News

News articles are published by the Communications Department. Story ideas, comments or questions can be sent to info@sowashco.org


Health and Safety Restrictions Remain in Place for Schools
05/07/2021
Governor Tim Walz announced a timeline to ease restrictions related to COVID-19. Though this is welcome news, our youngest students still do not have access to a vaccine. As a result, the state has announced that Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan remains in place for all schools through the end of the school year. In addition, the health and safety measures like mask wearing, hand washing, social distancing and 14-day quarantines will remain in place through at least the last day of school.
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Guiding Values for Negotiations
05/06/2021
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) and its employee labor groups share a common interest in creating the most effective educational experience for our students. To support this goal, SoWashCo Schools has established guiding values for contract negotiations.
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Share Your Stories
Share Your Stories on May 20
05/06/2021
SoWashCo is seeking input from all secondary students (6-12) in our fifth Share Your Stories listening session. The virtual listening session, scheduled for 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, will be facilitated by Superintendent Julie Nielsen, Assistant Principal Ashley Ruka and Literacy Coordinator Leah Bulous, and will focus on the 2021-22 school year.
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Three Senior Student-Athletes Named 2021 Athena Award Winners
05/06/2021
Three outstanding senior student-atheletes were named athena Award Winners. Congratulations to Lily Warmuth from East Ridge High School, Shauna Miller from Park High School and Michelle Yang from Woodbury High School for their impressive athletic and academic achievements.
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Graduating Senior Meal Account Balances
05/06/2021
If you have a graduating senior, please check their meal account balance. Positive balances may be transferred to another student’s lunch account, donated to the Angel Fund or refunded if the balance is $10 or more.
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Meal Pick-up Schedule Dates Added Through the End of the School Year
05/06/2021
New dates have been added to the spring meal pick-up schedule through the end of the school year. SoWashCo families in Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) will continue to be able to pick up free meals (breakfast and lunch) for their child from 8:30-10 a.m. on Fridays at East Ridge and Park High Schools.
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Now Hiring for SoWashCo Summer School and Kids Club
05/06/2021
Are you or someone you know looking for a summer job? Join us for SoWashCo Schools summer programs The Mix, YOUth Force and summer Kids Club. To see all the available positions, visit www.sowashco.org/careers and click on the “Apply Now” button.
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"Let's Talk," A Mental Health Initiative in SoWashCo Secondary Schools
05/06/2021
May is Mental Health Awareness month. To help support students, SoWashCo Schools is promoting the “Stop the Stigma, Let’s Talk” campaign.
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Changes to Notifications for COVID-19 Exposures Considered Low-risk
04/22/2021
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) is adjusting its communication protocols when secondary students are determined to have a low-risk exposure to COVID-19. Beginning Monday, April 26, families of secondary students will no longer receive an individual communication for low-risk exposures.
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Valley Crossing Elementary Students Win STEM Design Challenge
04/22/2021
Two groups of Valley Crossing Elementary School (VCES) students were awarded first and second place respectively at the elementary Minnesota Zoo’s ZOOMS STEM Design Challenge. The STEM design challenge asked students to apply math and science knowledge, creativity and critical thinking to create an enrichment solution for the Minnesota Zoo’s red panda to help keep the creatures busy and engaged.
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Two East Ridge Students Participate in All-State Honor Band
04/22/2021
Two East Ridge High School (ERHS) students Addison Gager (French horn) and Nadia Wang (oboe) were selected to perform in the Minnesota Band Directors’ Association All-State Honor Band. Students participated in lessons, rehearsed and performed virtually on April 17, 2021.
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Fall 2021-22 Preschool Enrollment
04/22/2021
Applications for fall preschool are open now. Families with a child that will turn three on or before Sept. 1 can enroll in a variety of programs. Applications are open for classes on a first-come, first-served basis until June 18. Learn more about each program and apply on the Community Education website.
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Fall 2021-22 Kids Club Enrollment Deadline Reminder
04/22/2021
The deadline to enroll in the fall 2021-22 school year Kids Club program is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 2. The Kids Club program offers elementary families child care that focuses on a personalized experience. There are a variety of options available including full-time or part-time before and/or after school care. Learn more about the program and enroll on the Community Education website.
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Join the Native American Parent Committee
04/22/2021
SoWashCo Schools Native American Parent Committee is looking for new Native American parent members to help advise the district on Native American academics and extracurricular activities. Your involvement will help make classrooms more inclusive and give all students at SoWashCo Schools an education that reflects Native American traditions, cultures and histories.
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Office of Indian Education Grant Hearing on April 29
04/22/2021
SoWashCo Schools Native American families are​invited to join the Office of Indian Education from 6:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 29 for a virtual public hearing presentation on the electronic application system for Indian education (EAISE) Part II grant. The meeting will review the goals and objectives of the grant and discuss how it will be allocated for specific programming. The meeting can be joined by clicking the link below at the scheduled date and time.
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Statement and Resources Following the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial
04/20/2021
The verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial has brought strong emotions from students, staff and families. To help students process their feelings on the verdict and what is happening in our communities, our schools will provide spaces for constructive and age-appropriate conversations. Whether in the classroom or another identified safe space at school, our social workers, counselors, psychologists and cultural liaisons will be available this week to support students.
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SoWashCo Schools Team Up with South Washington Watershed District to Help Improve Our Environment
04/18/2021
For several years, seven South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) have partnered with the South Washington Watershed District (SWWD) for projects that help improve our groundwater, environment, and create habitats for birds and pollinators. The projects also offer unique learning opportunities for students.
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Woodbury High School Teacher Named Air Force Association’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year
04/18/2021
Woodbury High School Teacher, Thomas Patzold, Senior Aerospace Studies Instructor for Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) was chosen as the Air Force Association’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year.
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Virtual Learning Academy Not Planned for 2021-22 School Year
04/08/2021
In February, parents had the opportunity to complete a VLA survey. The results showed that there was low interest in VLA for the next school year with only 482 families indicating they would consider it. The responses were spread out across all grade levels (elementary, middle and high). Based on this survey information, staffing timeline requirements and the availability of a vaccine, South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) is not planning to continue the VLA option next school year (2021-22).
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Statewide Tornado Drill Held on Thursday, April 15
04/08/2021
The statewide tornado drill will be held on Thursday, April 15 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Teachers will talk to students about staying safe, where to go in the school during a tornado and other safety procedures.
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Six SoWashCo Students Participate in All-State Honor Band
04/08/2021
Six South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) students were selected to perform in the Minnesota Band Directors’ Association All-State Honor Band. Students will take lessons, rehearse and perform virtually on April 17, 2021.
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East Ridge High School Student Selected as 2021 Triple "A" Award Winner
04/08/2021
Congratulations to Allison Benjamin on being selected as the top female Triple “A” Award winner. The award recognizes high school seniors for academics, arts and athletics.
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A Reminder About COVID-19 Quarantine Procedures
04/01/2021
A 14-day quarantine remains the safest recommendation from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for the greatest protection against spreading the virus.
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It has Been a Tough Week for our Community
03/18/2021
This has been a tough week for our community. Though our district serves seven different cities and towns, recent events have touched us all. As a school community, we need to support each other and show compassion and empathy. Please take time during this upcoming week to reach out to a friend, a colleague, a family member or a neighbor to let them know that you care.
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Schools Now a Drop-off Site for Student COVID-19 Tests
03/18/2021
If families choose to order a free,Vault-at-Home COVID-19 test, students can now bring their completed and bagged test to school on designated drop-off days. School health staff will then send the test to the lab.
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SoWashCo CARES Education Foundation Donation
03/18/2021
The Woodbury Rotary Club donated $20,865 to SoWashCo CARES Education Foundation to support student mental health and well-being in South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo). The donation will be used to help students receive mental health services, provide mindfulness tools and materials and supply training for district staff and students.
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Park High School AVID Student Selected as Dell Scholarship Winner
03/18/2021
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) at ParkLan Mai High School is pleased to announce that Lan Mai has been selected as a 2021 Dell Scholar. The Dell Scholars program focuses on providing support for students as they pursue a higher education degree.
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Share Your Stories: How My Cultural Identity Is Seen, Heard and Honored Part Two on April 15
03/16/2021
Student voice is a valuable part of our classrooms, schools and community. SoWashCo is seeking input from all secondary students (6-12) in our fourth Share Your Stories listening session. The virtual listening session, scheduled for 2-3 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, will be facilitated by Superintendent Julie Nielsen, Assistant Principal Ashley Ruka and Literacy Coordinator Leah Bulous, and will focus on cultural identity.
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A Bittersweet Spring Break Message
03/04/2021
We are quickly approaching the one-year mark since COVID-19 first shut down our schools. Our students were set to return from spring break when it was abruptly extended before we discovered that the rest of the school year was about to look completely different. I know many of you, or perhaps mostly our students, are looking forward to spring break. As a reminder, there is no school next week, March 8 through March 12. I hope you will find time to relax or spend some quality time with loved ones. Traditionally, spring break is a time when many families choose to travel out-of-state or even out of the country. We strongly encourage everyone to follow health and safety precautions and avoid any unnecessary travel.
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New Spring Meal Pick-up Calendar
03/04/2021
To accommodate students shifting learning models, there is a new meal pick-up calendar for March and April. The new calendar will start the week of March 19. SoWashCo families in Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) will be able to pick up free meals (breakfast and lunch) for their child from 8:30-10 a.m. on Fridays at East Ridge and Park High Schools. Student barcodes will be required for pick-up.
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Kindergarten Enrollment
03/04/2021
Families with a child eligible to begin kindergarten for the 2021-22 school year are encouraged to complete the online enrollment form as soon as possible.
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Help Your School By Completing an Educational Benefits Form
12/18/2020
You can help your school by completing the Application for Educational Benefits (Free and Reduced Price Meals Application) online or by printing it and returning it to your school by Jan. 4, 2021. Only one application is needed per household. Families who qualify will receive free or reduced price meals, field trips, equipment rentals and more.
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School Board Passes Racial Equity Resolution
12/03/2020
During the school board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19, the board unanimously approved a racial equity resolution. The school board recognizes the need to take decisive action to provide each student with a welcoming and inclusive school environment that will directly contribute to learning and success.
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A Message About Health and Safety From Incoming Superintendent Julie Nielsen
08/25/2020
Join incoming Superintendent Julie Nielsen for a tour of some of the changes that students, staff and families will see for the new school year.
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