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Staff update: April 3, 2020

Anoka Hennepin staff,

 

Today marks the end of our first week of distance learning. It’s hard to grasp the changes we’ve all experienced in just a few weeks. This has been an unprecedented team effort by all of us in Anoka-Hennepin and there are so many reasons to thank each and every employee for doing their part. It’s hard to identify any for fear of missing someone; regardless, these employees are representative of our combined efforts and have contributed beyond expectations and are worthy of a shout out.


District emergency childcare

Adventures Plus staff, elementary paras, health office staff, elementary administrators, elementary educational office professionals, child nutrition staff, transportation, and building and grounds staff have done an amazing job providing childcare for Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers. Over 400 students are registered to attend programming at 25 elementary sites. We’ll be shifting this to look more like the typical school release day with Community Education’s Adventures Plus staff running programming starting next Monday with support from some special education, health services paras, elementary educational office professionals and administration as well as child nutrition and transportation staff. This transition will allow more of our elementary paras to support elementary students in distance learning.  


Student meal support

Transportation and child nutrition staff have taken on new roles during this distance learning period. These departments have teamed up to provide “meals on wheels” serving nearly 4,000 students a day at over 35 locations. We’ll continue to monitor the community’s needs and adjust as appropriate to serve as many families as possible.  


Technology distribution, training and support

What does it take to transform an entire district to 1:1 personal devices for all students? A talented technology staff like we have in Anoka-Hennepin. Technology staff have stepped up in monumental fashion, coordinating the delivery of technology to all families in need of a device for grades 4-12 last week, and then all K-3 families in need starting today. This gathering of devices, reallocation and distribution has been amazing. We appreciate all staff that have assisted in this reallocation – it has taken a village. This group has also played a key role in teacher and student support as we roll out distance learning. 


Some of the latest statistics include: 

  • 20,000 video conferencing sessions conducted in this first week of distance learning.
  • 3,000 classroom hubs were created by teachers so students have one place to go.
  • Average of 80,000 digital documents created by staff and students a day. 

 

Facility safety

Our custodial teams and outside cleaning contractors have expanded and targeted their roles in ensuring our sites are disinfected, sanitized and safe. Systems are in place to monitor which areas of our buildings are being used and need additional attention. Thank you to all staff for increasing communication with custodial staff regarding unused areas, so we can spend time where we have the highest need.


Our crossing guards have also pitched in to support disinfecting spaces across the district to increase our capacity to disinfect sites. They’ve received training and have worked closely with site supervisors to target efforts to keep our sites safe.


Instructional staff

Teachers, thank you for picking up new skills to reach our learners. Each day we hear stories of teachers that are creative, compassionate and supportive for students and families. Please remember to provide a reasonable amount of work for students, assuming that there may not be  consistent adult support with them during this time. We’re having discussions about assessment, grading, and online behavior expectations and hope to have additional guidance in the next few days. There would be no distance learning without you. Our students gain a sense of stability in their education and lives through their interactions with you. As your homes have been converted into classrooms, learning for our students continues.  


Every staff member contributes to our success

We understand the significant challenges the state’s stay-at-home order and social distancing directives have placed on all of you. While our schools are still at the beginning of the distance learning period, we’re off to a strong start with a resolve to continually improve. While many things have changed in our lives, the combined effort of our staff to do your very best for students remains strong. Your flexibility and positive “can-do” attitude is making a difference and I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the weeks ahead. 


Sincerely, 

David Law, superintendent