Hello. I'm Terry Wilding, and I'm here in my office on the MSAB campus. This is a video version of the letter that I recently sent out to MSA families.
As you've probably heard by now, the Governor has announced a "stay-at-home" order for the state of Minnesota for the next two weeks, starting on Friday at 11:59 p.m. The governor has also authorized the Commissioner of Education to approve distance learning up to April 30th (returning to school on May 4th).
I wanted to share a few updates to communicate what we've been doing so far in preparation for distance learning and supporting the governor's efforts to "flatten the curve". Our teachers, student support services staff, aides, and other staff have been working hard to develop our distance learning plan and that will be posted on our website and sent out to everyone tomorrow. We have been in touch with most of you to share information and gather details necessary for us to support our students and their education. If we have not been in touch with you individually, please reach out to your campus director to work out the details for your child(ren).
We will be starting services on Monday, March 30th and anticipate staying in distance learning mode for the month of April and returning to on-campus services on May 4th, pending any changes/updates that may be announced via the governor or the commissioner of education. We will communicate changes, if any, when they are announced.
Please be aware that the experience of providing distance learning is new to everyone (our staff, your child, and yourselves as parents/guardians). We are trying our best to provide what we think will work. Please communicate with our teachers (case managers) if something is not working so that we may adjust our support, services, and/or instruction. We will try our best and we believe that by working together, we will be able to iron out any difficulties that may arise along the way. Our special education office (IEP office) will be in touch as well during the month of April if any adjustments need to be made to your students' IEP. We will continue with regular IEP meetings as much as possible and will continue to communicate with you regarding those needs.
Tomorrow (March 26th), we are asking that parents/families who live within 60 miles of Faribault come to campus to pick up your student's packet of instructional materials, technology, and other support needs, including the contents of their lockers. For MSAD, we are asking that families come to the rear entrance of Smith Hall. For MSAB, we are asking families to come to the front entrance area. We will be there between 1-3 p.m. Please look out for an email from MSAB and MSAD team leaders with specific instructions and time frames for your students as we are trying to manage traffic and maintain social distancing as much as possible.
For those of you who live further away, we are working on arrangements to either deliver or mail packets to you for your child. For those students who live in our dormitories, our student life staff will be in touch soon to discuss your child's belongings in our dorm rooms. If you prefer to come and pick up your child's packet/belongings, please contact your student's campus director or student life director to make arrangements.
We will be continuing to send updates as new information comes in. Please keep a close eye on your email and stay in touch with your student's case manager.
I'd like to add thanks to all of our dedicated staff who have been working hard to prepare for distance learning. I'd also like to recognize staff who have been coming in to keep our buildings clean and safe. Thank you for your commitment to our students and our community.
As always, thank you for your continued support, patience, and cooperation. We truly appreciate the understanding and patience that we've witnessed from our families throughout this challenging time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or your child's campus director.
Stay healthy - stay safe...