Letter from Superintendent Redmond: Navigating the Current Challenge
March 17, 2020 - In recent days, our school district has been called upon to serve our community in ways we’ve never before imagined. In responding to this call, we are working incredibly hard to navigate in such a way as to balance the personal concerns of the amazing individuals who work for our district and serve our students with the call to continue to serve our community as we face a global health pandemic.
With the monumental shift in operations and the nature of services being provided by our district that really begins tomorrow, March 18, the nature of the roles different employees and employee groups play in providing these services changes, too. Our Response Team has been working to develop appropriate employee plans for the unique situation we are navigating, one that balances service to our students and community in relation to taking care of the health and well-being of our employees and their families.
Our Response Team has been meeting and working to prepare plans that will provide a variety of services to our school community:
- Shift our learning format from in person to distance learning delivery, with the potential of this service lasting for an extended period of time. Distance learning begins on Monday, April 6.
- Food distribution for all children across the district will begin on Wednesday, March 18.
- Launch a child care program on Wednesday, March 18 for the children of essential personnel-- medical, police, fire, and public services.
- Provided optional school on March 16 and 17.
The membership on our district Response Team has grown as the planning for our new services has become more complex. The following list of persons have been serving directly on this Response Team, but, in reality, all members of our school district staff are responding to changing how our district serves our community:
Shakopee Public Schools Response Team
Dale Anderson, Matt Braa, Carmen Barbone, Corinne Doherty, Julie Ritter, Derek Bell, Kevin Bjerken, Mitch Perrine, Josie Koivisto, Jim Miklausich, Lori Link, Eric Serbus, Jeff Pawlicki, Deb Ross-Coen, Ed Zeimet, Crystal McNally, Ashley McCray, Bryan Drozd, Bob Greeley, Julie Fred, Bill Menozzi, Keith Gray, Nancy Thul, Kristi Peterson, Judi Tomczik, Adam Dittberner, Gina Boots, Steph Betley, Sarah Jordan, Krysten Ellis, Nika Summer, Annie Rients, Julie Fred, and Dave Orlowsky, Maggie Helwig, Aaron Jansen, Patrick Leonard, Yael Ripoll, and others.
We have also been joined in our efforts by community partners. The River Valley YMCA has joined our district in providing child care services for essential personnel at Sun Path Elementary School. Palmer Bus Company will help deliver food service across the district. There have been a number of others who have asked how they can support our efforts. As this effort continues to evolve, we will be taking many of them up on their generous offers.
I am proud and appreciative of the people working in our school district and how they are responding to meeting the needs of our community in these challenging times. Together, our community will meet the challenges we are facing with grace, dignity, and deep compassion for our neighbors.
Mike Redmond, Shakopee Public Schools Superintendent