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Orientation week creates excitement as start to school year approaches

Orientation week (09/10/20) It’s been a long time coming. That’s the general sentiment as students and parents/guardians, for the first time since March, began filling Anoka-Hennepin’s school hallways once again.


All across the district, the week of Sept. 8 served as orientation week for families who are preparing for the 2020-21 school year to begin on Sept. 14 and 15. For many, it was the first time back inside a school since the state-mandated COVID-19 closure last March. See photos from a few sites around the district.


At elementary schools, it was a chance for students and parents/guardians participating in hybrid learning to reacquaint themselves with their school and meet their new teachers, but also to pick-up learning devices if needed, and also learn what the new learning model will look and feel like.


“I think everyone’s pretty excited,” said Jim Potthoff, assistant principal at Brookside Elementary School in Ramsey. “Students are excited to be back. And (parents/guardians) have been curious about things like how kids will eat lunch or use the restroom. So it’s been a good chance to help answer those questions.”


Meanwhile, at middle and high schools, orientation week looked a little different. With secondary students starting school in a distance learning format for the first two weeks, orientation included textbook pick-up, and in some cases, like at Anoka High School, yearbook and student-ID photos.


School officially begins Monday, Sept. 14. As first day of the 2020-21 school year approaches, Anoka-Hennepin invites parents/guardians and students to share back-to-school photos on social media by using #AHReturnToSchool2020.


Back-to-school information: