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March 16 Superintendent's Update on COVID-19

March 16, 2020

During our district’s first full day of planning for distance learning today, Westonka Public Schools staff - from teachers to custodians to childcare staff - proved their unwavering commitment to doing what’s best for our students and community. I am so proud to be part of the Westonka team.

Of the many things that I’m proud of today, within a day’s notice, our Westonka Foodies team was able to execute a plan and serve 175 students by curbside pickup at lunchtime. And they will be back at it again tomorrow.

As you know, on Sunday Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a statewide closure for all K-12 schools March 18-March 27 in light of the COVID-19 situation. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has asked all schools and districts to use this time to build a robust distance learning plan for students and staff.

Westonka Public Schools made the decision to cancel school for students starting Monday, March 16, to allow for in-district collaborative planning amongst staff prior to Westonka’s Spring Break (March 23-27).

Here are some updates to our COVID-19 response plan, as they stand today:

  • Childcare: Adventure Club childcare will be closed until school resumes. Childcare for parents who are emergency responders and healthcare workers will be available starting Wednesday, March 18. Families who match this description and are interested in this service are asked to fill out this survey. This service will not be available during Spring Break. We look forward to the opportunity to serve those who serve us.

  • Staff Reporting: Staff who are able will report to their buildings Tuesday to continue preparing for distance learning. Staff will continue to conduct work in a way that supports the social distancing practices recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Staff who have an underlying health condition, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should work remotely from home

  • Student Item Pickup: Our school buildings will be open 8 a.m-3 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, for students to pick up personal items and supplies, such as their district-issued Chromebooks (grades 5-12), books, and other materials. Primary school families should expect communication from building principals regarding iPad drop-off dates/times. Our school buildings will be closed to the general public starting Wednesday, March 18

  • Distance Learning Plans: By the end of this week, families will be hearing much more detail from their student’s teacher and/or principal about how students will continue their learning in the event of a long-term school closure. Distance learning plans will also be posted to the district website by Friday, March 20.

  • Meals: Westonka Public Schools is committed to providing meals during closure. Curbside meal pickup was offered to families from noon-1 p.m. today outside the Westonka Performing Arts Center at Mound Westonka High School and will be offered again tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, at the same time and location. Please watch for further updates about food support programs beginning Wednesday, March 18

  • Schools Resuming: Currently, schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30, but we are anticipating a prolonged school closure. If Westonka Schools continue to be closed due to statewide or local closure, March 30 will be the first distance learning day for students.

  • Activities/Athletic Events: All student activities and athletic events, including practices, are canceled. The Westonka Activity Center is also closed through at least March 27, as well as all Community Education classes and facility rentals.

We will continue to keep families and staff updated during these ever-changing circumstances. We appreciate your patience, flexibility and creativity. We have heard from many parents, community members and staff who want to help, and we sincerely appreciate it—we will need it. 

Please keep checking your email for further communication from us about how we can support each other as we navigate these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

Kevin Borg, Superintendent
borgk@westonka.k12.mn.us
(952) 491-8001