January 20, 2021 | Volume 1 • Issue 19
A Message from Superintendent Osei
Today is a day of transition as a nation, as the inauguration of our 46th president, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. occurred today. In many respects, this week has been a week of transition for our E-2 students, families and educators as everyone has been working hard to welcome students back in-person and in a Distance Learning Academy. As families you have had to adjust schedules to accommodate the transition and family connect times. As a parent of a 2nd grader, I know how challenging this process has been. I recognize that this transition, similar to the transition at the White House, is filled with a range of emotions, beliefs, and thoughts. 

Last night at the parent/guardian listening sessions, I received feedback and thoughts about the steps we are taking and what is needed to keep students and staff safe as we make this transition. I want to acknowledge the impact that this transition has had on you as a member of the St. Louis Park Public School District. We care deeply about each of the students and the families we serve. We are striving to implement our Safe Learning Plan in a manner that centers students and respects the health and safety of students and staff in accordance with the guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education.

I would like to acknowledge the work of our Early Learning and Elementary staff who have worked tirelessly to welcome students back in-person and in a Distance Learning Academy this week. The continued care and support they have offered our earliest learners is commendable and I appreciate their work on behalf of our students and families. 

On Monday, January 25, I will be making a recommendation to the School Board regarding a target transition date for students in grades 6-12. I will be recommending that students in grades 6-12 return in a hybrid model on Monday, February 22. Pending approval of this recommendation, we will be sharing more information in the coming weeks for secondary families regarding this transition. 

Thank you for your continued support of St. Louis Park Public Schools. I am hopeful that as we transition E-2 students to in-person learning and Distance Learning Academy this week that it will serve as the beginning of our journey to greater access to in-person and hybrid learning for students in our district and across the state of Minnesota. 

In community,

Middle School Incoming 6th Grade Information Night is January 21
St. Louis Park Middle School will host a Virtual Incoming 6th Grade Information Night at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 21. Interested families can register for this event by going online to www.slpenrollment.com.

During this virtual event, students and families will be welcomed by school leaders, receive details about online registration, and participate in breakout rooms to learn more about St. Louis Park Middle School. Breakout rooms will feature:

  • Academic Department Chairs
  • A general Q&A for English speaking families
  • A general Q&A for Spanish speaking families
  • A general Q&A for Somali speaking families

Note: the District's Spanish and Somali liaisons will be available to assist multilingual families.
By registering for the event you will receive two reminder emails the day of the event with a link to join the live virtual Zoom event.  
Preparing for E-5 In-Person Learning and Distance Learning Academy Guide Now Available
The Preparing for E-5 In-Person Learning and Distance Learning Academy Guide is now available. This is another resource as we prepare for the transition that begins January 21 for Grades K-2 and February 1 for Grades 3-5.

Stakeholders will want to pay close attention to pages 5-7 where new information is included about the elementary transition. Also, read page 10 for updated information regarding the District's free meals program. Click here to download the Guide. 
Secondary Target Transition Date Information
The purpose of this communication is to share information about the target transition date to a hybrid learning model for secondary students and staff at SLP Middle School and High School. Based on Superintendent Osei's meetings with our MDE and MDH Regional Support Team, members of our district’s COVID-19 Planning Team, and district stakeholders, he will be recommending a February 22, 2021 target transition date for secondary students.  

Please note: this is only a recommendation at this time and will need to be approved by the School Board at the January 25 School Board meeting.

This target transition date is subject to change pending School Board approval and our ability to meet our Educational Delivery Model Considerations. Specifically, the health and safety consideration will be key in the implementation of this target transition date as we are expected to follow the protocol and parameters listed in steps one through five of the Safe Learning Plan to determine our timeline for moving to a less restrictive model. This means that the cases per county data would need to be lower than 30 cases per 10,000 for us to move secondary students to a hybrid learning model.

Over the next couple of weeks staff will be working to:

  • finalize saliva testing procedures for secondary staff;
  • facilitate a leave of absence process for secondary staff;
  • fill open positions created by the leave of absence process and other positions based on needs;
  • finalize a plan for rolling start (determine grade levels that will return to school first);
  • facilitate a change process for students and families to transition between hybrid and distance learning; and
  • finalize the dates for transition/planning time (2 days).

The District will be sharing more information about this target transition date and its planning/preparation at the January 25 School Board meeting.
Key Dates for Incoming Kindergarten Families
January 23 | By this date, incoming Kindergarten families should receive a mailing that includes the District's Kindergarten Guide brochure and the Park Spanish Immersion Elementary School application.

February 10 | The last of three Virtual Kindergarten Information Nights will be held at 6:30 p.m. Families will be able to register for this event online at www.slpenrollment.com beginning Monday, January 25.

February 16 | The deadline for St. Louis Park residents to apply for Park Spanish Immersion Elementary School is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16. Questions regarding the PSI application process can be directed to the District's Enrollment Center at 952-928-6023 or enrollment@slpschools.org.
Upcoming Listening Sessions with Superintendent Osei
As a part of the process to hear stakeholder perspectives, Superintendent Osei will be hosting Listening Sessions over the course of this school year for students, parents/guardians, and staff to better understand the impact of the implementation of the District's educational delivery models. 

February 1 | Students | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Zoom Link

February 1 | Staff | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Zoom Link

February 16 | Parents/Guardians - English | 5:00-6:00 p.m. | Zoom Link

February 16 | Parents/Guardians - Spanish | 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
District Begins High School Principal Search
St. Louis Park Public Schools is seeking a principal to lead the high school beginning July 1, 2021. The position is posted and potential candidates are invited to visit the school district website at www.slpschools.org/HR to apply. The position closes February 24.

The District is committed to a rigorous, objective and racially equitable selection process. The selection process and timeline includes:

  • Applications received by February 24 will be reviewed for the first round of interviews.
  • A team of stakeholders will be selected the week of February 22-26 to interview the candidates. The stakeholder team will include high school students, staff, parents/guardians, districtwide administrators and community members. NOTE: Information will be coming soon regarding the selection of the stakeholder team.
  • First round interviews (Stakeholder Team Interviews) will begin the week of March 8-12. 
  • Second round interviews (Stakeholder Presentations) will begin the week of March 15-19.
  • Final interviews with the superintendent will begin the week of March 22-25.
  • The stakeholder team will provide feedback to the superintendent based on principal candidate qualifications. The superintendent will take into consideration the feedback from the stakeholder team. Final selection decisions will consider information collected throughout the full selection process and will be made by the superintendent. 
  • The superintendent plans to bring the principal hiring recommendation to the school board by the April 12 School Board Meeting.