February 17, 2021 | Volume 1 • Issue 23
Important Information for Secondary Families and Staff Regarding Today's Announcement by Governor Walz
Governor Walz released new state guidance to school districts on February 17 under the State’s Safe Learning Plan, allowing more secondary students to return to the classroom. With the changes in the guidance, school districts are not required to implement a rolling start strategy and are able to bring students in grades 9-12 back in a hybrid model starting on Monday, February 22.

This is a change for SLP High School where students in Grade 9 and Grade 12 were scheduled to return next Monday. There is no change to the Middle School transition to hybrid learning for Grades 6-8.

At both schools, students in hybrid learning will return on the following dates: 
  • Students in Cohort A, (Last names A-K), will return to school Monday, February 22.  
  • Students in Cohort B (Last names L-Z) will return to school on Thursday, February, 25.

There are no changes to Cohort C for students who will remain in Distance Learning.

The hybrid learning model provides two days of classroom instruction and two days of home learning with Wednesdays being Student Support/Feedback Days.

Both schools have been sharing transition information with students, parents and families this week. Additionally, TOMORROW, the District will be emailing the Secondary Return to School for Hybrid Learning guide to all families with a student in Grades 6-12.
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. Please note that this week's data only reflects early learning and K-5 students.
A Message from Health Services Regarding COVID-19
In an effort to keep our community’s COVID-19 spread down, the District will continue to follow guidelines set in place by the Minnesota Department of Health. Although COVID-19 rates are decreasing, Hennepin County continues to have high levels of community transmission (defined by the Minnesota Department of Health as greater than 10 cases per 10,000).
Students and staff should not come to school if they are ill or if anyone in their household is ill. The District continues to follow a 10 day isolation period for individuals with illness symptoms and a 14 day quarantine for those exposed to COVID-19 or exposed to an ill household member.

We ask that students and staff report illness symptoms to their school health office. Health office staff will review exclusion guidance and determine isolation and/or quarantine dates. The illness exclusion document that is used in our schools can be viewed here.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students, staff, and community safe. 
District Seeking Feedback on Draft of Core Values, Vision & Mission for 2020-25 Strategic Plan for Racial Equity Transformation
St. Louis Park Public Schools is inviting students, parents, staff and the community to review and provide feedback on the DRAFT Core Values, Vision & Mission for the 2020-25 Strategic Plan for Racial Equity Transformation. Feedback will be compiled and shared with the School Board during a presentation at the February 22 School Board Meeting.

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.

Stakeholders have a variety of methods to provide feedback:

Join the Online Conversation
Join the conversation online by participating in the ThoughtExchange; open now through February 18. Here you will be able to review the DRAFT statements and share your thoughts as well as weigh-in on what others are thinking about the work. CLICK HERE to join the ThoughtExchange.

Attend a Virtual Meeting
All stakeholders are invited to attend a virtual meeting to learn about the DRAFT Core Values, Vision & Mission and provide feedback.

By Phone: 312-626-6799 / Meeting ID: 921 0874 7934

Click on the meeting date and time to join the meeting or join the meeting by phone.

Email or Call the School District
You can also email or call Sara Thompson, Director of Communications and Community Relations, directly at thompson.sara@slpschools.org or 952-928-6064 to provide your feedback.
Join the High School Principal Search Stakeholder Team
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 posting closes February 24.

Stakeholder Team Sign Up
If you are interested in joining a stakeholder team and participating in the interview process, please complete this form

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 teams. The final selection decision will consider information collected throughout the full selection process and will be made by the superintendent. 

Interview & Selection Timeline:
February 22-26: Stakeholder Team Selection
February 24: Principal Applications Due
March 10: First Round Interviews
March 17: Second Round Interviews
March 22-25: Final Round Interviews
April 12: Candidate Recommendation to the School Board
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. 

February 23 | Parents/Guardians - English | 5:00-6:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
February 23 | Parents/Guardians - Spanish | 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Zoom Link
March 1 | Students | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Zoom Link
March 1 | Staff | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Zoom Link
Free Groceries for Families Who Qualified for Free or Reduced-Price Meals During the 2020-21 School Year
Families in our district who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are now eligible for additional emergency nutritional benefits offered from the Federal government.

These benefits are provided by Federal “Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer” funds (P-EBT); a temporary food benefit to families with children who would have received free and reduced-price meals if schools were open. These additional benefits may be retroactive to September 2020, depending on when eligibility for free or reduced-meals is determined.

Families who qualify will receive separate electronic grocery cards for each student in the family. The cards would include funds (approximately $6.82/day) for each day your student was in distance learning during the school year. Cards will be mailed from the State of Minnesota in late March 2021.

If you have already qualified for free or reduced-price meals earlier this school year, you don’t need to do anything because your family will automatically receive these new Federal nutritional benefits.

However, if your family income has been affected by the pandemic and you have not completed an Application for Education Benefits (free or reduced-price meal application) for this school year, please complete and submit your application by Feb. 28, 2021.

Questions? Contact School Nutrition at 952-928-6146 or woelffer.jodie@slpschools.org.
Video: Showing Up For Our Students: Celebrating Our Black Students & Their Families
St. Louis Park Public Schools premiered a video on Monday, February 15 on the District's YouTube channel titled "SHOWING UP FOR OUR STUDENTS: Celebrating Our Black Students & Their Families." The video is part of the District's celebration of Black History Month and National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID).

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.
Documentary Featuring High School eSports Team Premieres Tonight
A documentary film featuring the St. Louis Park High School eSports team will premiere on YouTube tonight at 8 p.m.! The story involves much more than just eSports.

Click here to watch the trailer for the film.

Click here to watch the premiere tonight at 8 p.m.
Open Forum Returns to School Board Meetings on February 22
Open Forum, an opportunity for St. Louis Park Public Schools stakeholders to publicly address the School Board at its regularly scheduled business meetings, will be reinstated beginning with the School Board's Monday, February 22 meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Please note that Open Forum occurs at the beginning of business meetings, which are typically scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month. There is no Open Forum at Study Sessions, which are typically scheduled for the second Monday of each month.

Stakeholders wishing to participate in Open Forum should click here to read the District's Open Forum guidelines and to fill out a form to express their intent to speak at an upcoming business meeting. Stakeholders who fill out the form will be emailed a link to join the virtual meeting via Zoom.