Distance Learning Begins March 30, 2020

Distance Learning Begins March 30, 2020
Posted on 03/25/2020
Distance Learning Begins March 30, 2020

Dear Farmington Area Families: 

I hope this message finds you well and your family safe. I understand that with the rapidly changing situation around COVID-19 this is not the break any of us were hoping for or planning.

Thank you for your patience over the past week and a half as we waited on additional guidance.  This afternoon we received direction from the Governor’s office and the Minnesota Department of Education that all districts will begin Distance Learning on Monday, March 30 and continue through at least May 4.  

Governor Walz also issued a stay-at-home executive order beginning Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m. through Friday, April 10 at 11:59 p.m. Please know, this will not impact our ability to support our community through our Distance Learning Model.  

You can view our entire Distance Learning Plan on our website.  Our plan is designed around the following guiding principles: -- Connection over content -- Less is more -- Designed flexibility Monitor, evaluate, and respond

About Distance Learning 

We are fortunate that we have supported distance learning through Flexible Learning Days, both planned and emergency, over the past half dozen years. Thanks to this experience, we are uniquely positioned to address an extended closing and continue learning for our students. We understand that during this extended closure families may face different challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus. Our staff have worked hard to design learning opportunities with this in mind. In particular, teachers have narrowed their focus to only the essential learning within each grade level/class, built in flexibility into activities, and are focused on strengthening relationships with students and families.

We understand we are making an unprecedented change to the education system and believe the designed learning activities will be successful at home. If your child(ren)’s assigned schoolwork becomes overwhelming for your family, please contact your child(ren)’s teacher or building principal immediately. Please know our intent is not to burden any family, and staff would be happy to adjust as needed. If there is anything we can do to help please reach out to your school. During the stay-at-home period we are available by phone and email during regular school hours, and you can always leave a voicemail which will be returned as soon as possible.  

What to Expect

Every School Day -- Teachers will communicate with students/families on all regularly scheduled school days. -- Any new learning experiences for the day will be communicated to students/families by 9 a.m. -- Each student will have access to the instructional supports and services they need to find success with distance learning.

A Weekly Schedule

All classes will follow a 3 day rotation: two days of new learning opportunities and one day to check in and complete any unfinished work. Below is the general schedule for the first two weeks of distance learning - buildings will share additional details. We will continue with a similar rotation throughout the closure. -- Monday, March 30: A check-in day, teachers will connect with families but no new work will be assigned.  -- Tuesday, March 31: flex learning day, new activities may be assigned  -- Wednesday, April 1: flex learning day, new activities may be assigned  -- Thursday, April 2: check-in day, connect with teachers, catch up on work -- Friday, April 3: flex learning day, new activities may be assigned  -- Monday, April 6: flex learning day, new activities may be assigned  -- Tuesday, April 7: check-in day, connect with teachers, catch up on work -- Wednesday, April 8: flex learning day, new activities may be assigned  -- Thursday, April 9: flex learning day, new activities may be assigned  -- Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13: regularly scheduled days off

Please look for more specific communication from your student’s building on Thursday, March 26.

Meals for Students

-- Grab-and-go meals (breakfast and lunch) are available to all school-aged children (18 & under) on regularly scheduled school days and can be picked up between the hours of 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Akin Road Elementary (5231 195th St. W., Farmington, MN 55024) and Farmington Elementary (500 Maple St., Farmington, MN 55024), regardless of what school you attend.
-- Picking up meals is permitted and encouraged during the stay-at-home period. 
-- If families in need are unable to pick up meals, deliveries will be made upon request.
-- If you have questions, concerns or need accommodations please contact Chartwells, our Food Service provider, at (651)463-5025 or foodservice@farmington.k12.mn.us.

Temporary Childcare for Emergency Workers -- Under the Governor’s Executive Order 20-20, free child care for the children of emergency workers (including providers of healthcare, emergency medical services, long-term and post-acute care; law enforcement personnel; personnel providing correctional services; public health employees; firefighters and other first responders; and court personnel) was outlined. The orders directed schools to provide care to, at a minimum, district-enrolled students aged 12 and under. In order to ensure that we are providing for the needs of our students, we are clarifying the work that falls within each of the identified emergency workers categories. -- Temporary Emergency Childcare will only be available at the Meadowview location, only to emergency personnel staff, healthcare workers, and ISD 192 core staff (check with your supervisor). Meals will be provided for children when it is requested at registration.

Free Internet

Charter Communications, one of the broadband Internet service providers for our attendance area, is offering free Spectrum Internet and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households who do not currently have a Spectrum broadband subscription and have children in grades K-12 and/or college. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll, please call 1-844-488-8395 and see the following link for additional information:  https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more

If a family is unable to set this service up, they can contact the school for alternate options.

Nurses Hotline

Beginning March 30, 2020, Farmington Area Public Schools nursing staff will be available via phone hotline to answer health questions for our families and staff members. A nurse will be available from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the following number: 651-460-3106. 

If the line is busy please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. You should consult your own medical provider for specific advice related to your health. Please call 911 or your provider for emergencies.

More Information

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 please visit: -- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  -- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html 

You can also call the MDH COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-5414.

Please see our updated frequently asked questions document (FAQ) for district-specific information. 

The safety and support of the community remain our top priority. We continue to closely monitor the situation and follow the guidance from Minnesota Departments of Health and Education.  We will keep you informed through our regular communication channels (email, phone, website and social media) as information becomes available to us.

Thank you again for your understanding, patience, and ongoing support.  We are planning for and supporting something that has never been done before.  In times like the one we find ourselves in now, it is more important than ever to pull together to help and serve one another displaying true #TigerPride.  Although we may be physically distant, we look forward to connecting with you often in the coming weeks. #Weare192 and we will get through this together.  


Jason Berg

Executive Director of Educational Services/Interim Superintendent of Schools

Farmington Area Public Schools