January 21, 2021 - Issue #65
In-person learning model in place: students are back...
in the kitchen,
in the shop,
and in the classrooms.
The sights and sounds of students in our hallways, classrooms, and courts are a welcome reprieve from the eerily quiet buildings we've inhabited for the past few months.
The move back to in-person learning doesn't come without challenges for staff, parents, and even students. But, we believe the ability to see our students each day is imperative to their learning, personal growth, and socialization.

We don't know what the future holds - even the very near future - but we can now say with confidence that whatever does come our way, we have incredible staff, community, parents and students who will come together every step along this uncharted journey.
COVID-19: Nurse Update
Students with a close contact exposure can return to school/activities after 7 days IF:
* the exposure was to someone that is not in the same household
* they test negative
* the test is taken after day 5 of the first contact day
* and are symptom-free

If all 4 circumstances are not met, the return to school will be after day 10 or as determined by the school nurse.

Minnesota has opened up at-home testing for everyone in MN. You can follow the links below to order test kits for all in your family. Each person must have a unique email address to order the kits. These tests are FREE. Please take advantage of these and have them on hand in case of an exposure. 

Additionally: As we start to bring students back into the building, it is very important that families continue to keep the district nurse updated with any Covid-related illness or quarantines occurring in the home--even if your child is distance learning. Please use this form to provide information to the nurse.
Happenings at Healy
Kids are back in the kitchen
Mrs. Strohmeier is delighted to have her students back in the kitchens. Families take note: yes, your student did learn to cook in the 7th grade and yes, they owe you a homemade dinner. Above: 7th graders are making egg omelets in a bag (good for camping). Left: the Foods II classes made fruit pizza.
Students are back in the labs
The unforgettable aroma of formaldehyde wafted through the science lab at Healy this week. Students in Mrs. Patrick's Biology class were not only able to learn in-person but also hands-on with an anatomy lab. The class dissected cats—one of the closest animals to human muscles, organs, and vascular systems.
Mental Health Check-in
Encourage successful time management
Often what stands between goal completion and the starting point are time management issues. Throw a pandemic in the mix and virtually schooling your child, and things have moved to top-level chaos. There's hope in the form of a reliable and reasonable schedule. Learn how to manage precious time and help children get from point A to B with ease. 

Schedule in Time for Health and Wellness 
  • Add snack time and lunchtime, not just for the children but for yourself as well. 
  • Schedule in breaks and use a timer to keep on track. Use the time for mental breaks and other mindful activities.
  • Schedule "me time." Free time allows each family member to invest in their passion, experience enjoyment, or relax.

Be Realistic 
  • Start and end your day with realistic goals for each class period.
  • Add all activities to a calendar.
  • Maintain boundaries and don't give up personal time for unwinding. 

Manage Time with Calendars and Planners
  • Use online calendars like Google Calendar to help the entire family connect. Use a whiteboard and add space for a monthly, weekly, and daily schedule. An old-fashioned calendar can track upcoming assignments, projects, and events. 

Use Alarms 
  • Calendars provide notifications alerting you of upcoming events. Make sure alarms are not on mute.
  • Use specific sounds for specific events.

As always, please contact any of our school counselors or social workers if you or someone you know is in need of physical, mental, emotional, or financial help or assistance:
Brittany Bueckers - High School Counselor x1213
Scott Herold - Middle/Elementary Counselor x1212
Marilyn Keith - High School Social Worker x1214
Michelle Ferguson - Elementary Social Worker x2216
Happenings at Pioneer Elementary
Learning about theoretical probability is fun — probably
With the return to in-person learning, 6th graders are working on probability this week--comparing theoretical and experimental probability, to be exact. And learning this hands-on and in-person is WAY more fun and meaningful than trying to learn it online. Question: what's the probability we will be able to stay in school until the end of the school year?
Moving forward means moving back -- into classrooms
As students come back to the building for in-person learning, we will be shifting teachers and students back into their original classrooms. It cannot be expressed enough: the amount of patience, flexibility, and professionalism displayed by all staff in both buildings is an inspiration. Just a couple examples of our topsy-turvy world this year: pictured (above) Mrs. Przybilla is teaching 4th graders in the experience room to allow for more spacing. At left, earlier this year Mrs. Rocheleau taught 2nd graders in the Pioneer gym to relieve a staff absence and allow for social distancing with two classrooms together.

Moving back into classroom spaces, staff training on new protocols, prepping for Semester 2, and much more will take place on the upcoming staff development and transition days.
Student Activities Updates
Winter Sports & Activities Updates
New Guidelines for Spectators at events is based directly on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education. Each participant is allowed two spectators. Note: because of the venues not meeting the guidelines, there will be no fans allowed at any away Junior High events. Also, no fans at home Junior High wrestling events. 

• Spectators must be separated from the competition by a minimum of 12 feet.
• Spectators must be separated by at least 6 feet between households/spectator groups.
• For indoor events where 12 feet can’t be maintained between participants and spectators, participants must be included in the total capacity count.
• If spectators and participants can be clearly separated by at least 12 feet, then participants do not need to be included in the total capacity count.
• Spectators are only allowed at official events.
(*Participants will be emailed the link (like we did in the fall) to get tickets online through our online system.)

Indoor Events:
• All spectators at all indoor events must wear a mask/face covering.
Note: All home Varsity games/matches/meets will be broadcasted on our school Youtube channel, -- a few of our non-varsity events will be streamed as well.
Transportation To/From Activities
The district will continue to provide student transportation to and from events as always.
Because of possible Covid situations and the contact tracing, adult family members may drive students to and from contests. Parents must complete the online transportation waiver form on our Student Activities page.
Looking Ahead...
January 22 - No School, grades PS - 12
January 25 - No School, grades PS - 12
January 26 - Preschool returns; PS-4 in person; grades 5-12 no school 
February 1 - Grades 7-9 return for full-time, in-person learning
February 5 - Full day of school (previously was a late start on district calendar)
Current Community Ed Classes
Additional Defensive Driver (55 Alive) 4-hour refresher safety classes will be scheduled soon by local community member, a retired teacher and driving instructor, Rick Sczublewski. Call 320-468-6458 ext 7 to add your name to the list for the next class tentatively scheduled for early March. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Masks and social distancing are required.
Pierz Public Schools #484
District Office: 320.468.6458
112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364