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It seems like we have returned to the winters of old – which in my childhood memory meant waiting by the radio and listening for those magic words telling us school would not be in session. As kids we never worried that a day off in February meant another day in school later on – just that we had a full day ahead to play! Fast-forward to today and those late starts, early outs, and days off mean plenty of extra effort by all involved. We do appreciate your flexibility and want you to know we continue our focus on providing a first class education for all.

Please note: School WILL be in session on Friday, March 15; Monday, April 1; and Monday, June 3.

As always, if you have any questions or would just like to visit, please stop in; this is your school!

P.S.  Don’t forget Coffee with Ken held from 7:00 – 7:30 a.m. in the school cafeteria the first Friday of each month.  This is a time for fellowship, asking questions, and getting to know your school a little bit better!  

1. Calendar changes:

• School WILL be in session on Friday, March 15

• School WILL be in session on Monday, April 1

• School WILL be in session Monday, June 3

2. Minnesota Statute #121 A.17 requires all children entering kindergarten in a public school to attend an early childhood developmental screening prior to kindergarten enrollment. Early Childhood Screening (ECS), which is targeted at three and four year old children – but can be done at any time, has a new look for the Morris Area School District. While ECS has been around for years, recently the Morris School contracted with Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health (STG PH) to complete the screenings. Your child will be screened by trained, experienced public health nurses at the STG office at 10 East Hwy 28, Morris, instead of at the school. 

While the location has changed, the components of ECS have not. They include: height, weight, vision, hearing, development, immunization review, health history, social emotional screening, and a parent summary interview. If any problems are found, referrals are made. There is no ECS cost to families.

Teresa, the Child and Teen Checkup Outreach Worker at STG PH, will be contacting families to set up a screening time and date for your young child. She will contact families based on the school’s census list. If for some reason you do not think your child is on that list, please call public health at 320-208-6670.  

3. Our first annual Dare Mighty Things Day went great! Thanks to the following community members for sharing: Jamie Beyer, Dan Dripps, Doug Storck, Jeff Hauger, Mike Busian, Nancy Carpenter, Dave Dybdahl, Karen Folkman, Bob Kieffer, Amy Churchill, Jon Moser and Kent Swenson.        

4. Remember that all elementary teaching staff now have their own individual web pages. This is a great resource to check the weekly happenings/schedules/ lessons for your child’s classroom.  To access teacher sites, first go to the district web site, then click on Elementary, then on Faculty.  To access my site, first go to the district web site, then click on Elementary, then on PRINCIPAL.  

5. STATE TESTING IN APRIL/MAY: All 3rd - 6th grade students should in attendance on these dates!

April 16-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 3, Reading

April 17-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 4, Reading

April 18-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 5, Reading

April 23-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments:  Grade 6, Reading

April 25-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 3, Math

April 30-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments:  Grade 6, Math

May 1-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 5, Math

May 2-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 4, Math

May 2-Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Grade 5, Science

6.  News from the school nurse:

• Immunizations needed for seventh grade entrance: Letters went home with all sixth grade students in early February listing immunizations your child needs before the start of seventh  grade in September 2013. I want to clarify that if immunization dates are listed on the bottom of the letter, then the school has a record. If you did not receive this information or have any questions, please call the school nurse at 320-589-1250, extension 2003 or email at kfolkman@morris.

• Return to school after illness: In order to decrease the spread of illness in our schools, please keep your child home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication, no vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours, and/or have taken a prescribed antibiotic for a full 24 hours (this includes pink eye). Thank you!

7. Third grade students will soon be attending, “A Whale in my School,” and fourth grade students will attend, “The Wonder of Wolves.” We want to thank the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District for sponsoring both programs. Contact your child’s teacher for more information – parents are invited to attend!

Dates To Remember

March 20 – Early dismissal / 12:30 p.m.

March 11-22 – Obstacle Course

March 28 – End of third quarter

March 29 – No School

April 4 – Elementary Science * Math Expo

April 5 – K-6 report cards sent home with students