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Semester 2 Learning - News and Updates

MSA Learning Decision-Making Guide - 4/12/21

Click here to access the Learning Decision-Making Guide.

Spring Planning Guide - 3/6/2021

Greetings MSA!
 
As you start your spring break, please take some time to read the Spring Planning Guide which represents an update of the Fall Planning Guide.  The COVID-19 Liaison Team which is comprised of parents, staff, and school board members, spent numerous hours refining the plan.
 
I would like to offer my thanks to this team for their efforts to make this as comprehensive as possible.
 
Enjoy your extended spring break with your student(s)!
 

Special BOD Meeting Results - March 1st, 2021

Happy March MSA!

As we begin the month of March with sunshine and the promise of warmer weather all week, I would like to update you on the decision of the MSA School Board last Friday evening.  

In a 7 to 2 vote, the Board of Directors approved beginning partial in-person classes on April 5th.  By opening then, it will allow MSA to have the majority of its MCA testing completed prior to the start of in-person classes and offer time for students and staff to acclimate to being back on campus.  More information concerning MCA testing and ACT testing will be released soon by Mrs. Knutson and Mrs. Graveen.  Please watch for announcements and emails concerning this and opportunities for students to visit campus in the coming weeks.

For your planning purposes, you should also be aware that MSA will conduct transitioning days the week of March 16th through the 19th.  These days will be non-instructional days as staff prepare to be on site.  In effect, this will mean students will have a spring break from March 8th through March 19th.  They will return to distance learning on March 22nd and continue in distance learning until April 2nd.  

On April 5th, MSA will begin our partial in-person learning scenario with classes Monday through Thursday being partial in-person and Friday being an asynchronous WIN Friday.

Much more information will be forthcoming via the announcements, school website, and from a weekly update from me.

Thank you for your patience as we transition to our new learning scenario.

John Gawarecki
MSA Director 

February 03, 2021 - MSA Learning Scenario Information

Greetings MSA Parents/Guardians,

(This past weekend, I sent you an email requesting that you complete a survey so that I could collect information to present to the school board at its next meeting.  If you have not completed the survey, you may still do so to have your voice heard, as I have extended the deadline to 11:59 am this Friday.  Please know that this information will only be shared in a summary manner.)

 The school board will use this information to formulate any additional information that they might need so that they may make a fully informed decision concerning the school’s learning scenario beginning April 5th.

 During the school board’s November 2020 meeting, it was decided that MSA would be in distance learning until April 2nd so that students would have stability in their learning scenario and because I recommended that students could not return to school because of several MDE and MDH requirement obstacles.  If you would like to read the meeting minutes for the November 2020 meeting they may be found at this link.  The school board also decided that during their March 16th regular meeting they would determine what the learning scenario would be starting on April 5th.

 After discussion and a recommendation from me, the MSA school board will decide if it will be conducting partial in-person, full in-person, or continue with its distance learning scenario for April 5th and beyond at the March meeting.  Until that time, MSA will remain in a distance learning scenario with some in-person activities occurring after school hours and on WIN Fridays.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding this.

John Gawarecki

MSA Director

 

Semester 1 Learning

December 23, 2020 - Winter Activities

Hello MSA Families,

Winter activities guidelines to begin in person meetings are as follows:

INDOOR ACTIVITIES - Washington county COVID numbers need to be below 50 for a 2 week average with no staff COVID cases at MSA.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES - Washington county COVID numbers need to be below 75  for a 2 week average with no staff COVID cases at MSA.

November 30, 2020 - Revised School Schedule

Hello Students, Parents, and Guardians,
 
With reference to Governor Walz's Executive Order 20-94 and 20-95, school districts and charter schools must provide teachers 30 minutes of additional planning each day to provide instruction to students in distance learning. 
 
MSA has revised the daily schedule to reflect the executive order. Please see the schedule below as well as the attached document with the class times and calendar. The schedule begins tomorrow, December 1.
 
School schedule; Monday-Thursday, 9:20am-3:20pm, Friday-WIN Friday
 
Monday and Wednesday
Period 1, 9:20-10:39 (break, 10:39-10:44)
Period 3, 10:44-12:03
Lunch, 12:03-12:37
Period 5, 12:37-1:56 (break, 1:56-2:01)
Period 7, 2:01-3:20
 
Tuesday and Thursday
Period 2, 9:20-10:39 (break, 10:39-10:44)
Period 4, 10:44-12:03
Lunch, 12:03-12:37
Period 6, 12:37-1:56 (break, 1:56-2:01)
Period 8, 2:01-3:20
 
The class times listed next to each course in Skyward will be updated by Wednesday at the latest. Please follow the above schedule beginning tomorrow, December 1.

For a downloadable class calendar, click here.


October 23, 2020 - Introducing Win Fridays

Based on student, parent, and staff feedback to recent surveys, it was determined that MSA needed to adjust its schedule to reduce some of the Zoom fatigue that was being experienced.  The MSA COVID-19 Liaison Team, which is comprised of teachers, parents, and administration, determined that a shift in our Friday schedule would pay the best dividends towards this end and developed WIN (What I Need) Friday Protocols, which are attached.  
 
At the October 19th Board of Director’s meeting this shift in our Distance Learning Plan and Friday schedule was approved. Because this shift results in a change of schedule starting on October 30th, please refer to the attached new, updated schedule for the year.  This schedule can also be found on the MSA website under the Class Meet Days tab.
 
When WIN Fridays occur, students will log into their 1st period class for attendance and then conduct whatever activities their period 1-7 teachers have ready for them.  These activities may be varied weekly and could include any of the following.

  1. An asynchronous activity for a maximum of 45 minutes 

  2. Individual meetings (office hours)

  3. An optional enrichment or on campus activities

 
While it is uncertain what impact the WIN Friday shift will have on everyone’s Zoom fatigue, we believe that conducting this shift offers students and staff the best opportunity of decreasing Zoom fatigue while maintaining our commitment to academic excellence.  You will be asked for your feedback on this shift during our next survey. 


August 10th, 2020 Update

Attached you will find the MSA Fall Plan.  As you should know by now, MSA will open up this fall with distance learning (scenario 3).  Please be aware that this document may be changed as the year progresses and new information is learned.  These changes will be communicated to you via Skyward, our daily announcements, and the MSA website.
 
Should you have questions on the plan, please feel free to email me at jgawarecki@mnmsa.org or drop into my weekly Zoom meeting on Fridays from noon until one.
 
Thank you for choosing MSA as your child’s educational provider!
 
John Gawarecki
MSA Director

 

Scenario Update - August 7th, 2020

For those of you who were unable to listen to the Board of Directors (BOD) meeting last night, I would like to inform you that they decided that MSA would be conducting classes in a distance learning scenario for our 1st semester. While everyone would like to see our students back on campus this fall, the decision to have them on campus would have compromised our student’s safety, which is MSA’s top priority.

MSA’s distance learning this fall will be much different than last year’s emergency distance learning that was conducted to complete the school year. You can expect to see the following as we begin the school year.

  • Your student will be in class daily, following the same schedule that they would have had if they were on campus. Schedules will be sent out soon by Mrs. Pundsack.
  • Students will be required to have synchronous time with their teacher each class. The length of the synchronous time will be determined by the teacher on a daily basis.
  • MSA will utilize the Google Classroom as its primary learning management system.
  • Students will follow a block schedule Monday through Thursday with Fridays being a seven period day where they will attend all of their classes.
  • Additional Advisory time has been built into the schedule so that advisors can check in with students on a regular basis so that student emotional and social needs may be addressed and met.
  • Regular surveys will be conducted so that feedback may be obtained to enhance our educational programming.
  • Activities will be offered as safety guidelines allow. If your student is interested in starting a new activity, please have them discuss the opportunity with Ms. Froberg.
  • We will be holding Back to School Material pickup days. Additional information will be forthcoming.
  • Parents will receive a ‘Parent Expectations and Guidelines’ document - regarding contact information, distance learning expectations, keeping healthy, and parent support in the upcoming weeks.


This school year will be very fluid and unique. I have no doubt that it will be a fantastic year because MSA has a staff that will develop relationships with your student, challenge your student academically, and prepare them for our ever changing future.

Go Dragons, Go!

John Gawarecki
MSA Director

 

2020-21 Fall School Opening - Update 7/30/2020

On Thurs., July 30, 2020, Gov. Walz’s office announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan that gives public school districts the flexibility to choose a school learning option based on localized health data. 

Thursday, Aug. 6, 6 pm, the MSA School Board of Directors (BOD) will meet remotely to discuss and approve the option, hybrid or distance learning, that is best for MSA.


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