March 20, 2020

Dear EPS Families and Staff,

As we head into Spring Break week, I want to touch base again to let you know that much has been accomplished this week in our preparation for potential Distance Learning, pending a decision by Governor Walz. We continue to fine tune plans and feel that we will be well-prepared if Distance Learning becomes the new normal.

Some amazing things happened this week. Here are just a few:

  • More than 3,000 books were checked out from district Media Centers by students
  • More than 1,000 Chromebooks were distributed to students
  • Teaching & Learning reports that a single Google Meet planning session included close to 100 teachers and specialists
  • 1,402 breakfast and lunch meals were distributed to students since Monday
  • 80 children of first responders, healthcare workers and district teachers attended childcare services at two district schools since Wednesday
  • Truly COUNTLESS hours by teachers and specialists, special education teachers and specialists, nurses, clerical staff, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, custodians, food service employees, principals, assistant principals, deans, and administration at every district site were spent planning and preparing a new kind of Edina education system that will continue to serve our students with excellence.

Like you, many district staff members will be taking a well-deserved break next week. No doubt everyone’s Spring Break plans have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. We hope you will nevertheless be able to relax. Please do not worry about the continuity of your students’ learning. If the Governor makes an announcement that impacts the return to school on March 30, you will receive communication from the district, and your schools, with the information you need to know about EPS Distance Learning.

One update for today: Given the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency, the decision has been made to hold a virtual School Board meeting and to not allow any members of the public to be present. This is a change from yesterday’s message about the virtual meeting. Please see updated information on the School Board Meetings web page and learn how the public may provide comments regarding items on Monday’s agenda.

Thank you all for your support and patience this week. Edina Public Schools is committed to finishing this year strong in whatever format that needs to happen. We are in a good place and I feel confident in saying, “We’ve got this!”

Take care and have a nice Spring Break!

John Schultz