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August Superintendent Update

August is here which means summer break is heading into its last weeks and our thoughts turn to the launch of another successful and exciting school year for MCPSD #1.  I sincerely hope everyone is having a great summer and is ready for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.  This article will focus on a few things to note as we begin our school year later this month.
  1. Please note back to school registration is occurring at all school buildings in August for both returning and new students to the school system.  Please check the website, this newsletter or with the building offices, which open on August 2nd with normal hours, regarding the registration process and protocols. Returning students who completed the enrollment survey which was sent out earlier this summer will be receiving their schedules/chromebooks (6-12) or tentative assigned teacher (K-5) as part of the registration process for each building.  New students to the area are highly encouraged to register right away in August when the building offices open to allow for schedules and class placements to be ready for the back to school registration later in the month and to ensure all registration paperwork is completed prior to school starting on August 25th.  Kindergarten registration is very important in regards to planning and staffing; please complete kindergarten registration as soon as possible if you have a child entering kindergarten and is age 5 prior to August 1st
  2. As part of ESSER plans and funding at the federal level, the school district is required to have a Return to In-person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan.  Our plan is located on the school district’s website under Restart Information & COVID Resources.  The plan outlines any guidelines and provisions implemented by the school district to start the 2021-2022 school year.  Essentially, the school district will begin the 2021-2022 school year in a similar manner of which it ended the 2020-2021 school year with the exception of distancing in classrooms which will return to normal practice prior to the pandemic.  Normal sanitation practices will be followed and COVID-19 cases with students and staff will be handled in conjunction with the Child Care and Infectious Disease guide provided by the NDDOH.  Our school nurses will be addressing issues as they arise in regards of any infectious diseases or illness and communications with families on a case-by-case basis.  The NDDOH will be conducting its own contact tracing process and will no longer be done by the school district.  We will continue to promote health and safety at the highest levels for students and work with families on ensuring safety for all levels of students.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding health and safety as we begin the 2021-2022 school year, please reach out to the District Office for clarifications or reference the school website for more details on the plan and its contents. 
  3. The school district will be offering only face-to-face instruction to begin the 2021-2022 school year.  Virtual or remote learning will not be offered to students as an option as per the 2020-2021 school year.  The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is no longer requiring remote learning to be offered in public school districts.  MCPSD #1 may consider virtual options through new state legislation which allows for virtual schools to be recognized through the DPI; however, the school district believes it is important to start this school year with the best option available in traditional in-person instruction and further research viable options for virtual learning beyond the current pandemic situation.  
  4. The school district is excited to welcome several new staff members to MCPSD #1, both professional and support staff.  The school district will be offering various back-to-school events and open houses at each building level to meet all our staff and to promote more parental involvement in our buildings following the limited environment experienced last year with the COVID-19 restrictions.  Please consider attending our back to school events, if possible, and check each building’s website, this newsletter or contact each school office for more information on dates and times.  We appreciate your support and positive approach to the start of the school year and its impact on student excitement to begin another school year. 
  5. As we begin the school year, and as part of the school district’s new strategic plan, we seek regular and constructive feedback from parents on our school setting and offerings so we can improve and better address situations as they arise.  Each building will be offering opportunities for parent involvement, as well as the community, in relaxed settings to encourage communication with the administration and to ensure consistent and accurate information is available at all times.  There may be questions and concerns regarding curriculum or other areas given the recent developments with CRT and other discussions; the school district assures the public no changes to the curriculum of this nature has or will occur at this point.  For further information or questions related to curriculum, please contact myself or Mrs. Krogen, Director of Teaching and Learning, with any specific questions on curriculum and instruction.  Additional information will be forthcoming throughout the school year on various aspects of the school district curriculum and academic performance. 
  6. There are many exciting innovations and initiatives occurring in our school district to improve the educational offerings for students as well as extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.  We strive to ensure our school district is welcoming for all students and has something to offer all levels of students regardless of their interests or backgrounds.  The various initiatives and objectives will be outlined in our new strategic plan and will be regularly highlighted in articles throughout the school year.  Please feel free to reach out to our administration for more information on new programs and initiatives throughout the school year. 
Thank you for your continued support of our school district.  We work to continually provide the highest level of education possible as well as maintain fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers.  We look forward to an exciting 2021-2022 school year and working with our families and communities on the opportunities ahead.