MN School Update
As you may have already heard, yesterday Governor Tim Walz issued a new Executive Order that extends distance learning in K-12 schools statewide for the remainder of the school year. Because our teachers have already set our virtual classrooms up for success, we are able to continue teaching and learning uninterrupted for the rest of the school year.
Dear Northside Families,
We wanted to update you on the latest planning for our school in response to the latest information we have on the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a lot of information, so please read carefully and re-read as necessary. We will also have a hard copy of this letter in your materials packet on pickup day.
As of today, Governor Walz has issued a stay at home order beginning Friday night as well as an order for schools to use distance learning through May 4th. While we will miss seeing your children every day, we understand the plan and will abide by it.
This week we have been working diligently to create meaningful distance learning programs for our students that allow them to advance in their learning while keeping high standards and close connections with teachers and peers. Thank you for your patience as we learn to navigate a new system. We will do our best to continue providing quality education to your students using the following plan.
Platforms for Distance Learning:
In all grades, students will have live visits/lessons with their teachers via Zoom www.zoom.us. There is an app, as well as access via a browser, so choose the format that works best for you. Your teacher will invite you to class via a link on Seesaw (P-2) or Google Classroom (3-12). No user account is needed or required to use Zoom.
Preschool – 2nd Grade:
For those in preschool through 2nd grade, students/parents will communicate with their teacher via Seesaw. https://web.seesaw.me/ Seesaw is accessible via an app and via the web, so choose the best fit for you. Your teacher will have a QR code for you to use to access your student’s class. You will receive an invitation via cell phone as well as a QR code printout at materials pickup day.
Grades 3-12 will interface and communicate with their teachers and homework assignments via Google Classroom. You will receive your username and password on materials pick up day. Here is a direct link to Google Classroom: https://classroom.google.com.
Please take time on Thursday or Friday of this week to figure out how to login to the appropriate platforms. If you are struggling to figure out any of the platforms your child will need, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Applicable to All Students:
- Whenever possible, please have your student log in for all live learning times. While Zoom classes will be recorded and saved to YouTube so that they can be viewed later – it is best for students to be live whenever possible so students and teachers can interact, give feedback, ask questions, etc. This is our chance to interact as if we were in an actual classroom together.
- We highly recommend you help your student avoid distractions that are at home when they are meant to be “in school” (ex. playing video games or watching Netflix in the background). A dedicated workspace void of many distractions would be helpful, if that is a possibility in your home.
- Students are to be properly clothed and in a public area of your home when distance learning is happening (i.e. not lying in bed wearing pajamas). They are to be ready to take notes, do sample problems, and learn.
- We encourage students to take “brain breaks” and get some physical activity between live lessons and homework. We learn better when we’ve had a chance to move around, so allowing your kids to insert exercise in their day would be helpful (ie taking a few laps around the house between sessions and classwork).
- Specials: art, music and P.E. will not be live classes, but will have required assignments and YouTube videos to watch and follow. These assignments will be communicated in Seesaw or Google Classroom.
Packets will be sent home on materials day that will include work students can complete from home. Updates regarding schedules, work, and videos will be given via Seesaw.
Packets will be sent home on materials day that will include work students can complete from home. Updates will be given via Seesaw. E-learning will be happening via Zoom – with 5-6 20 minute live classes on the :40 with Mrs. Coffland. For example, she will host live classes at 8:40, 9:40, 10:40, etc. You will receive an exact schedule from your teacher at materials pick up day.
1st & 2nd Grades:
Packets will be sent home with work for the students to complete weekly. Updates will be done via Seesaw. E-learning will be happening via Zoom – with 5-6 20 minute live classes happening on the hour with Mrs. Kinde. For example, she will host live classes at 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, etc. You will receive an exact schedule from your teacher at materials pick up day.
3rd & 4th Grades:
Students will receive most of their homework via Google Classroom and textbook assignments. Each student will be assigned a Google student email account from Northside, which they will use to access their work. Students will also receive live 20 minute live classes via Zoom on the :20 from Mrs. Larson. For example, she will host live classes at 8:20, 9:20, 10:20, etc. You will receive an exact schedule from your teacher at materials pick up day.
5th & 6th Grades:
Students will receive most of their homework via Google Classroom and textbook assignments. Each student will be assigned a Google student email account from Northside, which they will use to access their work. Students will also receive live e-learning classes via Zoom from Mrs. Dvorak from 8:00-9:00am and from Ms. Halverson from 10:00-11:00am. There will also be an afternoon wrap up on Zoom at 1:30pm every weekday. This wrap up may include jazzercise. 🙂
7th – 12th Grades:
Students will receive most of their homework via Google Classroom and textbook assignments. Each student will be assigned a Google student email account from Northside, which they will use to access their work. Students will also receive live e-learning classes via Zoom from their usual teachers at their regularly scheduled class times. You will receive an exact schedule when you pick up your materials.
As you can see, we have staggered the teaching times for K-4 for students to help with those who need to share devices, in an attempt to allow all students to be live on Zoom as much as possible when their teacher is live. If it is at all possible, students in grades 5-12 will need to have a device that is mostly dedicated to themselves, as they will need to be live on Zoom for longer periods of time and will be completing most homework online.
We have a limited number of Chromebooks that students will be able to check out for the remainder of the year with a $50 refundable deposit. Preference will be given to families with no devices, who have multiple children sharing a device, or higher grades (because they require more time online). That said, please feel free to request a device, even if your child does not fit into one of these categories and we will accommodate you if we are able.
If you would like to request a school device for your student, please put in a request as soon as possible at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfeUajSzSlSiKIxmrrtEw0BvsEsXyprJiAS4lU6Q3p1RWWX4g/viewform?usp=sf_link
Our Chromebooks have not yet arrived, but we are hopeful they will arrive by the end of this week.
Options for Personal Devices:
Most laptops and desktop computers will be sufficient for distance learning, as well as some tablets. An enabled webcam will be very helpful for Zoom, but is not required. Chromebooks are relatively cheap and work well with both Google Classroom and Google Sheets/Docs, which is where we will be completing a lot of work, especially in the upper grades. If you have the funds available and would like to invest in one for your child, they can be found at most retailers. Here are a couple of options (there are many besides this):
New at Target for about $180 here: https://www.target.com/p/acer-chromebook-15-15-6-hd-celeron-n3060-2gb-lpddr3-16gb-storage-cb3-532-c3f7-black/-/A-52966620
Or refurbished ones on eBay for $57 here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Chromebook-ThinkPad-11-6-4-GB-SSD-HDMI-Google-USB-WIFI-Webcam/274012197014?hash=item3fcc665096:g:nf0AAOSwZM1dzrC8
Setting Up Your Child’s Device:
If you need assistance setting up your child’s device or logins for the necessary apps, please come to your scheduled materials pick up day with your device and we will be happy to assist you in setting it up. Please look for Mr. Temp or Mrs. Roufs for this assistance.
If you have not yet signed up for materials pickup, please do so here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a084cafac22a6fe3-materials
Schedules and Routines:
Schedules and routines are healthy and comforting for school aged kids. We understand that distance learning can upend this somewhat. To help with this, each teacher will be sending home a recommended schedule for their students; you will find this in the packet you’ll receive when you pick up your student’s materials. Please support your student as we attempt to create a new routine for them. We will assist in any way that we can.
Connecting with Teachers:
During the regular school day, teachers will be available to answer questions on Seesaw, Zoom, Google Classroom, and via email and cell phone, in the event a parent or student has a question. Please use the cell phone sparingly, as it will be difficult for a teacher to answer multiple calls per day and still be able to run their classes effectively.
Please do not call teachers when they are live on Zoom.
Attendance and Schoolwork:
Please remember that distance learning is not optional. Treat attendance as you would if we were still meeting in our physical classrooms.
- Attendance on Zoom will be taken and count towards your student’s grade and compliance.
- Homework must be completed and turned in on time.
- In order to complete this grade level, you will still have to meet the requirements of your courses.
- Repeated non-attendance may count as truancy – so please make sure your children are participating!
We are grateful for each one of you, and appreciate your positivity as we work through these next weeks. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Northside Staff & School Board