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Message to Families From Superintendent Hudspith 7-26-21

Dear Waseca Families,

 

I hope you are having a wonderful summer and enjoying time with family and friends as much as you can. We are nearing the end of July, and with that comes even more planning to make sure we are ready to welcome our students back in early September. After a 2020-21 school year that certainly looked different than previous years, I wanted to share with you some highlights to expect in the upcoming 2021-22 school year. All of this information can be located on our website as well, or by contacting your child’s school, but here is a short summary of the plans. 

 

  • We will be fully in person, five days a week, with students moving about the building as they normally have. We have removed monthly early dismissals, and the school year calendar is posted on our website for your convenience. 
  • Waseca Public Schools is not an approved online learning academy and does not offer a full time distance learning option. However, we do offer online courses through our online partners that students can access, which is something that has been standard for several years in our district. Please contact your counselor or school office if you have questions regarding online classes. 
  • The fall preparedness plan for COVID-19 is posted on our website. Please note the following key points. 
    • Masking is recommended for non-vaccinated individuals, but is not required in WPS buildings. However, current federal law does require masks on “public transportation,” which at this time includes school buses. We hope to have clarification on this before the school year begins, and our goal is that we will not have to require this. 
    • Quarantine procedures will remain in place for students or staff that test positive for COVID-19. 
    • Students who have been determined to be in close contact with a positive case will have their families notified and the CDC recommendations will be shared, and the family will determine next steps assuming the student is feeling well. 
    • Local conditions, such as a large number of cases impacting our schools, may require us to modify these plans for a specific building, grade level, or a period of time, but our summer school programming and student activities are successfully operating without concerns. 
  • Transportation will run for all eligible students at full capacity. Please click below for a letter from our bus companies and the form to sign up for busing to start the school year. 
    • https://drive.google.com/file/d/1n03yA2JHW5k38FUxIFqR5x6TOhVzc5e0/view?usp=sharing
    • Signup Form: https://forms.gle/cYeonKWofEdQjMr78
  • The free meals program has been extended and once again all students will eat at no cost for the standard hot lunch in the 2021-22 school year. However, it still is very important that each family complete a free and reduced lunch application. This information, although it will not impact lunch for the school year, does qualify students for reduced fees in activities, may qualify a family for other P-EBT food benefits through the state of Minnesota, and does provide a data point that is used to determine some funding for the district. If applications are not completed, our district data is not accurate, and we may lose some of the funding intended to support our students. All families will receive this application in the mail, or you can access it on our website, and I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes to fill it out in order to most benefit all students in our district.   

 

Building principals will be mailing out more specific information about back to school activities for each school in the coming weeks. We are working hard this summer to prepare for our Bluejays to return, and we are excited to have a positive start to the year in what should look like a normal start for our students, staff, and families.

 

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we look forward to seeing you and students soon!