3-25-20 Message to Families

Dear Parents,

First, I hope you and your child(ren) are doing well. I greatly miss our students, especially their smiles, eagerness, and energy. These last few days have been challenging and I am grateful for your patience, trust, and support. I am also thankful for your flexibility in picking pick-up your child’s belongings, medication, and educational resources these last few days.

Second, as you most likely heard, Governor Walz ordered that all Minnesotans shelter-in-place beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020 through April 10, 2020. This means he expects most Minnesotans to stay in their homes, only leaving for food, medicine, outdoor exercise, and to fulfill other essential services. In addition, he has ordered distance learning to run through at least April 30, 2020. The Governor has also ordered that all school staff report to work May 1, 2020 and May 4, 2020 to prepare for the return of students on May 5, 2020. If and when different guidance is provided by the Governor, we will communicate it through district email.

Third, as I noted in my last parent communication, school staff have been working tirelessly to prepare high quality distance learnings plans. Their innovation, creativity, and diligence in creating distance learning plans for our students is commendable. I am incredibly proud of the large amount of work they have accomplished in a very short time period. We are prepared to instruct students via distance learning starting March 30.

The STMA Distance Learning Plan is a comprehensive guide that ensures parents students, and school staff have a clear understanding how the district will execute distance learning. The plan also serves to provide a universal system for maintaining the continuity of learning for students due to the closure of school as a result of the pandemic. Please review this document thoroughly. The plan is linked to this email but is also available on the COVID-19 webpage on the district website. Watch for staff to begin distance learning instruction by connecting with your child(ren) on March 30.

Fourth, we will continue to provide meals (breakfast and lunch) for ALL STMA children 18 years old and younger. Meals are available for pickup at Middle School East and Fieldstone Elementary from 11:30-1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for the foreseeable future. Students must be present to pick up their meals. If your child has a food allergy and you would like to participate in the meal program please call or email Director of Food Service Dolores Helgeson at 763-497-6537 prior to picking up to ensure the safety of your child. If there is a hardship and you are unable to pick up meals, call or email Director Helgeson.

Fifth, we recognize that closure of school may provide challenges for childcare of essential health and emergency personnel. As a result, we will continue to provide childcare, free of charge, for children of essential health and emergency personnel. To see if you are eligible, please review this document. If you qualify, click here to register your child(ren). For additional information please call or email Coordinator Lisa Becker at 763-497-6550.

We have created a COVID-19 webpage on the district site for staff and families. The webpage has lots of useful information, helpful resources, and a number of FAQs (generalmealschildcare). In order to better serve families, we also created an email address families can send feedback, questions, or concerns regarding the COVID-19 school closures. The email address is covid19@mystma.org.  Please check the COVID-19 webpage regularly for updates.

Other helpful resources include:

Lastly, as we start distance learning on March 30, I want to thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. While we are committed to a high level of excellence, this is new to all of us. We are here to help navigate the uncertainties associated with this new endeavor. Please use the following if you or your child(ren) have questions or need support.

  • Email your child’s teacher for student-specific and learning questions. The building principal, assistant principal, and dean are also helpful resources.
  • For technology questions and support, email the STMA Help Desk.
  • For COVID-19 concerns or questions, email the STMA COVID-19 specific email.

The past couple of weeks have been very challenging, stressful, and difficult. At the same time, I have been inspired and motivated by the strength, perseverance, and strong commitment to children exhibited in this community. I have lived in the community for 27 years and I couldn’t be prouder of the STMA community. I have deep gratitude for our students, families, and community members for their support, kindness, and grace. In the coming days and weeks, stay active, take good care of yourself and your families, and above all, be safe. 

WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER.

Respectfully,

Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault
STMA Superintendent