2020-21

The news stories located in this archive represent accurate information at the time they were published. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing planning, some items may no longer be relevant or accurate.

Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) to Meet Virtually on Tuesday, Dec. 21
12/17/2020
The Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) will meet virtually from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21.
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Park High School Closed for Meal Pick-up on Friday, Dec. 18
12/16/2020
Due to a staffing shortage, the Park High School meal pick-up site will be closed on Friday, Dec. 18. Please see our meal pick-up calendar for alternative locations and times.
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Student Voice Listening Session: Hybrid and Distance Learning
12/03/2020
The first virtual listening session, scheduled for 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, will be facilitated by Superintendent Julie Nielsen and will focus on hybrid and distance learning. We hope to hear what is working well for students and what could be changed and improved.
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Celebrate Hmong New Year on Friday, Dec. 11
12/02/2020
Celebrate the Hmong New Year virtually beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. All are welcome to attend through WebEx which will be lead by the Hmong High School Student Leaders.
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Cottage Grove Elementary Opens Inclusive Playground
10/22/2020
This fall, students at Cottage Grove Elementary School (CGES) returned to a new inclusive and accessible playground. It was made possible after Ainsley K., a student at CGES, wrote a letter to Principal Theresa Blume, asking to make the playground accessible for her friend who uses a wheelchair.
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SoWashCo Receives Grant for a Parent Education Series on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
10/22/2020
PrairieCare Child and Family Fund recently awarded $18,990 to South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) to expand mental health support in our schools. The project called Understanding ADHD: Stop the Stigma – Start the Support will provide K-5 parent education and support, and teacher training this school year. The first parent virtual session is coming up in November.
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New Meal Pick-up Locations and Times Added
10/08/2020
South Washington County Schools has added new meal pick-up locations and times for each learning model.
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Registration to Change Learning Models Begins Next Week
10/08/2020
South Washington County Schools will open registration from Oct. 12-25 for families who wish to change learning models for trimester two.
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Grey Cloud Elementary Receives National Recognition
10/08/2020
Grey Cloud Elementary School is being recognized nationally as a 2020 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S Department of Education.
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Minnesota State High School League Approves Winter Sports, Finalizes Fall Postseason
10/02/2020
On Thursday, Oct. 1, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Board of Directors made several decisions regarding fall sports postseason and the regular season for winter sports.
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SoWashCo Hybrid Learning Model Extended Through Trimester One
10/02/2020
The South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Incident Command Team met on Friday, Oct. 2 to review the latest data related to COVID-19 in our community. After receiving input and reviewing the data, the superintendent determined that SoWashCo will continue in the hybrid learning model through trimester one.
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SoWashCo to Continue in Hybrid Learning Model
09/25/2020
The South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Incident Command Team met on Friday, Sept. 25 to review the latest data related to COVID-19 in our community. The purpose of the team is to advise the superintendent and provide input related to the considerations in making adjustments to the learning model. After receiving input and reviewing the data, the superintendent determined that the school district will continue in the hybrid learning model.
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2020-21 Calendar Updates
09/24/2020
There have been some recent changes and clarifications to the SoWashCo calendars. Updated calendars are always available at sowashco.org/calendar.
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MSHSL Moves Football and Volleyball Back to Fall
09/22/2020
On Monday, Sept. 21, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Board of Directors voted to reconsider its previous decision regarding postponing some fall activities. Volleyball and football will now return to play this fall.
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SoWashCo Students Advance as Semifinalists for 2021 National Merit Scholarship
09/18/2020
Fourteen students from South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) are advancing as semifinalists for the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
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South Washington County Schools to Continue in Hybrid Learning Model
09/12/2020
The South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Incident Command Team met for the first time on Friday, Sept. 11 to review the latest data for keeping schools open to students. The team determined that all schools will continue in the hybrid learning model for at least the next two weeks.
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Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) at Woodbury and Park High Schools Join Together
09/10/2020
The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) programs at Woodbury and Park High Schools are joining to form one blended program.
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Important College Entrance Testing Dates for High School Students
09/10/2020
New dates have been established for the fall PreACT test and the ACT test that was originally postponed in the spring. Only students taking the tests will attend school in person on those days.
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Virtual Family Technology Support Sessions
09/03/2020
Join SoWashCo from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9 or from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 for a live technology support session. Director of Technology Bob Berkowitz will give a brief introduction before families select a breakout session to learn more about Schoology, Seesaw or video conferencing and general technology support.
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Welcome Back to School Video Message from Superintendent Julie Nielsen
09/03/2020
Superintendent Julie Nielsen welcomes you back to the new school year with a message about change, teamwork and success.
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School Meal Pick-up Information is Now Available
09/01/2020
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) families will have the option to pick-up school meals for their enrolled child in the hybrid learning model or Virtual Learning Academy (VLA).
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Kelly Jansen Named New Assistant Superintendent
08/27/2020
Kelly Jansen has been selected as the next Assistant Superintendent of Academic Excellence and Accountability.
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Wayne Felton II Hired as New Achievement and Integration Director
08/23/2020
Wayne Felton II has been selected as the new Director of Achievement and Integration for South Washington County Schools.
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Updated information for Virtual Learning Academy Families
08/19/2020
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) Students will start the school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8 for all grade levels. Students will learn through online learning tools during Trimester 1.
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Complete Transportation Form to Identify Bus Services You No Longer Need
08/17/2020
The South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) transportation office is working to create more efficient bus routes as we begin the 2020-2021 school year in the hybrid learning model.
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South Washington County Schools Shares New Fall Hybrid Model Schedule Information
08/14/2020
Learn more information about the fall hybrid model, the first day of school, transition days and a general hybrid schedule.
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Apply for Child Care for the 2020-21 School Year
08/14/2020
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) will offer child care during the 2020-21 school year to families who qualify as a Tier 1 essential worker. Community Education will also offer fee-based Kids Club child care before school, after school and on designated non-school days.
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School Board Chooses Hybrid Learning Model to Start 2020-21 School Year
08/13/2020
During a school board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, members voted 6-1 to approve a resolution that starts the school year in a hybrid model for all grade levels. The resolution also gave the superintendent the authority to begin following the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) Safe Learning Plan beginning on Sept. 11.
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Julie Nielsen Appointed as the Next Superintendent for South Washington County Schools
08/13/2020
Assistant Superintendent Julie Nielsen has been named as the next superintendent for South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) beginning Sept. 2. She will succeed Dr. Keith Jacobus following his July announcement to retire. Seven members of the board unanimously appointed Mrs. Nielsen to the top leadership position. She is the first female superintendent for South Washington County Schools.
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Pay Fees
South Washington County Schools Launches a New Payment Processing System
08/11/2020
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) has launched a new payment processing system for fees called SmartSchoolK12. This system will be used for processing payments for our school fees (parking, transcripts, clubs, etc.) and competitive activities (soccer, hockey, speech team, etc.).
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Virtual Learning Academy and School Meal Registration
Registration for Virtual Learning Academy and School Meals
08/05/2020
You will be asked about school meals on distance learning days, and if you want your child to be registered and enrolled in our K-12 Virtual Learning Academy.
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SoWashCo Shares Initial Safe Learning Plan for Fall 2020
08/03/2020
During a special school board meeting on Monday, Aug. 3, South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) presented its safe learning plan for the new school year. Following a review of distance learning and in-person learning, the school board voted to approve the most complicated plan – hybrid learning.
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Fall Planning
State Announces Safe Learning Plan for Schools
07/30/2020
Today, Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) set thresholds for schools to reopen safely. The state’s fall school plan is based on a formula that uses COVID-19 infection rates over 14 days in our county (Washington County) as a deciding factor.
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Hybrid Learning
South Washington County Schools Hybrid Learning Option
07/29/2020
SoWashCo planning teams have spent the summer working on the most complicated scenario – hybrid learning. In hybrid learning, students learn through a combination of distance learning at home and in-person learning at school five days a week with strict social distancing measures in place.
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Fall Focus Groups
SoWashCo Community Invited to give Fall 2020 Planning Feedback through Virtual Focus Groups
07/24/2020
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) is conducting virtual focus groups to inform the work of our planning teams for a successful start to the school year.
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Governor Orders Masks to be Worn in all Schools and District Buildings
07/22/2020
Face coverings will be required for all students (in grades K-12), all staff and anyone present in a SoWashCo building beginning July 25.
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Keith Jacobus
Superintendent Keith Jacobus Announces Retirement
07/16/2020
Dr. Keith Jacobus, Superintendent of South Washington County Schools, submitted his notice of retirement during the July 16 school board meeting. The school board accepted his notice, effective Sept. 2, 2020.
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Anna Braun
Anna Braun Hired as New Director of Special Services
07/15/2020
Please join me in welcoming Anna Braun to the role of Director of Special Services.
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MDE Releases Results of Fall 2020 Family Survey
07/13/2020
The Minnesota Department of Education releases survey results for upcoming school year. Majority of families would like to see students back in school but, public health remains a top concern.
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Tyrone Brookins
Tyrone Brookins Hired as New Assistant Superintendent for Academic Excellence and Accountability
07/06/2020
Please join me in welcoming Tyrone Brookins as Assistant Superintendent for Academic Excellence and Accountability.
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Three Scenarios Considered for Minnesota Schools This Fall
06/19/2020
The Minnesota Department of Education released guidance for school districts to create plans based on three scenarios for fall 2020. Because we don’t know which scenario the state will choose, it’s important for parents to prepare for all three possibilities.
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A Message from Superintendent Keith Jacobus About the Death of George Floyd
05/29/2020
I am writing to you with overwhelming feelings of sorrow, outrage and dismay following the actions that led to the death of George Floyd. As a school community, we are here for each other and more than ever we need to reach out to our friends and neighbors and show the compassion, empathy and humanity everyone deserves.
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