Dassel-Cokato Schools

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Fall Planning and Sports Update - 8/4/2020

  • Dear DC Families,

    Thank you for your patience over the past few days, we would like to provide an update about returning to school this fall.  According to the Safe Learning Plan 2020-2021 and based on the current COVID numbers within Meeker and Wright Counties, all students in grades K-6 will return to in-person learning starting September 8th.  Currently, our students in grades 7-12 qualify for the Hybrid learning model. 

    Mn Department of Health Consultation
    On Thursday, August 6th an appointment has been scheduled with the Mn Department of Health to discuss grades 7-12.  Being a school district in two counties, the Governor’s plans direct us to use the more conservative learning model recommended of the two.  Meeker County’s numbers allow for students in grades 7-12 to return in person but Wright County would have them in the Hybrid model.  We have conversed with Wright County Public Health and know our COVID numbers in Cokato are lower than the rest of the county.  Our meeting with the Mn Department of Health will be to discuss bringing back all students, K-12, for in-person learning based on our local community numbers.  We will communicate the result of this meeting as soon as we have a determination.  Detailed information regarding fall planning will be available on the district website’s COVID-19 page within a couple of days of receiving our determination for grades 7-12 for fall. 

    Virtual Learning: The Charger Way
    However we come back to school, we know there are families who are either unable or unwilling to return to school for in-person learning this fall and we plan to offer them Virtual Learning: The Charger Way.  This online option will allow students to keep pace with the curriculum being taught in the classroom and will allow for a smooth transition back when the students are able and ready to return.  We will be asking families who are interested in this option to sign-up by Friday, August 14th.  Click here for more information.

    Fall Athletics
    The Mn State High School met today and made decisions about Cross Country, Girls Swim, Football, and Volleyball. The information below pertains only to 10th-12th grade sports. Decisions have yet to be made regarding 7th-9th grade fall sports and we will communicate them as soon as we know.  

    Cross Country was approved for the fall with no more than 1-2 events per week and no more than 3 teams competing in events.  Girls swim was approved for the fall with no more than 1-2 events per week. There will be more information to follow regarding fan attendance. 

    Football and Volleyball have been moved to the spring starting mid-March and going through mid-May.  Those seasons will be shortened and there will be fewer contests than what is normally scheduled.  Spring sports are anticipated to be held from mid-May to July.  We will be communicating updates as soon as new information comes in.  

    The Minnesota State High School League determines student eligibility based on the school the student is currently attending or was previously enrolled in.  If your family is considering alternative schooling options this fall please call 286-4100 (ext 1810) or email Activity Director Perry Thinesen to help determine any potential (current or future) eligibility issues

    Next Steps
    To be clear, our current COVID numbers for Meeker and Wright County qualify all students in grades K-6 to return to school with in-person learning this fall.  Our meeting with the Mn Department of Health is Thursday, August 6th and as soon as we have a determination for grades 7-12 we will communicate it with families.   Detailed information regarding these final determinations will be posted on our website within a few days.  

    Families, we are going to be asking for your help regardless of how we return to school.  If you are able and willing to drive your student to and from school, please plan to do so and help us reduce crowding on buses.  Students, staff, and visitors will be required to adhere to the statewide mask mandate.  Families who are not in support of their student(s) complying with this mandate should choose Virtual Learning or contact their student’s Special Education Case Manager.  

    As a school district, we'll be continually monitored in our ability to adhere to the required health practices and that will directly affect our ability to keep students in the classrooms as long as possible.  Students will be required to wear masks while riding transportation and in the school buildings except when: eating or drinking, participating in singing or playing a band instrument, while outdoors, or when participating in physical activities where the level of exertion would make it difficult to do so.  

    Ultimately we feel the best place for our students is in the classroom and we are confident in our abilities to safely offer classes this fall.  From everyone at Dassel-Cokato Schools, thank you for your support and patience.  Nothing about this is easy but having the support of our community means everything.

    Please take a moment to notice the COVID-19 page located at the top of the page, in the menu bar.  Although it is in its initial stage, this page will be the central location for COVID-19 information and updates. More to come soon, stay tuned.


    Jeff Powers

    Comments (-1)

Powers' Points

  • Fall Planning Survey Results

    Posted by Abbey Lang on 7/24/2020
    The Fall Planning Survey was sent to all district families with the intent of creating a baseline, "a finger on the pulse", of how our families were feeling about school this fall.  The questions asked were kept basic for two specific reasons, one - we wanted as large of a response as possible and knew we'd have a better percentage by keeping them short and concise, and two - we had limited shareable details that weren't subject to change.  Much of what is being planned, within each of the three scenarios, depends on the number of students we have this fall. (This is explained more in the 7/24 video message from Mr. Powers.)
    The Fall Planning survey generated 752 responses, both through online submissions and direct calling efforts made over three days.
    We learned:
    • 441 families will send their student(s) back to school this fall, regardless of the scenario
    • 113 families will participate in In-Person or Hybrid learning but NOT distance learning
    • 103 families will ONLY attend In-Person learning
    • 16 families (59 students) are intending to UNENROLL their students this fall regardless of the scenario.
    • 35 families said they will NOT return in-person but would participate in DL
    • 33 families said they will NOT return in-person but would participate in Distance or Hybrid learning.
    • 4 families will only participate in Hybrid learning.
    • The remaining families answered in ways that were inconclusive for these purposes.
    What does this mean?
    • We received a 67% response rate from families which is probably the highest ever and helped give us a good idea of how families were feeling...at that moment in time.
    • We know 59 students are planning to unenroll regardless of the scenario and additionally, another 159 students are either unable or unwilling to return to in-person learning.  Keep in mind these numbers are based on the 67% we heard from.  If we look at these numbers in comparison to our entire student population we're estimating the number to be closer to 330 students unable or unwilling to return to in-person learning this fall, approximately 15% of our student population.
    • We heard from many vocal families who are only willing to attend in-person, but they only want to do so if there are no masks or other restrictions.  At the time of the survey, we didn't have a statewide mandate.  EO 20-81 has changed things.
    • If we are required to do the Hybrid model we will require help with student transportation in order to offer in-school instruction to all the grades. Fortunately, 60% of families said they would be willing to drive their students to and from school.
    In summary, while the majority of families want to return to school this fall there is a significant portion of students who are either unable or unwilling to return to in-person learning at this time.  We know our days will look different than those before March 16, 2020, and most families are understanding but there is also a significant portion frustrated with the mask-mandate, restrictions, and the uncertainty of everything.  All of these factors are being taken into consideration as we continue to plan for each scenario and work to meet the needs of both families and staff.  
    Comments (-1)

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DC Schools Communications

  • Update 5/29

  • Updates 5/8 and 5/15

  • Power Update with Mr. Powers - 5/15/2020

  • Power Update with Mr. Powers - 05/01/2020

  • Communication April 30, 2020

  • Power Update by Mr. Powers - 4/23/2020

  • Power Update by Mr. Powers - 4/14/2020

  • Communication April 9, 2020

  • Communication April 3, 2020

  • Communication March 30, 2020

  • Communication March 25, 2020

  • Communication March 20, 2020

  • Communication March 19, 2020

  • Communication March 16, 2020 (PM)

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Character Pillars

  • In the early 1990s a group of local school representatives, parents, community members, and ministers met to determine a common set of acceptable character traits that could be taught in our schools and that would coincide with the beliefs of our two communities. The result of this effort was the identification of six Character Pillars. Almost 20 years later, these six, excellent Pillars still provide the basis for character education in our school district.

    • RESPECT: Showing genuine concern for yourself, others and the world around you.
    • RESPONSIBILITY: Being accountable for your actions and accepting the consequences of those actions.
    • RESILIENCY: Rebounding from significant stresses with a positive attitude and sense of balance.
    • INTEGRITY: Reflecting trustworthiness, honesty, and self-discipline.
    • COMPASSION: Willing to share and give aid or support to all people; caring.
    • UNDERSTANDING DIVERSITY: Realizing that everyone is unique and that all have their strengths and limitations.

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