flexible distance learning experiences for students. As previously mentioned, the start date for distance learning will likely be Monday, March 30.  Distance learning will vary by level (early childhood, elementary, intermediate and high school) and more details will be shared in the coming days. Please continue to check for regular updates in the Coronavirus COVID-19 Response Plan on our website. Specific information was shared on Tuesday, March 17, with many of your students when they can be picked up personal items and supplies, such as their district-issued Chromebooks, books and other materials.

Meals for Students in Need

Free Meals for all Minnewaska Area School residents ages 18 and under will be available for curbside pickup or delivery.

There will be no pickup or delivery on regularly scheduled non-school days.

ALL MEALS MUST BE CONSUMED OR REFRIGERATED WITHIN 2 HOURS OF PICKUP OR DELIVERY.

Please see the COVID-19 Food and Nutrition section for further information.

Questions can be directed to Deb Nelson at dnelson@isd2149.org or (320) 239-4800 ext 1478

Childcare for Emergency Personnel

Minnewaska Area Schools will only be open to support students of Healthcare, Emergency Personnel and Educator Families (View Full List) during the COVID-19 shut down. Childcare will operate between 7:30-3:30 each day with our school personnel staffing it. Breakfast, lunch & snack provided. Bring outdoor gear to play outside.

If transportation is needed, please call Palmer Bus Garage (634-3272) for pick up and drop off locations.

Click here for instructions on how to register →

Click here to register →

Childcare for Healthcare, Emergency Personnel and Educators
Wednesday March 18th-24th
Minnewaska Elementary School
7:30am – 3:30pm
Breakfast, lunch & snack provided
If transportation is needed, please let us know so you can be added to the bus schedule
Bring outdoor gear to play outside 

Click on this link to register: MAS Childcare for Emergency Personnel

Sincerely,

Chip Rankin
Superintendent

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