August 10th Elem Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It’s that time of year to start thinking about school and even though this year has not been normal, we are excited to have our students back in the building. This upcoming year will have some challenges, but I feel confident we will be able to open our school and provide a learning environment that includes safety and best practices.

There have been some updates to our building over the summer. The school parking lot has had a little bit of a makeover, it might look different when driving up to school and where to park. Our playground has a few changes, we added some new equipment for our littlest learners and we have some artificial turf for all our students to use. There will be areas for kickball, soccer, and of course football. Inside the building, we have done some remodeling of our Preschool and Kindergarten areas. Our goal was to create an environment that helped facilitate collaboration between staff and students. Our space includes areas for academics, but more importantly developmental play. Throughout the building, the fluorescent lights have been replaced with LED lighting that teachers can control - brightness and color. We are very fortunate to have so much natural lighting, but the LED lights make a huge difference.

Our school webpage and Facebook page have updated information on our reopening plan. Students will be able to attend school full time - five days a week. We will have safety protocols in place that ensure that students and staff stay healthy. There are a few changes we need to implement to be in compliance with our state guidelines.

  • Students will be required to wear facemasks. This will be mandatory to ride the bus and in areas of the school where students can’t social distance. We will NOT have students wearing masks all day long. Students will not need to wear a mask during PE class, recess, eating lunch, and other breaks throughout the day. Preschool students are not required to wear a facemask. There will be a cloth mask provided for each student, it would be a good idea if you have a mask your child feels comfortable wearing to send to school every day.
  • Students will have their own locker and will keep their own school supplies separate from the other students. We will also work to keep manipulatives and other shared supplies individualized and sanitized.
  • Water fountains will not be accessible, students can bring their own water bottles - the water filling stations will be open for use.
  • We will work to social distance students in our hallways, cafeteria, and shared learning spaces.

The staff and I will do everything possible to make this school year inviting, safe, developmentally appropriate, and engaging. Our mission has not changed, our goal is to challenge our students in their thinking, let them be creative and imaginative, and build relationships so they know each and every one of them matters to us.

If you have concerns and would like to discuss other options such as distance learning, please contact the office: Amber Benner 320-245-6010, Kristen Chryst 320-245-6013. I will follow up with a plan for your child to ensure quality learning throughout the year.

This September we will not be holding an open house before school starts. Teachers will be setting up communication and videos to introduce themselves and sharing information about their classrooms. Information will be sent out to our Preschool families regarding the start of school, look for information from Jennie Carlin our Early Childhood Coordinator.

The PTO will be purchasing the majority of school supplies for our students. Please make sure your child has a backpack and tennis shoes for PE class. Your child’s teacher will let you know if there are any other needs for the classroom.

If you have any questions or would like to talk through what it will look like for your child, please contact me. I am excited to have our students back in our classrooms and hallways, it is just not the same without them. We will do our best to take care of them and ensure the safety of everyone here in the building. The teachers at East Central are dedicated, hard-working, and creative, but most importantly we care about our students.

Thank you,

Kristen Chryst, Elementary Principal
kchryst@eastcentral.k12.mn.us
320-245-6013

Amber Benner, Administrative Assistant
abenner@eastcentral.k12.mn.us
320-245-6010

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