Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020
As we look back on an incredible year, there are a few highlights worth sharing:

  • The swiftness with which we moved into distance learning in April. In many ways, our community’s support -- including the 2014 technology referendum -- prepared us well for this unexpected moment. It was not always easy, in the moment, to rethink lessons, to figure out meal distribution, child care and more -- all in the midst of an emerging pandemic. And yet, our staff pulled together and were remarkable in their response to our students and community. All of that experience made it easier to adapt to changes in our learning model this school year.
  • We saw great progress on the expansion and renovation of Central Middle School, adding a new theater, classroom wing and gymnasium. Work on schedule to welcome 6th grade students to school in the fall.
  • The voice of our students continues to be a guide in our decision-making. A number of Eden Prairie students have been involved in Reimagine Minnesota, an effort to bring lasting equity to K-12 education in Minnesota. We have been elevating student voice in many of our processes over the past few years.
  • We continue to see strong academic results. Our graduation rates are at a recent high, and evidence shows achievement gaps in graduation are closing. Again, this is the result of collective work by our staff to see that each student stays on track to graduate.

I wish you and your family a safe winter break and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Dr. Josh Swanson
Learning Model Update
We are planning for all elementary students to be learning in person by Feb. 3. Early grade levels will come back on Jan. 6 in their previous schedules. Upper grades will start in distance learning on Jan. 4 and transition to in-person learning. Three grade levels can return at a time, with a two-week separation.

Students at CMS, EPHS and EP Online, including Mosaic and Eagle Heights online, will remain in distance learning. Elementary families that chose EP Online will stay enrolled there. Read the full details on our website.
Start Times Information Sessions in January
Based on six months of reviewing input from staff and families, hearing from experts and reviewing research, a Start & End Times Task Force recommended planning school times to ensure a later morning start for Eden Prairie High School students. The research indicated that school districts with later high school start times saw reduced tardiness, reduced absenteeism, improved grades and improved graduation rates.

Following the task force’s recommendation, Eden Prairie Schools administration developed bell times for the 2021-22 school year. In order to start high school later, and fulfill promises from the 2019 referendum for neighborhood preschool and a grade 6-8 middle school, each school’s bell time is adjusted. The proposed times were designed in alignment with research, they are consistent with most schools in the Lake Conference, and result in annual transportation savings of $130,000.

Learn more about the Start & End Times recommendation and related research at one of three online information sessions: (Links will be available on the website in January)
  • Jan. 7, 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 8, 1 p.m.
  • Jan. 12, 6 p.m.

More information - including current and recommended start times and an online Review and Comment form - is available on the Start Times website.
School Meal Distribution (Includes EP Online)
Meal request and pick up information for January can be found on the Child Nutrition webpage.

We also want to remind families to continue to apply for Meal Benefits. Did you know meal benefit applications assist in so much more than just meals? Additional benefits may include: internet access, college application fees, most sports, AP Exams and school funding. Read more about Meal Benefits and apply today
More Schools will be Sending Texts
Expect to receive more text messages from Eden Prairie Schools. Schools are adding text messages as part of their communication. They will be infrequent and will support messages that are urgent, such as upcoming conferences, picture day reminders or registration deadlines. They will be for school-wide matters and sent by school administrators.

Be aware that if you block or stop text messages from Eden Prairie Schools, you will not receive any further text messages, even in an emergency.

If you need to update your mobile phone information, follow the instructions on this page.
Dec. 24 - Jan. 1: No School, Winter Break