Message from the Superintendent: Summer Update
With summer traditions like Independence Day and community celebrations coming to an end, we at ISD 728 understand that many families are now turning their attention to Back to School. After all, who can ignore those big displays in our stores, reminding us that fall is just around the corner?
With that in mind, and with the purpose of keeping all of our friends and families informed, we wanted to update everyone on a number of things as we make preparations for our 2021-2022 school year – one that we think can be one of our best ever here in ISD 728.
COVID-19: Vaccines, Masks and Learning Models
We continue to prioritize safety as we emerge from the pandemic. The Center for Disease Control recently issued a few guidelines for Return to In-Person Learning in 2021-2022, which you might have seen and which might have been confusing for some. Please keep in mind these are guidelines – not mandates – and we continue to work with our state departments of health and education as well as local health leaders to refine plans for the 2021-2022 School Year.
As of today, July 16, we know that:
- More than 70 percent of those eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Minnesota have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
- Due to this as well as feedback from ISD 728 families, masks will NOT be required in classrooms.
- Masks WILL be required on buses/public transportation in ALL public schools throughout the nation, including passengers to and from school and to and from extracurricular activities. This is per President Biden’s Executive Order, which regulates all forms of public transportation. It is not an option for any school district to disregard the requirement. Failure to follow the mandate could result in loss of licensure and funding.
- Students who choose to wear masks in school will be welcomed by all.
- ISD 728 will NOT be requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for the 2021-2022 school year.
- Those who have not been vaccinated – including those over 12 who are eligible to receive a vaccine – will not be segregated from any school populations. They will be welcomed by all.
- Classes will be in-person, five days a week for all levels (early childhood, kindergarten, primary and secondary). Additionally, all families will have an online learning option via Online728, you can find more information about that program – which has expanded to a K-12 format, at www.isd728.org/online728.
- We will maintain adequate social distancing in areas where this is possible, cleaning protocols will remain in effect and we, again, will rely on our families as the first line of defense by encouraging them to keep students home when they are sick or showing signs of illness.
District Calendar Changes and New Website
In 2020-2021, mainly due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, ISD 728 made a decision to discontinue the print calendar format for families. We will continue to improve our online calendar formats, including new ways for families and students to integrate our online calendars into their regular calendar applications (iCal, Google Calendar and Outlook, for example).
Digital calendars will coincide with the release of our new www.isd728.org website, which will have a new look, feel and updated content. That will roll out to you all later this summer.
ISD 728 Elementary and Middle Schools are updating their school supply lists and should have those posted on each website by July 19. Be sure to check the website of the school your child attends.
Our ISD 728 high schools do not print an annual list. If you have specific questions about supplies for the high school, please work with the individual teacher and/or building.
Middle and High School laptop and “hotspot” distribution dates will also be announced later this summer.
Welcome Back Volunteers!
ISD 728 schools are excited to welcome back our family members and friends back to our school buildings this year. If you are interested in volunteering at any ISD 728 building, please check out our website to see all the ways you can contribute to our school community. Starting this Fall, volunteers in ISD 728 without a current approved background check on file will be asked to pay the processing fee of $10.25. Approved background checks are good for up to three years. ISD 728 is a great place to live and learn – and it’s even better when our families are involved. We’re excited to have you back! Visit www.isd728.org/GetInvolved for more information.
Work for ISD 728
If you or someone you know is looking for casual or full time work, you CAN get PAID to work for ISD 728. We will be hosting a job fair at the ISD 728 District Office, 11500 193rd St. NE, Elk River from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 29. Join us to hear about openings for bus drivers, health service assistants, cooks, custodians, childcare workers, substitute teachers and much more.
EdVenture Club Childcare
Registration for 2021-2022 EdVenture Club Childcare is now open. Families can register for before school, after school, or both as of Friday, July 16. Before and After School registration for the first week of school is due on Monday, August 23. For more information visit www.isd728.org/EdVentureClub.
For the first week of school only (K-2 Students)
For the 2021-2022 school year, ISD 728 will be implementing a "Week One Orientation." In this model and for the first week of school, all K-2 students will attend school two full days, in smaller groups of approximately 50% class size, so that we can welcome and orient students in a calmer, smaller setting. The students will be assigned to an “ A Day” group, attending Tuesday and Thursday; or a “ B Day” group, attending Wednesday and Friday.
If you have a child in Kindergarten, First or Second Grade and need care during the first week of school on days your child is not scheduled to attend, you will be able to register for care the week of August 23. Note, registration will close on Friday, August 27.
Former Otsego Leader Named Director of Teaching and Learning
In case you missed it - the ISD 728 School Board approved former Otsego Elementary Principal Kelly Corbett as the District’s new Director of Teaching and Learning at a special meeting held Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
Corbett, who came to ISD 728 for the start of the 2017-2018 school year, will immediately lead the District’s curriculum team, taking over for former leader Kelly Stanton, who announced her retirement in May 2021.
More Communications to Come
Looking for information on transportation, food service, etc.? Keep watching your inbox for a couple more emails coming your way with those specifics as more information becomes available.
- Throughout August: Watch for information from Middle and High Schools on the start of the year.
- Week of August 2: Communication from schools about in-person Open Houses and picture days.
- Week of August 23: Communication from Elementary schools regarding Teacher Assignments and Orientation Weeks for students in K-2. We will welcome those youngest students back on an alternating schedule (Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday) for their first week to ease them into the year. More on that to come. Bus Route information is also expected to be provided at this time.