March 15, 2020

Dear Families,

Today, Governor Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker announced that all Minnesota public schools will close to students starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 with the plan to resume instruction on Monday, March 30, 2020.

During the school closure for students, Norman County West Schools will be joining school districts and charter schools across the state to create plans to equitably distribute distance learning to our students should we need to close schools statewide for a longer period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Education is defining distance learning to mean that a student receives daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s) and appropriate educational materials. Starting March 30, 2020, per the instruction from the Minnesota Department of Education, student learning will continue for the rest of the school year.

Our educators will be giving thoughtful planning to our distance learning plan, offering careful consideration for students in a variety of areas, including students receiving special education services, multilingual learners, students experiencing homelessness, and students who rely on meals served at school.

Once our distance learning plan is finalized, we will communicate the plan to families in written form and post it on our website. 

As always, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students. We also want to ensure every child has access to the education they need and deserve.

We will continue to keep you informed as we navigate COVID-19.

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Jim Hess,

Superintendent of Schools

__________________________________________________________________________________

To:  NCW Parents/Guardians

From:  Dr. Jim Hess, Superintendent

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Date:  March 10, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that schools begin to prepare for the possibility of a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.  The CDC set up a website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ offering advice to the public, including schools on measures they can take to prevent the spread of the virus and keep themselves and others healthy.  The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also created a school specific website: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html    with information and recommendations regarding the virus.  At Norman County West we want all children to be safe and healthy so we are paying close attention to the recommendations from state and federal health authorities.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu and other respiratory diseases spread, or when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by infected person, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.  The most important thing we can do right now to help protect ourselves, our families and our communities is to take those tried and true everyday steps to prevent respiratory illnesses.

Those include:

*covering your cough and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, and then throwing the tissue in the trash.

*washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating.  If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

*avoid touching your face-especially your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

*stay home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

A hotline has been established for the public. It is open until 8:00pm.  651-201-3920.

We will have more information about the coronavirus on the district website.

We appreciate your continued support in keeping our students and staff safe.

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  119k v. 1 Mar 11, 2020, 3:17 PM Jean Hendrickson