Coronavirus Parent Updates

Coronavirus Parent Updates
Posted on 04/01/2020

Our Top Priority Is the Safety and
Of our Students.

Minnesota Department of Health Public Hotline Number -
(651) 201-3910


Elementary Summer School Information
Please see the attached summer school letter for updated information and registration form.  If you have questions, please call the Pinecrest office at 480-7280.

2020 Summer School Registration Form  

Information Update:  High School Parents - 5/26/2020

Dear Hastings High School Parents, Guardians and Students.  Thank you for your sincere efforts, work ethic and positive attitude as we continue with Distance Learning.  I want to provide timely updates as we look towards the end of the school year.  

School board members and administrators have been collaborating to provide a meaningful graduation that is safe for all.  Graduation plans and senior events are planned to meet executive orders, social distancing guidelines and directives specifically for schools.  As a school district we value – safety as the priority, recognition of seniors, honoring traditions and the community, and a reflection that we are not in normal times.

Senior Letter.  Our annual senior letter has been sent to families of seniors.  This letter includes information about the Senior Privileges ID and Class of 2020 lanyard and the activities, honors and recognition we have for our seniors.  These include nearly $225,000 in senior scholarships, new Senior Banners, yard signs, t-shirts, videos, caps/gowns/tassels that seniors keep, “Drive Through Lunch” and the last day of school.  The last day for the seniors is Friday, May 29 - as long as they are passing all classes required for graduation and there are no “senior pranks.”
1. The Last Day for Seniors is Friday, May 29 
Senior class motto – “We Are All In This Together!”  The last day of school for the senior Class of 2020 is Friday, May 29.  We developed a special “Senior Drive Through at HHS.”  Seniors will drive through several stations in the HHS parking lot hosted by different staff members – “Graduation Bin”, drop off books/Chromebooks, receive lunch from the cooks!

2. Graduation Friday, June 5 – “The 150th Graduating Class of HHS”
Seniors and their families are invited to participate in the Graduation Processional on the HHS campus.  To manage the number of vehicles and ensure safety of all, students are scheduled for a specific group time based upon last name (see Senior Letter).  Students will sit in the passenger side of the vehicle, wear their caps & gowns, display their diplomas and be identified by the attached “Senior Banner.”  Each graduate’s name will be announced as they drive by the staff entrance of HHS.  Hastings Community Television will broadcast the processional live.  

HCTV will combine the processional video with a pre-recorded Class of 2020 graduation speech by HHS Student Council Officers Ben Ascheman, Faith Forstad, Meghan McNamara and Andy O’Brien, a Class of 2020 song by Eva Storkamp, and messages from the School Board Chair Kelsey Waits and Principal Mike Johnson.  HCTV will create a Commencement of the Class of 2020 video for the community.  Rain dates are June 4 or June 6 and will be communicated using the Hastings School District messaging system voicemail, text and email.

JUNE 5 SAFETY and SOCIAL DISTANCING.  Please note that this is not a “parade” in the traditional sense.  We must follow the Governor’s and Minnesota Department of Education guidance as well as expectations from Hastings Police.
1. This is not a parade – no floats, pull-behinds, motorcycles, farm equipment, etc.
2. This is not a parade – social distancing does not allow for spectators along the road.  Family and friends are invited to watch the processional from home live on Hastings Community TV Facebook.
3. Seniors and their families parents are in their own vehicles – carpooling does not comply with social distancing.
4. People with COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, etc.) should not attend – no matter what.
5. Seniors and their families must remain in their vehicles.  If windows are rolled down vehicles must remain at least 6 feet apart.  No one may exit their vehicle.  Objects may not be passed between vehicles.

No Final Exams.  There will not be specific final exams or a final exam schedule to end the school year.  Students and teachers are committed to learning and teaching through June 5.  I am sure we all will be excited to have final exams again, next school year in January!

Grading Policy Change at High School.  Please see Policy ( and Flow Chart ( ) for detailed information. 
Students and teachers will continue to learn and teach, and submit and grade student work in an A, B, C, D, No Credit (NC) format for the remainder of the school year.  
At the end of the semester if the student is passing the class - students and families will be given a choice for each course for the letter grade (A-D) or a Pass (P).  
At the end of the semester if the student is not passing the class, the students will be given an NC.
Grades of A-D “count” towards a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) – these grades may raise or lower a GPA.
Grades of P and NC do not “count” towards a student’s GPA – they do not raise or lower a GPA.  The direction we have been given from colleges is that P’s will be fully accepted.
Teachers will post to class Schoology pages how and when students should communicate their grade choice.

Returning Chromebook (w/charging cord, hot spot and bag), textbooks, instruments, cameras, library book (books you have from a teacher’s library) and picking up Yearbooks, projects personal items, etc.
Seniors - Device/Textbook Drop off from vehicles at student entrance – May 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – see schedule in Senior Letter.
Students Grades 9-11 – Device/Textbook Drop off from vehicles June 8, 9, and 10 at student entrance according to the following schedule.
MONDAY, June 8
A-H from 8:00 - 10:00
I-Q from 10:00 - 12:00
R-Z from 1:00 - 3:00 TUESDAY, June 9
R-Z from 8:00 - 10:00
A-H 10:00 - 12:00
I-Q from 1:00 - 3:00 WEDNESDAY, June 10
I-Q from 8:00 - 10:00
R-Z 10:00 - 12:00
A-H from 1:00 - 3:00

Drop off procedure:
Families are asked to check the schedule above to return student devices, and materials. 
In order to manage social distancing and potential demand for devices, we ask that families plan your drop off during the allotted times.  If none of the times allocated work, families may choose a different one that best fits their schedule.
High school students will complete a Student Personal Items Survey indicating the personal items or projects they have in school – these items will be placed in a bag labeled for each student to be picked up on the above dates.  If items are not found or accessible (student-owned lock) an administrator will contact the student to schedule an individual appointment to get those specific items.
Families are requested to return both the device and the charger in the bag it was received or some other packaged manner.

Student Personal Items Survey.  Please click on the link below if you have personal items or projects in school that we can collect for you - we will give them to you when you drop off your books/Chromebooks.   If items are not found or accessible (student-owned lock) an administrator will contact the student to schedule an individual appointment to get those specific items.
Student Personal Items Survey 
Yearbooks.  Yearbooks that were purchased by students will be distributed to them when they drop off their books/Chromebooks at HHS.  For seniors, this will be May 29.  For students in grades 9-11, it will be June 8-10 according the schedule on the previous page.

Awards Night.  The annual Hastings High School Awards Night aired Monday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.  This event honors graduating seniors with scholarships through the HHS Local Scholarship Program and students in grades 9-12 who have earned academic awards.  Here is the information on how to watch HHS Awards Night 2020.  Youtube link: 
No School Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day.

Last day of school, Friday, June 5.  Friday, June 5 is the last day of school for students and it is a half-day ending at 11:30 a.m.

Thank you for your continued support!  Mike Johnson – HHS Principal

Information Update - Elementary Summer School

To help us plan for a potential distance learning summer school option, we need additional feedback from families and staff members.  We are currently exploring two potentially modified distance learning plans.  Please complete this survey to help us gauge the current level of interest in summer school.  Both plans will include two hour blocks of time (9-11am) with a combination of Zoom meetings and work time.  

Summer School Survey

Information Update - Pinecrest Parents 5/22/2020
With the end of the school year fast approaching, we want to share our process for two important days.  

Student material pickup and returns/library drop off day is TUESDAY, JUNE 2ND from 9-3 pm.  

All student items from school have been packed in paper bags and are ready to return to families.  This includes medications and yearbooks, if ordered.  Please bring any library or classroom books you may have at home.  There is a book collection box at the front doors if you are able to return books prior to June 2nd.   

Pick up procedure: 
1. Pull up to the Pinecrest front doors.  
2. Someone will come to your car with a radio and call in for your child's materials.  
3. Pull forward and a staff member will bring the items out to your vehicle.  
4. Please open a trunk or door so materials can be put in the vehicle. 

*No one will be allowed to come into PINECREST on Tuesday. We need all students and families to stay in their vehicles. 

End of the Year Celebration 
What a year!  To celebrate all our hard work this past school year, we would like an opportunity to see you all before summer kicks off!  Please join us on Thursday, June 4th by driving through the Pinecrest/Middle School loop!  Our staff will be spread out along the sidewalk by grade level and specialist teams to wave and connect with our students.  We ask all families to remain in their vehicles as they drive through.  Sign making and car decorations are appreciated and will help us know who is inside the cars!   

Please follow these guidelines to help this run smoothly. 

• After consulting with our police department, we are asking all families to turn onto Pine Street from Hwy 55, then turn right into our loop.  By only having cars turn right, this should help avoid traffic backing up on Pine Street.  We all know how hard it is to turn left at busy times!      
• We are asking families with students in kindergarten-3rd grade to visit us between 1:00-2:00.  Please come any time during that hour, as there is no official “start”.  We do not need people lining up beforehand, like a traditional parade.  This should also help with any traffic congestion.  
• For students in 4th grade, please visit us any time from 2:15-3:00. 

Upcoming Important Dates 
June 2 - Materials Pick-up 9:00-3:00 
June 4 - End of year Celebration k-3 1:00-2:00  4th grade 2:15-3:00

Information Update: 5-21-2020 - Summer Food Program 
The end of the school year is quickly approaching. Many of you are probably wondering what that will mean for school delivered meals.
Click Here to reach a survey to gather information on family needs. If food security is a concern for your family please make sure to fill out the survey so we can determine the need in our district. If you don’t have access to internet and would like to participate please contact Pam Hoffman at 651-480-7127. 

Information Update - Pinecrest Elementary

I want to start with a big, heartfelt THANK YOU! Thank you for supporting your child during distance learning. Thank you for encouraging them to try their best. We know technology does not always work. Stayin home is hard. Many times parents work means children have to wait to do school work. We understand! Finding balance is much harder for all of us these past 2 months. Keep trying your best! We can finish strong! We got this!  

A big thank you to families who completed our survey. The information provided is useful distance learning. Many families shared that the school work is just the right amount of work and not too difficult. Lessons will look the same for the next few weeks.  In spring, we try different types of learning, like plays, projects, and memory books. Specials: music and art activities will be the same day as our Zoom class meetings. If it ever feels like too much work or too many activities, please email, text, or call your child’s teacher.  We really do want lessons and learning to be good for all families. Please contact your teacher if you need more challenging materials. Our teachers support the growth of all students. There were a few families that asked for more support but did not provide contact information. Please reply to me directly if you are still waiting to hear back from us! Paul Bakker, 651-480-72800 or Ask for an interpreter!

Students and families across our country and world share in this experience. Our kids are not behind or ahead in school. No one will need to repeat their current grade because of distance learning. We are all doing our best, taking one day at a time, and looking to help kids through this. 

And remember...Teachers have loved seeing their students interact with each other over Zoom! We love the personal video messages they record for us and hearing their voices. I even saw a song a kindergartner performed for his teacher!  We miss seeing them at school every day! We know this is not the same as routine school!

We will share our plan for picking up your child’s belongings, including yearbooks for those that ordered them. We are thinking pick up time on Monday or Tuesday of the last week of school and some type of way to celebrate the year on Wednesday. We will communicate this when the decision is made.

I really appreciated how one parent summed up this experience, "I think this has been a wonderful opportunity to teach children life skills, ‘thinking outside the box’, and being resourceful. It has been difficult and challenging but these hardships help us and the kids grow. Thankful to everyone!"

Stay strong! We can do this!


Paul Bakker

Principal - Pinecrest Elementary - The best job in the world!

Information Update - McAuliffe Elementary

Wow, what a couple of months we have all experienced!!  Thank you so much for supporting your child(ren) during this pandemic. Keeping all things in life going has been a challenge for many of us!  Personally for my household, keeping up with Seesaw activities and ensuring work is getting done by my middle schoolers in Schoology has its ups and downs.  Just know we are all in this together and value our relationships with you!   As we look at the final weeks of this school year, I wanted to give you some updates on a few items that I know people are thinking about.  

Q. How are we going to create closure for the end of the school year?

A. I know parents and staff have wondered about doing a drive through the school parking lot so we can have some sort of “in person” goodbye. If this can happen, it will be during the last week of school with more details to come.   

Q. I ordered a yearbook, how do I get it?  I didn’t order a yearbook, but we want one, how would I get one?

A.The ordered yearbooks will be available to pick up during the last week of school. The PTC did order a few extra yearbooks. If you didn’t order one, there might be an option to still buy one, please contact Beth at 651.480.7390 for more information.  Please note, there is a limited supply of these extra books to buy.

Q. How can I get my child’s school supplies & other stuff (I can’t even imagine what is all in those desks-ha)?

A. We are going to plan for the last week of school for this to take place.  Exact details to come later.

Q. What do I do with the school’s iPad that I’m using at home?

A. We are finalizing our plans and will message more information in the next couple of weeks.


The feedback from having class Zoom sessions has been very positive.  Please encourage your child to attend those opportunities. It supports our personal connections with each other and throughout our school community.

Distance Learning   

We continue to grow in our capacity to design, deliver, adjust, fine tune, and adapt our lessons.  If you need something specific to better meet your child’s needs, please reach out to your child’s teacher. 

Survey results

As far as surveys go, we had great participation and feedback!  Thank You!!  The most important component of our distance learning remains the same, safety.  We want all in our school community to be safe and be healthy.  If you ever want to connect, please reach out to us! Any one of us is willing to help or find appropriate help 651.480.7390.  The information provided is useful as we plan for the last month of school, distance learning style. I passed on the words of thanks and support from the survey to our staff. The majority of families shared there seems to be just the right amount of work with the appropriate rigor. If it ever feels like too much work or too many activities, please, please, please reach out to your child’s teacher.  We really do want this to be a good fit for all families. The same holds true if you are looking for enrichment or challenging materials. Our teachers are great resources and look to support the growth of all students. One last connection to the survey, there were a few families that asked for more support but did not provide contact information. Please reply to me directly if you are still waiting to hear back from us!

Students and families across our country and world share in this experience. Our kids are not behind or ahead. No one will need to repeat their current grade as a result of distance learning. We are all doing our best, taking one day at a time, and looking to help kids persevere through this. 

Information Update - Middle School 

If you haven’t picked up locker items (hallway locker or gym locker) you can come anytime 8:00-12:00 or 1:00-3pm Monday through Wednesday next week May 11, 12, 13. This includes all students 1st AND 2nd floor lockers. Gym locker items and nurses office medication are also grouped with student items.

Pull up to the front of the school, tell your student’s name to the people with walkie talkies, and they will have your student’s bag brought out. You will not get out of your vehicle or touch the items.

If you are unable to come these three days, you will need to call and make an appointment to pick up your items (more info on this will follow next week).

Information Update 4-28-2020

As we have previously shared, Governor Walz has made the decision to extend distance learning in all Minnesota Schools for the duration of the school year.  He’s also set aside Friday, May 1 and Monday, May 4 as days for our districts to refine our distance learning plans.  We are inviting your feedback to help inform our revisions.  Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to share your ideas to the questions in this survey: Parent Survey

We look forward to hearing your feedback so we can better serve you in the days and weeks ahead.

Information Update 4-23-2020

Dear Families,

You may have heard the Governor’s announcement this afternoon of a new Executive Order that continues distance learning in schools statewide for the remainder of the school year.  While this was not likely the news we were hoping to hear, it is an important step to keep our community safe.  We want to assure you that we will continue to care for families in our Hastings community.  Breakfast and lunches will remain free for all students on school days; there is no eligibility required.  Critical care workers’ child care will also remain in effect on school days.

We recognize the transition to distance learning was abrupt; our students didn’t know that they were experiencing their final moments within the school building as they left for spring break.  This extension of distance learning causes additional feelings of loss knowing that our students and families will not share in the memories of spring athletics, arts, academics, prom, graduation, and walking down the hallways together for the last time - and these feelings of loss are particularly difficult for the class of 2020.  Our staff is also grieving the daily interaction with students- from the secretaries who greet students as they enter the building to the bus drivers who shuttle kids to and from school and athletic events to the cooks and servers who miss the smiles of kids as they are served their favorite school lunch.  And our teachers - while they have the opportunity to interact with students more than most school staff, they feel the difference and they miss your children! Even with the sadness, loss and grieving, we recognize that Governor Walz is making a decision to help ensure that our families and friends are safe.

As a school district, we will take this announcement to continue distance learning as an opportunity to revisit our distance learning plan and sustain those pieces that seem to be working and take the opportunity to revise those pieces that could use a tune-up. Most importantly, we will continue to make sure that we have personal contacts with families and students who are in need.  There are many plans and decisions that are not yet finalized.  When we feel confident that we’ve outline a safe and well thought-out plan, we’ll let you know about many things including: 

The process for returning school items to families and students.

How to honor our graduating senior class.

The potential to provide Camp Horizon for the summer months.

And, even though we might dream up some excellent plans, we are aware that future guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education and Governor Walz may require us to adjust those plans.  Even so, we will still move forward with our planning and discussion at this time.

So many people in our community have stepped up to support Hastings students, our community, and our healthcare and emergency providers who work tirelessly to keep us safe - for that we want to express our sincere gratitude.  Thank you.

As a school district, we appreciate your understanding and patience as we work together through the issues that arise due to the CV-19 pandemic.