February 24, 2021 | Volume 1 • Issue 24
A Message From Superintendent Osei
I would like to thank all of our secondary staff and students for the successful transition back to hybrid on Monday. I know that the success of the transition was not based on luck or chance, and that there were countless hours of planning and preparation that went into the transition. Our students have responded well to the additional mitigation strategies and are doing their part to ensure that we are able to maintain the hybrid model. Throughout this pandemic the only thing that has been constant is change.   

There is more change ahead of us as we are working to ensure every staff member who wants a vaccine, has access to it. We are partnering with Hennepin County to create an opportunity for all staff to be vaccinated. In addition to finalizing a strategy to give all staff access to the vaccine, we also are working to determine a timeline to increase in-person learning opportunities for students in grades 6-12. I am planning on making a recommendation to the School Board at the March 8 School Board meeting and will be sharing more information with students, staff and families next week. As we head into spring, I am hopeful that we will have most of the change behind us and will be able to finish the school year with a consistent educational delivery model with minimal disruptions.

This week we join school districts throughout the state to acknowledge our School Board members. The Minnesota School Boards Association has selected February 22-26 as Minnesota School Board Recognition Week to build awareness and understanding of the vital function elected School Board members play in our society. Strong schools help build strong communities and our School Board devotes countless hours to making sure our schools have what they need to help every student achieve our district mission. Being a School Board member during a pandemic is challenging and I am thankful to work for a School Board who is not afraid to make difficult decisions.

In addition, Governor Walz has proclaimed February 21- 27 as School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in the state of Minnesota. Like our School Board members, our Bus Drivers are very important partners in helping our students achieve our district mission. During this pandemic our Bus Drivers have gone above and beyond their typical duties to serve students and families. They have taken on new essential roles, doing things like delivering meals, supplies, materials and in some communities providing Wi-Fi connections to help in the facilitation of student learning. I appreciate all of our transportation providers and our transportation consultant, K-12 Transportation, for their service and dedication to our students and families.  

I know that this has been a challenging year for everyone and I am hopeful that as you take time to reflect that there will be things to celebrate amongst the change and challenges.

With much appreciation,

Astein
Updated COVID-19 Dashboard
The dashboard will be updated every Wednesday and can be found on the District's COVID-19 News & Updates page at www.slpschools.org/covid19.
Launch of the Minnesota Vaccine Connector
The State of Minnesota has announced the launch of the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, which is a tool that helps Minnesotans find out when, where and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

This system is a proactive way for all Minnesotans to indicate their interest in receiving a vaccine so that when they become eligible, they can be alerted and connected to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment.

Please refer to the February 18 email from the School District for more information about the Minnesota Vaccine Connector or visit mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/.
Message from MDH: Resources for Student COVID Testing
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is reminding families that there are a multitude of COVID testing options available to students. These include Minnesota’s Community Testing Sites, no-barrier Statewide Vault At-Home test kits, and local clinics or care providers—all of which are no-cost to the student. MDH encourages students to get tested now that they are back in school and have resumed extracurricular activities.
School Board Recognition Week
St. Louis Park students benefit every day from the leadership and vision of our school board members. February 22-26 is Minnesota School Board Recognition Week, so please take time to thank these dedicated school leaders. School board members devote hours of their time each week to provide leadership for our school district!
Minnesota School Bus Drivers Appreciation Week
February 21-27 is Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Week. This year has been one like never before and our bus drivers at Park-Adam, MTI and Northstar have stepped up with great ideas and a great attitude to make so many things happen for our students.

They have taken on new essential roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as delivering meals, distance learning supplies and Wi-Fi hot spots to families, and transporting students with the skill and flexibility needed to respond to changing schedules and student needs.

They implemented new and rigorous health and safety protocols to transport students to and from school safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also supported us in hosting our first-ever, socially-distanced parking lot graduation and parade of graduates.

Thank you for your continued service to the students, families and staff of St. Louis Park Public Schools!
Online Enrollment is Now Open for Incoming Kindergarten Families
The District's new online enrollment system is now open. This is especially pertinent for families with a student who is eligible to begin Kindergarten in the Fall of 2021.

Please visit www.slpschools.org/enrollment to begin the online enrollment process.

Our Enrollment Center staff is ready to answer any questions you might have to help guide you through the process.

Enrollment Center Contact Information
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Address: 6311 Wayzata Blvd. St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: 952-928-6023
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. 

March 1 | Students | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Zoom Link
 
March 1 | Staff | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Zoom Link

March 16 | Parents/Guardians - English | 5:00-6:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
 
March 16 | Parents/Guardians - Spanish | 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
Draft of Strategic Plan for Racial Equity Transformation Presented to School Board
Members of the Core Planning Team for the St. Louis Park Public Schools 2020-25 Strategic Plan for Racial Equity Transformation presented the DRAFT Core Values, Vision and Mission, as well as process, input, and feedback themes to the school board for their consideration at the February 22 School Board Meeting. CLICK HERE to watch the presentation, which begins at the 1 hour and 39 minute mark of the School Board meeting video.

The school board will now consider the 2020-25 Strategic Plan for Racial Equity Transformation and may take action at the March 8 meeting. Feedback themes and draft elements are listed below.

Feedback Themes:

  • Resounding support for racial equity transformation
  • Additional work needed:
  • Define terms
  • Focus on education, academics, & rigor
  • Students at the center and Children First
  • Action steps and timelines
  • Consider dimensions beyond Race (e.g. gender, culture, religion, etc)
  • Presence of social-emotional learning in this work

DRAFT Core Values: We believe in...

  • The brilliance of ourselves and others. Everyone has the capacity and responsibility to foster the growth and brilliance of others.

  • Authentic community engagement. Engaging and supporting our employees, families, and communities will enhance the healthy development of each learner.

  • High expectations. Instilling and upholding high expectations empowers students and staff to higher levels of achievement.

  • Collective responsibility. Embodying the collective and urgent responsibility of anti-racist practices enriches a work and learning environment and community.

  • Persistent effort. Through persistent effort we will create anti-racist schools and academically successful learners.

  • Racial consciousness and cultural competence. Racial consciousness and cultural competence are essential to each person’s ability to be a catalyst for change.

  • Advocacy for equity. Everyone has equal intrinsic worth and we will advocate for the historically marginalized.

DRAFT Vision Statement (Paints a picture of the desired future):

St. Louis Park Public Schools – Where students are seen and valued and become their best selves as racially conscious, globally minded contributors to society.

DRAFT Mission Statement (Declares what will be achieved):

St. Louis Park Public Schools sees, inspires, and empowers each learner to live their brilliance in an environment that centers student voice and experience to create racially equitable learning that energizes and enhances the spirit of our community.
Photos: Secondary Schools Return to Hybrid Learning