4-3-20 Message to Families

Dear Parents,

Happy Friday! I hope you and your child(ren) are doing well. We miss you and your child(ren) and look forward to connecting soon.

While the Governor has hinted at possible changes to the school year we are still operating with his Executive Order 20-19 in mind. That means we will continue with distance learning until April 30, 2020 and return to school on May 5, 2020. If and when different guidance is provided by the Governor, we will communicate it through district email.

As we finish up with the first full week of distance learning, I want to thank you and your child(ren) for your flexibility, patience, and grace.  While we had a couple of minor hiccups we are very pleased with how smoothly staff and students settled into this new way of teaching and learning. If you or your child(ren) have questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher, dean, or principal. We are here to serve you and your family and are happy to help in any way we can. Please reach out as soon as issue arises so we can provide assistance before the issue gets larger. In addition, we always strive for continuous improvement and are working on a survey to gather feedback regarding distance learning. Watch for this survey next week.

We continue to provide meals (breakfast and lunch) for ALL STMA children 18 years old and younger. Meals are available for pickup at STMA Middle School East and Fieldstone Elementary from 11:30-1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Starting on April 13, we will slightly modify the pick-up locations and offer meals at STMA Middle School East and STMA High School. 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. Just this week we distributed approximately 8,251 meals! 

We also continue to offer childcare free of charge for the children of essential health and emergency personnel. We currently offer this at the Community Education building. However, we plan to open a second location at Big Woods Elementary on April 13. To check eligibility requirements, 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 are still following the 2019-2020 school district calendar. Note there is no school on Friday, April 10. This means there will not be distance learning, childcare, or meals on Friday, April 10.

Please continue to check the district’s COVID-19 webpage for information and updates. 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

Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for everyone and fear and anxiety can be overwhelming at times. We are constantly inundated with news reports, social media posts, and more that are impossible to avoid. This constant barrage of information, and misinformation, causes stress, anxiety, worry, and confusion. During these times of uncertainty, it is critical to have coping mechanisms in place for our children and ourselves to manage these “big” feelings. 

To cope and manage these feelings, our partners at Wright County Public Health suggest the following:

  • Take control of the situation: Take time to understand how the disease spreads and practice safety measures. Wash your hands, cover your cough and sneeze, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces each day, and stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Don’t accept everything you read or hear: Get your information from trusted sources. Follow Wright County Public HealthMinnesota Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Develop an emotional support system: Stay connected to your loved ones through phone calls and FaceTime, find new ways to show people you care while practicing distancing, and spread positive messages through social media, cards, and phone calls.
  • Maintain a familiar routine: Take care of your basic needs, find times to rest, eat healthy food, stay hydrated, and engage in physical activity. If possible, spend time outside.
  • If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 320-253-5555. This service, offered by Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, includes a 24-hour crisis response phone line, crisis screening, mobile outreach, and safety planning.
  • People in need of food, household items, or other resources should visit http://www.co.wright.mn.us/948/Resources or text or call 763-682-7607.

This is an unprecedented time in our lives. We remain deeply committed to our tradition of excellence and are here to help navigate the uncertainties associated with this new normal. We will get through this together. Take care.

 

Respectfully,

Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault
STMA Superintendent