Coronavirus Response Plan
Princeton Public Schools mission is to be an innovative leader in instruction developing in EVERY learner the ability to succeed in an ever-changing world. Our changing world is now faced with unprecedented challenges. An expanding outbreak of COVID-19 is being experienced in many regions around the world. This is a rapidly evolving situation that is changing the way we operate our schools.
Starting March 30, 2020 Princeton Public Schools will begin Distance Learning until at least May 4. Click on the Distance Learning portal icon to access information:
- 4.2.20 District Update
- 3.25.20 District Update
- 3.16.20 COVID-19 Communications Update
- 3.15.20 Letter from the Superintendent
This week was one that will go down in history for school districts throughout the state. Together we have changed the way our students learn. We faced many challenges and a whole lot of unknowns, but we know if we continue to show patience and compassion, we will come out stronger in the end. Here are a few updates we would like to share with you this week.
School Meals. Nutrition Services is now offering weekend meals at all pick up locations. When picking up Friday meals you will receive 3 breakfasts in one bag and 3 lunches in another bag. Please see the nutrition services website for heating instructions.
Spring Break. This is a reminder that there is no school on Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13 for Spring Break and Staff Development. Distance learning will not be taking place on these dates. Please make note of the following:
- Tiger Club (Corona Care) will be also closed both days for Spring Break.
- There will be no meal service on April 10, but Nutrition Services will be serving meals on April 13 at the Princeton High School pickup location only.
School Board Meetings. Due to the health pandemic, the school board has determined that it is not feasible for at least one board member, the superintendent, or the school district’s legal counsel to be physically present at the regular meeting location. It is also not feasible for the public to attend at the regular meeting location due to the health pandemic. We will accept any citizen comments via email to be read by the board. Please email any comments to email@example.com by 12:00 pm the day of the board meeting. Regular board meetings can be viewed electronically after the meeting on our YouTube channel.
Refunds. If you believe you are entitled to a refund for any spring activities that were cancelled or postponed, or are curious about the refunding of other fees, please read our refund procedure here.
Tech Help. Need assistance with your device? Please fill out a Distance Learning Tech Help request online and our tech department will contact you asap.
Wow. Just Amazing. The Middle School’s own Bobbi Benner is an amazing musical talent! She wrote and sang her own version of R.E.M.’s End of the World (for educators). See the video here and stay tuned for yet another musical premiere next week!
Thank you for sticking with us during this difficult time. Together, we are Tiger Strong.
Princeton Public Schools
We have missed you over these last few weeks! We have a lot of important information to share today so please read this letter carefully. Things are coming together very quickly, and we are excited to begin distance learning next Monday! But first, here are a few things you should know.
Distance Learning. Starting next Monday, March 30 Princeton Public Schools will begin distance learning. Distance learning will continue until at least April 30th. We know there will be some challenges as we all learn together in ways that are different from what we are used to, but we are excited to try our new plan out and make improvements along the way.
Students will be accessing teachers and learning through one of two plans.
- Tiger Plan - for connecting with teachers electronically
- Orange Plan - for connecting with teachers non-electronically
Teachers will reach out to students on Friday, March 27 to let students know details on how students and teachers will connect for distance learning. Monday, March 30 will be our first day of distance learning.
Unless we have spoken to you directly, students are currently enrolled in the Tiger Plan. For details on each plan and instructions for how to move from the Tiger Plan to the Orange Plan please see the COVID-19 portion of our website and click Distance Learning plan.
Here are a few tips to prepare your student for distance learning:
- Help your child set a daily schedule at home so they understand what is expected of them.
- Make sure you have a device (grades 3-12) and a plan to access the internet.
- Designate a place in your home as a "learning space" to minimize distractions.
Kindergarten Safari. We are postponing our Wild About Kindergarten event that is scheduled for April 6, 2020. This is an exciting event and we were all looking forward to meeting our future tiger cubs, but keeping our students and families safe during these unprecedented times is our top priority. More information to follow in the weeks ahead. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with postponing this event.
WIFI Availability. We understand that there are many families in our community that do not have access to the internet or reliable internet. Our buildings are not open to the public, but our wifi does extend into our parking lot areas to a certain range. Please follow this link to view maps to every school building in Princeton with orange highlights showing parking areas that have access to the Princeton Public internet wifi. Please feel free to park and use these areas at any time.
Now Registering for Tier 2 Childcare. We will begin to accept childcare registrations for families of Tier 2 workers on Wednesday, March 25. If you believe you are eligible to receive childcare as a Tier 2 worker, please click to read the full details here.
Nutrition Services Update. You can now view our grab-and-go menu on the COVID-19 information nutrition services website. We have also added important food safety information for your review.
A note to students & families. The next week or two starts a new chapter in public education. There is a huge learning curve that students and teachers will be navigating together!!
As we embark on this thing called “Distance Learning,” we ask that our friends who use social media platforms to refrain from publicly scrutinizing their children’s teachers/schools/district for the way they are teaching or the lessons they are assigning.
Please offer grace to your child’s teacher and other school personnel. I promise that educating your children is still their #1 priority.
They are about to navigate uncharted waters with little, to no prep time. This is a crisis, not a time to be playing armchair quarterback. They love our kids and will be doing their absolute best!
And fellow educators, YOU’VE GOT THIS! We believe in you! -author unknown
Thank you to our Families! We received this kind message from one of our teachers and we couldn’t have said it better: “I just wanted to share that my families have been very kind, supportive and understanding so far in the journey we have just been on and continue to be on! I have one family, in particular, who is very tech savvy, and they have been so helpful and receptive to answering questions I have about how things look on "their end" of whatever piece of technology I am trying, or want students to try. They are my practice ground, and my sounding board, and I am so thankful for them! When I asked if they would mind if I went to them with some questions along the way, they did not hesitate to respond, "Absolutely! We are glad to help in any way that we can!" It warms my heart to see us all pull together in what can be a scary, overwhelming, and ever changing situation.”
We are here to support you and we truly appreciate the encouragement we have received from you. Together, we are Tiger Strong.
Ben Barton | Superintendent
As communicated yesterday, all Princeton Public Schools are closed for the coming weeks as part of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic plan. All COVID-19 related updates can be found on our website at https://www.isd477.org/covid19
We would like to share a few updates with you, keeping in mind that we may need to modify plans as more information becomes available to us. We appreciate your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.
Medication Pickup. Earlier today you should have received a message regarding the procedures for picking up your child's medications. Please contact the health office at your child's school with further questions.
Childcare. We are prepared to offer Tiger Club for currently enrolled families, district staff, and emergency service workers. Full details can be found here: https://www.isd477.org/departments/health-services...
Food Service. We will be providing meals for students starting Tues, March 17, available for curb-site pickup at Princeton High School. Please fill out this one-question survey to indicate how many meals you will need. Visit our COVID (above) website for further instructions.
Student Technology. Chromebooks for all students in grades 3-12 were sent home today to allow students to access educational resources and connect with their teachers during the closure. Please visit our COVID website (above) for further care information.
Further Information. Just a reminder that all Community Education classes including early childhood and preschool are cancelled. All extracurricular events, sports and facility rentals are cancelled until further notice.
As our Tiger Pledge states, "Our Strengths get better when we work together" and we are asking you, our community, to work with us and rally together. Thank you for your continued support and we will provide more information as it becomes available.
Ben Barton, Superintendent
Updated March 15, 2020
Princeton Public Schools Will Be Closed Starting March 17 until March 27.
Today, Governor Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker announced that all Minnesota public schools will close to students starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 with the plan to resume instruction on Monday, March 30, 2020. School and community leadership have decided that Princeton Public schools will remain open and in session through Monday 3/16/2020. Again, students should report to school on Monday, 3/16/2020. Students who are not ill can still safely come to school on this day, to obtain their supplies and communicate with their instructors on their educational plans going forward.
*We are recommending that students or staff who have any of the underlying medical conditions listed on the CDC website remain home effective Monday, 3/16/2020 until further notice. “Mild/Moderate Mitigation for Schools with COVID-19 Cases in their Community.”
Effective 3/17/2020 through 3/30/2020 school and all school activities will be cancelled. Tiger Club will remain open for child care of emergency personnel and school employees. Further information will be available by the afternoon of March 16.
During the school closure for students, Princeton Public Schools will be joining school districts and charter schools across the state to create plans to equitably distribute distance learning to our students should we need to close schools statewide for a longer period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Education is defining distance learning to mean that a student receives daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s) and appropriate educational materials. Starting March 30, 2020, per the instruction from the Minnesota Department of Education, student learning will continue for the rest of the school year.
As always, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students. We also want to ensure every child has access to the education they need and deserve. Our educators will be giving thoughtful planning to our distance learning plan, offering careful consideration for students in a variety of areas, including students receiving special education services, multilingual learners, students experiencing homelessness, and students who rely on meals served at school.
Once our distance learning plan is finalized we will communicate the plan to families through Skylert, our district website and social media. There will be more information to follow as details become available.
At this time it is important to know there are NO confirmed cases in either Sherburne or Mille Lacs County. We encourage you to remain level-headed and talk with your children about the current state of affairs. It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.
- Pickup of Personal Student Items
- Food Service
- Student Technology During Closure
- Internet Options
- Community Education Classes & Rentals
We are offering childcare to:
- District Staff
- Tier 1 Healthcare & Emergency staff who live in our school district.
- Tier 2 workers who live in our school district.
We will be providing meals for students starting on Tuesday, March 17. Please read through these instructions carefully:
- Meals will be available for curbside pickup at Princeton High School:
- 7:00am to 8:30am -or-
- 11:00am to 1:00pm
- Pull up along the curb to door #1 and we will bring the meals to your vehicle.
- Additionally we have several satellite pickup sites with meal pickup from 11am-12pm. See the list of sites and map here.
- Families are not permitted to enter the school, and meal will not be consumed on site.
- Starting April 3, when you pick up your Friday meals, you will also receive 2 extra breakfasts and lunches for the weekend.
Further information can be found our the Food Service page here.
All students in 3rd-12th Grade were sent home with their School-Issued Chromebook to allow students access educational resources and connect with their teachers during the closure. Refer to this section for information on Chromebook care, troubleshooting and expectations.
Live Classroom sessions
During our extended distance learning days, you may be invited to join a live session with your teacher using Google Meet, Zoom, or Schoology Conferences. All online interaction is an extension of the physical classroom, and expectations of your behavior online is the same as what we would expect in the classroom. If at home, all video connections must be placed from a "common" area of your home.
Visit this page for Tech Tips on how to support your student during virtual classroom sessions.
The Wifi for every district building does extend out to parking lots, making it accessible for students and parents to access the Princeton Public wifi from their vehicles. See map of district WIFI locations here.
Midco offers Lifeline, which is a federal program intended to put home phone and internet service within reach of qualifying families – giving low-income households affordable home phone or internet access. The Lifeline Internet Service is $14.95 per month (includes modem), but with a subsidy credit, the customer’s cost is $5.70 a month for 25x3 service. Typically, the free installation takes three-to-five days and that includes the approval process.Midco’s internet services are unlimited, meaning Midco does not impose any data caps or additional fees.
All AT&T home Internet Wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet customers, can use unlimited data. AT&T will continue to offer $10/mo Access from AT&T service for qualifying customers. For the next 60 days, AT&T also pledged not to terminate the service of any customer who can’t pay their bill, and will waive the fees associated with late payments. AT&T will keep its public Wi-Fi hotspots open to everyone.
Sprint said on March 13 that it has extended its network to include T-Mobile’s network as well for the next 60 days. Sprint has also signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and will waive fees and not terminate services if customers are unable to pay because of the coronavirus for the next 60 days. Customers with metered data plans will now receive unlimited data for 60 days. They will also receive an additional 20GB of hotspot data for the same period.
TDS said on March 16 that it will be providing free broadband access to customer households with K-12 or college students. (Proof will be required.) Other than that, TDS is adhering to the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected” pledge only by agreeing not to disconnect customers who can’t pay their bills for the next 60 days. TDS has also opened its Wi-Fi hotspots for the next 60 days to the public, for free.
All current T-Mobile plans with data will be granted free unlimited data for the next 60 days, excluding roaming. T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will be given an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot and tethering services for the next 60 days. Lifeline customers will be given an extra 5GB of data per month for the next two months.
“We do not have an offer available for 60 days of free service and encourage consumers to be cautious of social media posts that may include fraudulent numbers,” T-Mobile added.
Verizon will waive late fees and keep residential and small business customers connected if negatively impacted by the global crisis, the company said on March 13. It is also upgrading the data plan on its Verizon Innovative Learning program for Title 1 middle schools from 10GB/month to 30GB/month for the next two months, effective March 16.
Due to the current situation with COVID-19, we are canceling all Princeton CE programming through April 30th, based on the governor's directive. This includes ECFE, Enrichment, Aquatics, Recreation, Drivers Ed, Preschool Screening and ALL facility rentals.
This is not an easy decision but it is made with the safety of our participants and community members in mind.
Refunds and permits will be handled accordingly. Please allow additional time for processing.
We plan to continue with our Summer programming during the Summer pending guidance from MDE. Keep an eye out at isd477.org and ceisfun.com for more updates.
Stay safe and TIGER STRONG!
Although we cannot utilize our amazing school volunteers at this time, there may be some opportunities available through Minnesota Responds. Please visit https://mnresponds.org/ for information and to learn about possible volunteer opportunities.
Another way you can help is to share your time virtually with students. For example you could record yourself reading a story or simply sharing a message that you miss our students. Videos can be submitted to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share as we are able!
- All athletics, activities, fine arts and clubs are shut down for the foreseeable future.
- Effective from Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020 the Minnesota State High School League has decided that there will be no MSHSL activities and athletics at any member school.
- This includes all participation including, but not limited to training, practices,
scrimmages, and contests.
- The previous MSHSL directive prohibiting scrimmages, contests and competitions with other MSHSL programs for Spring activities and athletics will continue until April 6, 2020.
- Additional information will be provided as it becomes available and as decisions are made.
- This includes all participation including, but not limited to training, practices,