Friday, January 29, 2021

Good afternoon Nerstrand Families,

We are looking forward to welcoming back our 3rd-5th grade students next Tuesday, 2/2/21.  Monday is a no school day for students, as it is a Teacher Workday.  It will be wonderful to have grades Kindergarten through Grade Five here in-person! 

We have had a relatively smooth transition with bringing back grades kindergarten-2nd.  I was a classroom teacher for many years, and coming back from the winter break always felt a bit like starting the school year.    This year, with all of the changes we have had to make, it is even more so.  We know that some children are feeling excited to come back and others may be nervous.  Please reassure students that all of our staff are looking forward to having them back in the building.  We have some upcoming RiverBend trips scheduled and we look forward to bringing back some traditions (hello talent show!) this spring.  

The teachers and I will be meeting on Monday and one item is to discuss how we handle students out on quarantine/isolation.  We want to make sure that students are still learning and so we will be making more specific plans, but you will be working with your child's teacher on this if this situation arises.  

Barb asked me to include the following information in this email:

Pandemic-EBT Benefits for Families

Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals may be eligible for Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) to purchase food for days they are not in the school building. To be considered, households must submit an application for free or reduced-price meals for the 2020-21 school year or be approved for Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families who received P-EBT benefits last summer are not automatically eligible; eligibility is based on the current school year. Benefits may be retroactive to September 2020, depending on when eligibility for free or reduced-price meals is determined. To ensure you qualify for the most benefits, please submit your application as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. 

Here is important information about a Food Drive for the Faribault High School Children's Play we typically go to watch in January of each year. Please consider helping with this food drive!  Thank you. Here is what we recieved from Paul Johnson at the Faribault High School:

Every year over the past twenty plus years, the FHS Children’s Theatre production has collected non-perishable food items from the local elementary schools and high school students in lieu of charged admission to the production. We sorted the donations and delivered them to the Faribault Food Shelf. When Covid-19 forced them to close at the mall, we will still be supporting the community through the St. Vincent DePaul Society with food donations.

With the pandemic this year, we will not be able to have the elementary students come to the Michael J. Hanson Performing Arts Center for performances. We still will produce a show, record it, and distribute a performance of Goose-Napped a Virtual Play by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus for elementary students’ (and community’s) entertainment.

We also plan to continue giving back to our community. We will have a “Stuff the Bus” drive and so we are asking for your help.  We will gladly drop off boxes at your school on MONDAY, January 25.   We hope you will accept a challenge and encourage students and staff to participate in collecting non-perishable food items to fill the boxes. They will be picked up on Thursday, February 4th, so we only have 3 school days to bring in donations!  Let's fill all our boxes! Thank you so much!


Finally, please continue to follow the guidelines of mask wearing and social distancing.  My hope is that we will be able to stay in person for the remainder of the year.  However, that will only be possible if we work together to keep everyone safe. 

I hope you have a great weekend!