- Cambridge-Isanti Schools
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Cambridge-Isanti Schools is committed to ongoing communication with families.
All parent communication is sent via email and posted on the website.
- Return to Learn Home Page
- Health & Safety
- What are Learning Models?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ask a Question
- Parent Communications
- Athletics & Activities
- Early Childhood
- Food Service Meals
- Tech Help Desk
- State & Federal Guidance
- About COVID-19
Food Service Update (9/10/20)We have an important update on school meals, which will take effect next week on Monday 9/14. The USDA announced on Aug. 31st that they would be extending a waiver for schools to operate under the Summer School regulations, which allow for things like parent pickup and most importantly not needing to charge anyone for breakfast or lunch. On Friday 9/4 MDE gave us the green light to apply for these waivers, and we were able to complete that process this week.We will not need to charge any C-I enrolled students for breakfast or lunch during the school day, beginning Monday 9/14. Additionally, we will be offering meal pickup sites every day at four locations, also at no charge for enrolled students. Please note some of the door locations have changed to accommodate issues like students going to recess. These locations are Isanti Primary School Door 20, Isanti Intermediate School Door 2, Cambridge Middle School just North of the loading dock, and Cambridge Isanti High School Door 31. These sites will operate Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 10:30am.Our menu will feature popular items from last year, as well as frozen portions of entrees that can be reheated at home. All items are 100% fully cooked, and can safely be reheated according to our directions listed here. Until we get a better idea of how many families will take advantage of these sites, we must impose a limit of 1 breakfast and lunch per student per day.VERY IMPORTANT! This program is only authorized until 12/31, and that is based on an estimate of how long federal funds will last. It is very likely that this program may end before that date, and that we will have very little notice. Please do not delay or postpone filling out an application for meal benefits due to this change! In addition to making sure your students are able to enjoy breakfast and lunch each day, the number of students eligible for meal benefits is a crucial part of our state and federal funding, which gives us the resources to best take care of our students.Thank you for your patience during these rapidly changing times, please reach out to us in Food Service if you have any questions.
Return to Learn Presentation Slides
9.17.2020 Family Communication
I hope that this message finds you well! This communication is intended to share information on a number of topics as we move towards the weekend and into next week. Thank you to those of you who participated in our virtual town hall event last night that was focused on our upcoming referendum. It was a great event and we appreciated the questions and engagement. Please continue to visit our website at https://www.c-ischools.org/domain/153 for up-to-date information.
Learning Models for Next Week
As you may know, our district continues to work closely with Isanti County Public Health, the Minnesota Departments of Health and Education on a weekly (and often daily) basis to review the status of COVID cases in our community, evaluate plans, and make/confirm decisions about our learning models. The plan to return to in-person learning is dependent on the levels of confirmed cases both in the county and in the schools. This week, we have coordinated closely with all of our guiding agencies, and are glad to report that our plans to return to all in-person models for most of our buildings are still in place.
We have communicated all along that throughout the year, our educational models will need to be fluid based on the amount of viral transmission within our county, our communities, and schools.
Most recently, we have experienced a slight increase in positive cases at Isanti Middle School which has resulted in local public health advising that IMS stay in a hybrid model for the next two weeks, through October 2.
All other K-8 schools will return to an in-person model on Monday. As originally planned, Cambridge-Isanti High School will remain a hybrid learning model as well. You can expect to receive further communication from your building principal following this message.
C-I District Return to Learn Webpage
Please continue to visit our district website for information and up-to-date answers to your questions regarding our Return to Learn protocols and plans. https://www.c-ischools.org/return-to-learn
Friday, September 18
Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is our first hybrid distance learning day for all students. Please remember that this is an instructional day for students and staff. For those students who are in our C-I Schools Online, your day will be as scheduled.
Friday, September 25
Another reminder that next Friday, September 25, is a district-wide professional development day. This is not an instructional day for students including our C-I Online students.
We have had a great second week of school and students have been amazing! Thank you for your continued partnership and support and GO BIG BLUE!!
9.9.2020 Family Communication
View full newsletter HERE.
Thank you for an energizing first days back to school! It’s been 186 days since we had students in our buildings. It was wonderful to have them back!! Please take a moment to view this week’s video update here.
It was a team effort to make our Return to Learning Plan work. The efforts of our entire community—students, parents, extended family members, civic organizations and local businesses helped to make it happen. From our partners at the cities, counties, and townships to our very own Bluejacket staff, there have been literally thousands of people involved in getting this school year started!
This is by far the most complex scheduling we have ever had, and while there are (and will be) challenges to overcome, we have proven that together, we can accomplish a lot!
One of the challenges that we faced was changing our entire transportation model away from a hub and transfer system. The problem we faced was 2000 students congregating at the transfer hub, which was out of compliance with Department of Health guidelines. There were no great alternatives. We surveyed families to find that approximately 60% were planning to drive rather than utilize busing. Unfortunately, for those families that still need to use transportation, the final system has increased the length of bus routes for many. This was the trade-off to keep family schedules together regardless of hybrid or in-person learning models while limiting the amount of daily disruptions. We regret that there was not a better solution, but it was cost-prohibitive to purchase additional buses to shorten routes. For more information on our district transportation system, visit our Return to Learn Website.
We are taking it slowly and being very intentional as we transition back to school. All of the safety routines we are putting in place have one goal: To Keep Kids In School. By being planful, building routines, and practicing protocols, we will be more efficient and effective in the long run. We will get better and better each day.
Now that school has started, we will plan less frequent updates. Moving forward, my video messages (every few weeks) will showcase the amazing students, staff, and community that we have in Cambridge-Isanti.
Next Wednesday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m., we will be hosting an online information session about our District’s proposed operating referendum that is on the ballot for this November. If you have questions you would like us to address during the meeting, please email the questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send out a link to the meeting next week.
This is going to be a great year for our students. Together, we can accomplish amazing feats and continuously improve. In doing so, we will remain grounded in personal responsibility, self discipline, honesty, respect and compassion - The Bluejacket way.
Thank you so much for your support. Go Big Blue!
9.2.2020 Family Communication
This week, the heartbeat our schools returned as our staff and teachers came back from summer break this week. Though many have been working throughout the summer on our Return to Learn and curriculum enhancements, there is a unique energy that fills a school as our custodial staff cleans and preps the buildings, teachers begin readying their classrooms and food service staff start prepping their kitchens for students to return. We are excited to welcome our students next week; it’s been too long since we have seen them face-to-face! This week’s video update includes some interviews with students: view it here.
I’ve said it before, but there is really something special about our Cambridge-Isanti team and this community. As districts in the metro area have struggled and some abandoned their plans to return to in-person learning, our team has a strong commitment to a safe Return to Learn plan. This week, we are having additional training on health and safety protocols, including our enhanced cleaning procedures and building physical distancing routines.
As we start the school year, we will be focusing on getting to know our students with off-line activities. Chromebooks will be distributed to students in grades 6-12 during the first week of school - as part of a regular school day.
We expect our elementary students to be attending school in-person after the nine-day transition, so elementary students will be issued Chromebooks later in the fall for in-school use and only take Chromebooks home if we have to shift from in-person to a hybrid model or distance learning model.
For families who opted for the C-I Schools Online program, Chromebook pick-up is this week.
Transportation Safety Protocols
Next Tuesday, we will look for parent and family support with new bus procedures. Please review these procedures with your child.
At the bus stop
- All students should wash their hands prior to arriving at the school bus stop.
- Maintain a six-foot distance around all students while waiting at the bus stop.
- Avoid physical contact with other students.
- Be prepared to board and deboard the bus in an orderly fashion.
- Wear an approved face covering as you board the bus.
Hygiene and safety on the school bus:
- Listen and follow the bus driver’s directions.
- Keep your belongings in your backpack.
- Wear an approved face mask while riding the school bus Per Executive Order 20-81.
- Each bus will have hand sanitizer available.
Safety precautions that Cambridge Isanti Schools will be taking this year:
- All buses will be fully sanitized with EPA cleaning products at the end of each AM and PM route. High contact areas such as handrails and tops of seats will be sanitized by drivers between runs.
- Roof ventilation hatches and bus windows will be partially opened to provide fresh air circulation.
- Buses will run at 50% capacity during our hybrid model and students will be spread out as much as possible. Students will be placed in an assigned seat for all grade levels.
Safety precautions when arriving and departing schools:
- All students should immediately deboard the bus in an orderly fashion and immediately head into the building to their assigned classrooms.
We believe it is important to get our students back in school, and it is equally important to keep our students in school. To do so, we are asking that all Bluejackets work together to keep each other safe by practicing physical distancing, wearing your mask, learning about health and safety routines, and practicing the routines. We can’t wait to welcome our Bluejackets back!
Have a great labor day weekend! And GO BIG BLUE
8.26.2020 Family Communication
As we prepare for school to begin, we have many updates to share. You can view this week’s video update.
Class Lists and Student Schedules
Normally, class lists and schedules are built in June and refined over the summer. However, when the state required schools to offer both a 100% online option for families and plan for three learning scenarios all our June work went out the window. So following the close of registration for C-I Schools Online last week, our principals started over! It’s a complex task -- but we are almost through it. In the coming days, principals will email you when student schedules and class lists are ready to be viewed in Skyward Family Access.
School Supply Lists
Interactive supply lists are on our website and are available 24/7 from any device—even on your smartphone while you’re out at the store. This year supply lists include a reusable water bottle because drinking fountains will be turned off as a safety precaution this year. Our bottle filling stations will be open for students so their brains and bodies can stay hydrated.
Food Service & Transportation
Tomorrow you will be emailed a food service survey. Please indicate your intent to purchase meals or use the grab and go option. As a reminder, families can add lunch money to their account and apply for free or reduced meals through our website. Please also check your email later in the week for information about bus schedules, pick-up and drop-off directions, and grab and go meal opportunities.
Update on our School District Funding Situation - November Referendum
This summer we surveyed our community about priorities for the future. Our community was very clear: we need to invest in our kids and our schools. Residents said they support smaller class sizes, more career-tech and apprenticeships, and a long-term, sustainable funding strategy.
As you know, we have had two years of budget reductions totaling $7.5 million, and we have eliminated 90 jobs in the district. We already have larger class sizes than we would like, well above what parents expect.
In the coming year, we will need to cut another $1.7 million if we don’t receive additional revenue.
So, last Thursday, the Board unanimously approved putting a referendum on the November ballot for additional school funding. We are taking a financially conservative approach and asking for an initial investment of $25 per month on the average home in the district for 2021-2023, and a second investment of $15 per household beginning in 2024 when we have some long-term debt falling off. If this referendum is approved, the state will contribute $103 per pupil. Please visit our website at c-ischools.org/referendum for more information. If you have any questions, email email@example.com
This Fall Will Not Be Normal
I know families and kids are wondering when things can get back to normal. Things seem upside down in our world. And as we return to school - it will be good to see friends and teachers. But we also want you to know that this school year will not be normal. Even walking in and seeing a classroom, it will look different. There is so much that is changing.
But we are learners — it's what we do — and we are problem-solvers. Let’s teach our kids to break big problems into smaller steps, to focus on one or two important things, and to allow ourselves the time to learn. Let’s focus on being kind to one another. With so many changes - it will really be like a first day of school, a first year of teaching, a first time doing so many things differently—for kids and staff alike. So we are going to take it slow and learn as we go. Because we are all in this together.
8.19.2020 Family Communication
Please watch our weekly video update about the start of the school year. It summarizes the most recent information added to our Return to Learn Plan this week. As you may know, our plans are updated daily on our District Website and we encourage you to visit it often for up-to-date information.
We are excited to announce that some of our Bluejacket athletes are back in action this week! In accordance with the Minnesota State High School League, Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Swimming and Diving, Boys Soccer, and Girls Soccer have all begun their seasons with extra safety protocols in place. Thank you to our coaches, activities office, and Isanti public health for providing the plans and supports to allow our students to do so!
This week also marked the start of our All In-Person Learning Model for our School For All Seasons students and staff. After two weeks in our transitional hybrid model, the year-round program has successfully transitioned back to school, in-person, five days a week. Again, we are so thankful to our teachers, staff members, families, students, and administrators for their collaborative efforts and partnerships!
As a school district, we continue to coordinate logistics to launch a safe and successful Return to Learn. Since last week, we have updated information on our website related to Early Childhood, childcare, free and reduced meal program, C-I Schools Online, transportation, new school start and end times, etc.
For your convenience, you can navigate directly to these pages by clicking on the links provided here:
- Online Registration deadline - August 21
- Online Orientation - week of August 24
- Online Chromebook Distribution - week of August 31
- New School Start and End Times
We have also continued to get great questions from our “Ask a Question” form and are continuously updating our FAQ page with answers for families. Please revisit this page often to find answers to many of the most common questions that families have shared with us.
At this time, our local COVID data allows us to continue with the plans that we communicated last week for a safe and successful Return to Learn. We are planning for all students to begin in a transitional hybrid model for the first nine days of school to allow for a measured and safe return.
*Please note that our Kindergarten students will follow a transition different schedule for the first week, and that our School For All Seasons students will remain in an All In-Person model during these two weeks (with the exception of September 18)
Beginning on September 21, we are still planning for all students in K-8 to return to our All In-Person Learning Model, while our high school students will remain in a hybrid model until MEA break.
I am continuously astounded by the collaboration, support, and effort that is taking place throughout our school district to prepare for fall. As a community, it is important to get students back to school in a safe and responsible manner and to work together to mitigate the spread of the virus throughout our community to hopefully help keep our students in school. Thank you for your continued partnerships and support!
8.12.20 Family Communication
Please watch our video message about the start of the school year.
We are pleased to share our weekly update on our Return to Learn plans. Every decision we are making is intended to keep SAFETY of staff & students as our very TOP PRIORITY. We are working hard to be thoughtful and planful as we transition safely back to the school year. Today, we are sharing the next phase of our Return to Learning plan. We are launching an extensive website that includes a FAQ page as well as more detailed information for families. You can visit us at https://www.c-ischools.org/returntolearn.
As mentioned in the video, we have been working in partnership with parents, staff, community and public health partners over the past several months. In doing so, it has been determined that we will be utilizing a transitional HYBRID plan for the first nine days of school for all students, beginning on September 8. Our high school students will continue with a hybrid model until MEA break. The following information provides more detail to our plans, and we encourage you to visit our website (and continue to revisit) for the most comprehensive and updated information.
- As a transitional plan, all schools will start the first two weeks in a transitional HYBRID MODEL. This will give us nine days to practice new procedures with half our students attending school every other day. Students will generally be divided by alphabet. Last names beginning with A-K are in Group A and students with last names that begin with L-Z are in Group B. Siblings with different last names will be in Group A. There may be some exceptions; emails to specific families will go out later in the week.
- Students and staff will establish new routines and practice our new safety procedures.
- Our food service staff, custodians, instructional assistants will also be implementing new physical distancing and contactless procedures that will take time to test and refine.
- Our bus drivers will all have NEW routes - and we have removed the HUB and transfer model. We will test the newly created schedules. Our school start times have minor adjustments.
- Families, students and staff will learn how our hybrid model works in case we have to return to it during the year.
- Smaller class sizes through the transition will allow student/teacher and class relationship-building to be a priority.
- Note: Kindergarten orientation will follow a slightly different plan, watch for communication from your principal next week.
- Beginning September 21, we expect our K-8 students to return to ALL IN PERSON, EVERY DAY MODEL (See website for details of this model)—as long as county transmission rates remain low.
- C-I High School will remain in the HYBRID MODEL for at least five weeks (through October 15)
- We will work closely with Isanti Public Health to watch student and staff walking traffic patterns, distancing procedures and other risk mitigation strategies. Our primary challenges at the high school include:
- Large class sizes due to budget cuts last year; creating issues with physical distancing.
- Passing periods are problematic, and we haven’t been able to change the schedule because teachers teach across grade levels and some single classes require specific licensures.
5. We have rerouted all of our bus routes and successfully eliminated our Hub transfer system.
- We surveyed families and about 50% have indicated they will transport their own children, so we expect to achieve physical distancing on our buses.
- This will result in a need to enhance or change student drop off and pick up processes by building.
- We had to adjust start times and end times slightly. As you know, transportation drives the start and end times at our schools. We are glad to report that although this is not quite finalized, we don’t anticipate too significant of changes. We will post all school start and end times on our Return to Learn website by Monday, August 17.
School reopening remains complex. I recently participated in a superintendent’s conference with a public health researcher from MDH. The studies presented were clear: when schools are stringent with physical distancing, handwashing, face coverings, health hygiene and education, cleanliness protocols, excluding those who are ill, and contact tracing—and there are low rates of local community spread—we can safely reopen schools. We are doing everything we can to adhere to public health safety protocols, which we hope will allow students to be in school and stay in school for the long haul.
We know that these times are presenting lots of unique challenges. We also know that we have the right community, the right teams, and the right people to make it a great school year. In doing so, we will continue to be guided by The Bluejacket Way and practice Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Self-Discipline, and Compassion in all we do. We are in it together and over the next few weeks, we will continue to share information and details as they become available. Thank you for your partnership and support and GO BIG BLUE!
8.5.20 Parent Communication
We are pleased to share the recording of yesterday’s Virtual Parent Meeting - Bluejacket Return To Learn Meeting.
C-I Schools Online Program
If you are interested in learning more about the C-I Schools Online Program, please join the Informational Session scheduled for tomorrow (August 6) at 6:30 p.m. The C-I Schools Online Program is available for K-12 students. Due to the technology limitations, this session will be recorded and released tomorrow evening at 6:30. You can access the presentation by clicking HERE for the online program website.
If you have a question you would like to submit, please complete this form. Answers will be posted on our district website beginning Thursday and will be continually updated.
Nate Rudolph, Superintendent
8.4.20 Parent Communication
In advance of communicating our Return to Learn plan on Wednesday, I'd like to invite you to an optional parent meeting to share the major components of the plan and gather your questions. Your feedback in advance of the public release of the plan will be helpful.
Please join me for a virtual meeting via Google LiveStream:
Tuesday, August 4, 6:30 p.m.
If you are unable to join, a follow-up email will be sent on Wednesday.
Have a great afternoon!
Nate Rudolph, Superintendent
7.30.20 Parent Communication
Today Minnesota Department of Education and Governor Walz provided guidance for schools to return to in-person learning. The framework provided allows us to complete and communicate our back-to-school plans in detail next week.
As you may have seen on the news, Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan prioritizes student and staff safety and sets a long-term goal for prioritizing in-person learning.
We have been working in partnership with the Isanti County Health Department in our planning. Based on the guidelines provided by Minnesota Departments of Health and Education, Isanti Public Health has advised us that C-I Schools should return to in-person instruction this fall, barring any local spike in Covid cases. Isanti County currently has a low rate of positive COVID cases, and we will be implementing strict health and safety protocols. We hope these strict protocols will allow us to stay in school this year.
We will still provide a distance learning or C-I Schools Online option for students who have underlying health conditions, extenuating circumstances, or are not comfortable with an in-person model of education at this time. More information will be forthcoming on Monday.
Our district has established three primary goals in building our Return to Learning plans. These goals include:
- Protecting the physical and mental health of our staff and our students.
- Providing students with a high-quality education, face-to-face, and grounded in positive developmental relationships.
- Keeping schools open for as long as possible by preventing community spread.
We are sure you will have additional questions. As promised, we will release more information in our Return to Learning plan by August 5.
We are looking forward to seeing our students again and starting a new school year together!
Nate Rudolph, Superintendent
7.29.20 Parent Communication
On Thursday, July 30, the Governor, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will share guidelines for how districts should begin the school year. We know how important this information is to you, and how eager you are to learn how this news will impact your family. You can expect us to communicate our back-to-school plan for the 2020-21 school year around August 5. Our goal is to respond promptly and also deliver you with the most complete information possible.
As a reminder, we have been planning for the three scenarios as directed by the State of MN. Regardless of the plan that the state directs, we will have an online option for any family who chooses.
We commit to delivering a safe and exceptional educational experience to our students and look forward to partnering with parents and community members along the way. As always, thank you for your support of our children and school district.
Nate Rudolph, Superintendent
7.24.20 Parent Communication
As you have likely heard, Governor Walz has announced a new executive order requiring Minnesotans to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses. The face covering requirement will be implemented for our facilities starting this Saturday, July 25. Please plan to enter our buildings only if you are wearing a face covering. We appreciate your cooperation; please understand our school staff were not involved in this decision, but we will follow the requirement of the executive order.
FederalSummer Food Benefit - Deadline July 31
There is a temporary federal initiative providing eligible families with a food benefit to pay for groceries. If your child was receiving free or reduced price lunch during the 2019-2020 school year and you have not already applied for summer benefits, please go to www.mn.p-ebt.org before the July 31, 2020 deadline.
If you have questions regarding your case, call the P-EBT Hotline at (651) 431-4050 or (800) 657-3698.
Update on our Fall Return to Learning Plan
We’ve heard from many parents about how much we want children back in school. Please tell your children we miss them and can’t wait to see them back in school! This school year will be very different than most, but seeing the smiling faces of children, laughing and learning, fuels our hope and optimism for a better future.
Since June, our district has had twenty committees working on our back-to-school planning for the 2020-21 school year. We received valuable feedback from parents on the year-end survey, and have been working to address areas of concern. At the direction of MDE, we are planning for three possible scenarios for the fall:
- In-person learning
- Hybrid learning that limits the number of people in a school at any one time, and
- Distance learning only
The Minnesota Department of Education will be providing school districts with direction later next week (anticipated July 30). At that time we will know which scenario we will use to begin the school year. By Monday, Aug 3, our District will send out our detailed plan in alignment with the state guidelines. We will also host a Virtual Q & A Session with parents on Tuesday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m. Please watch your email for an invitation next week. We understand there is a lot of anxiety in anticipation of the state’s directions. Thank you for your continued patience and support during this evolving situation.
Looking Beyond Next School Year
Long-term, we are optimistic about a post-pandemic future for our students. And this is a critical time for planning. In a rapidly changing world—where there are new discoveries in health, science, math and technology every day—what is most important in preparing our students for the future? What is important for our students to know and be able to do in the future?
We invite every member of our community to answer ten questions at www.c-ischools.org/future or call 763-689-6188, Mon-Thurs 8-4 p.m. We are also working with Morris-Leatherman to update a community survey, which was done last in 2016.
Over the last two years, our district has reduced expenditures by $7.5 million. Because state funding has not kept pace with rising costs over the last decade, our district will need to continue to reduce budgets and services each year due to the structural deficit. As one of the lowest-funded districts in Minnesota, we receive $1,200 per pupil below the state average. Why is this? In Minnesota, school funding is a shared responsibility among local, state and federal funding. Most school districts have a local operating referendum, and our board has resisted asking our community for additional support until it is absolutely necessary. We are now at a crossroads, and we need to plan. What are your priorities for our schools?
We hope all parents will take a few minutes to complete the online survey, and please share the survey link with friends and family through email or social media. We are eager to engage parents and community members.
The start of a new school year is always our favorite time of year! Even with the uncertainty we face, we know we have the right team and we are in the right place to move forward, with amazing support from our community! We are in this together and can’t wait to reconnect with our students and staff. We remain focused on the needs of EVERY STUDENT, EVERY DAY, the Bluejacket Way!
Nate Rudolph, Superintendent
7.14.20 SFAS Parent Communication
We are currently finalizing plans to start the 2020-21 school year at School for All Seasons on August 5, 2020. Our priority is returning Cambridge-Isanti students to high-quality learning in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. We miss our students and are excited for the beginning of the school year!
In planning for the coming school year, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has requested school districts to plan for three different scenarios. The three scenarios include:
- Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students.
- Scenario 2: Hybrid model with strict social distancing and capacity limits.
- Scenario 3: Distance Learning only
MDE has recently granted permission for year-round programs that open in August to open under the fall recommendations. We expect updated guidance soon and a final recommendation by July 27. You can expect updated communication from us by the end of this week.
We appreciate the support of our families and community as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We ask that you complete this family information survey by July 24 so that we can continue to plan for the start of the school year. School for All Seasons Family Survey
If you have any questions, please contact Mark Ziebarth, SFAS Principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Ziebarth, Principal Nate Rudolph, Superintendent Brenda Damiani, Director of Teaching and Learning
7.1.20 Parent Communication
Happy July! I hope your family is enjoying our fabulous Minnesota summer. This midsummer email has four updates for you.
- An update on fall planning
- Announcement of our NEW C-I Schools Online option for grades 6-12
- District strategic priorities and planning
- Results of our year-end parent survey
Fall Planning is Underway
Our staff is diligently planning for the future of our district. We currently have about twenty teams working on the planning process to develop the three plans required by the Minnesota Department of Education. These three plans include:
- In-person learning for all students
- Hybrid model considering capacity limits and social distance restrictions by the state
- Improved distance learning
As a district, it is our sincere hope that we will be allowed to return to school in the fall with our in-person learning for all students plan. If we are not allowed to do so by the state of MN, we will be prepared to implement the hybrid or improved distance learning contingency plan required by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Department of Health. MDE has also informed districts that we will need to be prepared to pivot between all three plans at their direction throughout the school year.
We recognize that families have a multitude of individual needs and concerns. We are working hard to be able to provide all families with options that adhere to MDE guidelines. For example, if we are allowed to return to in-person learning for all students, and some families are not comfortable in doing so, we will work with families toward accommodations.
In late July or early August, we expect further public announcements from MDE about school requirements for opening in the fall. More specifically, we expect them to provide districts direction about which plan to implement in September. At that point, we will narrow our process to prepare for reopening as directed. (Note: We expect School For All Seasons to start as scheduled in early August under the model directed by the state.) We will also formally survey all families regarding individual family plans, needs and questions. This will include information regarding transportation, food service, health services, and technology needs. Please watch for our online survey at that time.
NEW for 2020-21: C-I Schools Online
Before COVID19 disrupted our lives, our Innovation Teams in Cambridge-Isanti had been planning to launch a new online school option - to provide a hometown choice for students currently enrolled or considering enrolling in a Minnesota online program or charter school. We are fortunate to have a number of specially trained teachers who have substantial experience in online learning.
We are pleased to announce that next year we will have a full-year C-I Schools Online enrollment option available for families. Right now, it is designed for grades 6-12, and we are surveying parents to determine how many families are interested in us expanding the full-year online learning to include elementary students.
Supportive Relationships Aligned to Your Goals
The advantage of C-I Schools Online is that our teachers KNOW and CARE about our students! We know that successful online learning starts with building a relationship, setting personal goals for each student, and regularly meeting “in class” for student learning. At the same time, C-I Schools Online will provide self-directed students the flexibility and convenience of completing coursework at home. Our Online program is aligned with our regular school trimester schedule, so if students choose they can easily transfer at trimester to our CIHS or middle school programs. Students will also continue to have full access to our athletic and co-curricular programs at our middle and high schools.
C-I Schools Online is Different from Distance Learning!
In March, the COVID crisis forced us to quickly adapt to Distance Learning—some schools even called it emergency distance learning. That experience is very different from a planned and structured online school experience. C-I Schools Online is partnering with Edmentum/Plato, one of the nation’s leading online curriculum platforms to offer this new online option. It will include interactive lessons, real-time and pre-recorded instruction and full support of our school counselors and specially trained teachers.
Do You Want to Learn More about C-I Schools Online?
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING A FULL-YEAR ONLINE OPTION OR WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE PLEASE COMPLETE THIS FORM: C-I Schools Online Interest Survey
More Information on C-I Schools Online Will Be Available
In the coming weeks, we will be posting new information to our website. If you would like an email when that information is available, please share your email with us here: C-I Schools Online Interest Survey
District Strategic Priorities and Planning
Not only is our district working hard to plan for the fall, but we are also planning for our long term future. This summer, we will be conducting a community survey about changes that may be needed in the district. Our world is changing rapidly. We are preparing our students for a future we can only imagine and for jobs that may not yet exist. Adaptability is a skill all students will need as they face an uncertain future. We must consider how schools should adapt to meet these new demands.
Please watch your mail for a postcard with survey instructions for completing our online survey. It may also be completed by phone. We are inviting all residents and taxpayers to participate in the survey—even if they don’t have children in school.
Year-End Parent Survey Results
Thank you for the valuable feedback you provided on the year-end survey. We received 1,236 responses, including more than 663 shout-outs to staff. We were pleased to learn that almost 90% of respondents rated the education provided by our schools (pre-distance learning) as Excellent or Good. That same question dropped to 81% thinking about the whole school year.
During distance learning, a majority of families felt supported, while equal numbers felt proud or confident vs anxious. Only a small percent were enthusiastic about Distance Learning. We received strong feedback that families are eager for children to return to school and in-person learning. We miss our students and look forward to returning to school.
While the majority of the comments were understanding and supportive, we also learned about some significant challenges.
- More than 40% of our students rarely had interactions with friends during distance learning.
- More than 20% of the students did not have reliable internet access at home.
- At times, there was inconsistent communication between staff and students.
We want families to know that we are reading and value every comment and shout-out. We are sharing the valuable feedback with our teams as we prepare and plan for our short term and long term future. As a community, your insight is crucial to these planning steps and we appreciate the time that you take to complete our surveys and provide this important information.
We hope you and your family enjoy the holiday weekend! Stay well, and GO BIG BLUE!
Nate Rudolph, Superintendent