Spring/Fall 2020 Distance Learning Info
Surveys For Families Spring 2020
Distance Learning Survey Results for FamiliesThank you to those of you who completed the distance learning surveys! Every comment was read and provided valuable insight from the perspectives of families, students, and teachers. Using this information, we will take some time on Friday, May 1st and Monday, May 4th to consider how we can adjust instruction moving forward to create the optimal distance learning experience for each learner.
Press Release 4-29-20 From Waseca Junior/Senior High SchoolWe are very happy to post this press release:Waseca Public Schools has completed the interview process for the Junior High/Senior High Principal position and are pleased to announce that Dr. Jason Miller has accepted this position. Dr. Miller has served as Assistant Principal at Waseca JSHS for the past 5 years and his previous experiences include serving as a teacher and instructional coach in Mankato Public Schools for 20 years. He also has served as an adjunct faculty member with Hamline University since 2008. He Has a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree from Minnesota State-Mankato, and earned his doctorate from St. Mary’s University.Jason will begin his duties July 1, 2020, pending approval at the May 21 School Board meeting. He is replacing Jeanne Swanson, who is retiring at the end of June.Congratulations to Dr. Miller on your new position!
Message from Superintendent Lee April 23, 2020
Students, Families and Staff:
I hope this finds you all well and staying safe. As we continue to navigate this very unique time in our lives, I want you to know that we miss you!
As you may know by now, Governor Walz just announced the decision that all Minnesota schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year and has ordered Distance Learning to continue for all students. While we were all hopeful that school could resume in person beginning May 5th, this decision was not unexpected and was made to help keep everyone safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.
We understand you have many important questions and we have many details to determine in the next few weeks including how we will commemorate graduation for the Class of 2020, summer school and other things. As decisions are made, we will share them with you. We will be working to ensure success for all learners as we plan for the next phase of Distance Learning.
Districts have been given Friday, May 1 and Monday, May 4th to review their existing distance learning plans and adjust them to better meet the needs of their students. There will be no distance learning on these days. We will use the data collected through our recent surveys to adjust our programming.
School Meals and Child Care for Emergency Workers
Our Child Nutrition Services team will continue to provide free meals to all students ages 3-18, regardless of need. Our Jays Nest will continue providing care for children of emergency workers through the end of the school year.
Spring Sports/Activity Seasons
The spring seasons have been cancelled. We will be fully refunding all activity fees.
To our senior parents and students, please continue to have hope and patience and we will do our best to give our seniors great memories for their last school year in our district. Mrs. Swanson has been working with a group of seniors and the details of our plans will be released soon.
We will continue to keep you updated via email, text, social media and our website, at waseca.k12.mn.us.
I am so proud of our Waseca community! The levels of support our students and staff are receiving is outstanding. Thank you for your continued patience. We do have something special planned for next Thursday night and will provide more details about this on Monday. Thank you again for your support and partnership as we work to continue making decisions in the best interest of our students, families and staff.
Survey Message April 20, 2020Family Survey: https://forms.gle/
VJUidD3XktNA69dw7(each family should complete one)Student Survey: https://forms. gle/vnW9MHE3uGrqS5Yr9(each student should complete one)
We have started our fourth week of distance learning. Thank you to all the students, parents and staff for everything you are doing to help make the best out of our current situation. I am happy to announce that we received our back-ordered wifi hotspots and now every student has access to wifi.
We have put out electronic surveys for students, parents and staff. We need to learn from each of you what is going well and where our opportunities for improvement may exist. Please look in your email, on our website or on Facebook for them. When you receive these surveys, please complete them at your earliest convenience. We will use the information gathered to adjust our distance learning program.
This Wednesday was going to be an early out, so we will only have a half day of distance learning to allow staff time in their Professional Learning Communities. Next Friday, May 1 on the calendar was scheduled to be a Staff Development Day. There will be no distance learning work that day as our staff will be receiving professional development. There will be no Jays Nest on Friday, May 1 and food service will provide the meals for that day on Thursday, April 30th.
Waseca Public Schools Following Coronavirus Update
Congratulations to Superintendent Lee!
The Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) has named Tom Lee,
Superintendent of the Waseca Public Schools, a 2020 Administrator of Excellence. Lee received this award in recognition of his leadership, concern for students, and active involvement in professional and community affairs. He was honored at a statewide recognition ceremony during the MASA/MASE Spring Conference, March 12-13, 2020, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park.
Read the rest of the press release HERE!
Update From Superintendent Lee 3-30-20
The first day of Distance Learning went relatively well today. Schoology and See-Saw had some issues but they seemed to resolve. If you have questions or concerns about how things are working for your family, please contact your child’s school and/or teacher tomorrow. Please also familiarize yourselves with the Distance Learning Plan on our website if you have not already done so.
Today the Jays Nest cared for 31 children of emergency workers and food service served 1055 meals.
We have listed some additional resources on how to take care of yourselves and your family during Shelter in Place on our website.
That is it for tonight. Now that every essential school function is up and running, I will reduce the number of phone calls to your and only send something out if it is critical information. Thank you all for your patience and support. The WPS will do everything possible to make the most out of our shared new reality. Have a great night.
Superintendent Update 3-25-20Message to Staff and Families 3/25/2020:This afternoon, Governor Walz issued a shelter in place order for all but essential workers beginning this Friday night at 11:59 pm and extending for the next two weeks. He also indicated that students may be allowed back to school on Monday, May 4th but this could change.Waseca Public Schools will continue to work through this order, in that we are considered essential workers. We will therefore continue our community feeding program and provide childcare at the Jays Nest for Emergency Workers. Also, regarding the Jays Nest, starting Monday, March 30th, our Jays Nest will expand its hours of operations to 6:30am-5pm in order to include more emergency workers for whom the current hours do not work.Our teachers will finish our planning tomorrow and Friday, and launch our Distance Learning plan on Monday, 3/30/20. Our buildings will be open for staff to perform their duties through the Shelter in Place order but some of our staff will be working from home as well. Here are a couple of updates:Our Distance Learning Plan will be posted on our website later tonight. You will be able to see a video walking you through the plan as well later tonight. Our staff have really put in outstanding effort learning new skills and developing this plan.Let me say a few words about expectations: let’s be honest - we are all learning new skills. The teachers certainly are developing the skills necessary to deliver a strong distance learning program. Students are being asked to learn almost entirely on-line. Families are learning how to juggle the new reality.When we start on Monday, please be patient. We will experience problems both anticipated and unanticipated. We will most likely start off by just trying to re-establish connection with students for the first few days, while we work on remedying some of the issues we encounter. Again, we will all need to be patient with one another.The MDE has announced that there will be no MCA/MTAS testing this year.Let me end with a quote from Mr. Rodgers:"Some days, doing 'the best we can' may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else."Thank you for your continued patience and support.
Update Message 3/21/20
Earlier this afternoon, we received notification that one of our teaching staff has tested positive for Covid-19. After consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health, this case does NOT meet the CDC definition of an exposure, since this person has not been in the district since Friday, March 13. This person did not develop symptoms until March 17th. As you remember, the schools were closed to all but essential staff through March 19th. At this time, the Department of Health guidance is that we do not need to stop on-site operations. They have indicated that there is “ no risk identified at this time”. In fact, because of the context of this specific case, they did not require a community notification. Waseca Public Schools is notifying you not because we are compelled to do so but because we have committed to providing all of our families, staff and community members the most up-to-date information possible. We will continue operations on Monday, as teachers continue preparation for Distance Learning that will begin on March 30th. The Jays Nest and our Community Feeding program will continue. The Department of Health has inspired my confidence we will get through these difficult times. Please continue the practice of social distancing, frequent hand washing, coughing into the elbow, and other practices as identified by the Department of Health and CDC found on our website. Mr. Fred Rodgers said, 'When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping".' The paraprofessionals, food service staff, custodians, clerical, teachers, nurses, our bus drivers, administrators and all our staff are included in this category of people who are helping. Together we will get through this. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Superintendent Search Progress as of 3/19/20
Waseca response in regards to Governor announcement at 10 a.m., 3/15/20
The Governor has announced that MN schools will close no later than 3/18 through 3/27. WPS Admin are meeting today to finalize plans. Details will be released later today.
COVID-19 Closure Message 3-15-20
Waseca Public Schools will be closed for all students until Monday, March 30th at the earliest. There will be no SAC (Jays Nest) tomorrow for anyone.
We will open SAC on Tuesday to children of Emergency Workers only. The list of emergency workers include the following if they are residents of Waseca School District: home care workers, personal care assistants, ambulance/emergency workers, direct care and treatment workers, fire fighters, police, personnel providing correctional services, essential court personnel, State and local public health agency employees, county financial eligibility, county case managers and any county staff in emergency management or health and human services. If you fall into one of these areas, we will need to see either a name tag from your work or a letter from your employer.
We will meet tomorrow with our food service staff to begin a food service feeding program on Tuesday.
All staff have received specific instructions by email and should check their school email immediately, if they have not already done so. Instructional staff will be ready to begin enhanced flexible learning as outlined by the MDE on Monday, March 30th.
Please do not come to school or allow your child to come to school until you receive further instructions. We will send additional information tomorrow regarding child care for emergency workers and our food service feeding program. You will receive more information next week as to how we will get materials and devices to students who do not have them.
There are still many questions like what will happen with ACT and/or AP exams. There are others as well. If you have a question, please contact your child’s school tomorrow between the hours of 7:30am and Noon. We will have office staff available to direct your questions to someone who can help. Office staff and teachers will return to work on Thursday.
This is what we believe we know as of now. As you are aware, this is a very fluid situation and information may change rapidly. Please watch our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts for smaller updates. We will contact you directly for more significant updates.
Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.
School Board Meetings Moved to the PAC
School Board Meeting notice: Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the district's school board meetings will be moved to the Performing Art Center located at the Junior and Senior High School. The address is 1717 2nd St NW. This change of location to accommodate social distancing will be used until further notice.
Superintendent Interviews & Board Meeting LIVE on Social Media
In order to include our community in the latest events happening at the District, we will be doing LIVE feeds of both the superintendent interviews as well as the School Board meeting Wednesday, March 25th! Please join us for a live feed of the interviews starting at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and follow our schedule of events (attached). These interviews will be live on our Vimeo page, as an open forum. Later in the day the School Board meeting will also be a live feed from the PAC, on Facebook. Please send your questions for the superintendent finalists to the email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include you in our discussions. See you online!
Superintendent Tom Lee is Retiring
After 40 years in Education, our Superintendent Lee has decided to retire. Waseca Public Schools will be doing a search to find a replacement. Find the documents detailing the following documents:
All can be viewed on our website under Employment, or by clicking HERE.
Waseca Performing Arts Center on KEYC