Arcadia This Week 12/13/2021

Hello, Arcadia families, students, and friends,

I can’t say this starts out as the most fun newsletter of the year, with its information about the updated online option guidelines, changing attendance policy, new Rice County COVID-19 numbers, and a reminder about going home sick from school needing to go through the health office.

However, on a positive note, there is also an announcement about the upcoming middle school field trip to see Annie as performed by the Children’s Theater Company! And we are looking for adults who would be interested in volunteering at school to help greet students as they come in each morning, to supervise lunch, and generally to be additional caring adults in the building!   

Monday: Day 1

Tuesday: Day 2

–Also picture retake day!!

Wednesday: Day 3

Thursday: Day 4

Friday: Day 5

Online Option

As I noted in my email yesterday, we needed to put more specific guidelines in place around the online option, bringing use of the online option back to its original purpose: ensuring that students would not miss school due to COVID-19 quarantining or related challenges.

Here is a link to the COVID-19 Plan with clearer Online Option guidelines: COVID-19 Plan 2021-2022

Attendance Policy Changes

Attendance is an ongoing challenge in schools, especially after the interrupted schooling of the past two years and with continued precautions around COVID-19. 

However, attendance at school is one of the most important ways to ensure that students are prepared for their future endeavors.

The attendance policy in the Student Handbook is not in compliance with Minnesota Statutes. Previously, according to our handbook, seven unexcused absences would lead to a truancy letter. The Minnesota Statutes require that after three unexcused absences, a letter be sent, as that is the definition of “continuing truant.” From the State:

"Continuing truant" means a child who is subject to the compulsory instruction requirements of section 120A.22 and is absent from instruction in a school, as defined in section 120A.05, without valid excuse within a single school year for:

(1) three days if the child is in elementary school; or

(2) three or more class periods on three days if the child is in middle school, junior high school, or high school.

From this point on, if your child has more than three unexcused absences, you will receive an attendance letter. After seven unexcused absences, the county may be involved.

The Rice County website notes about truancy:

Truancy petitions may be filed after a child has been absent from school for a period which exceeds the statutory limit. Attending school is essential, not just because it is the law, but also because it is the key to opportunity and earning potential as an adult.

If you are interested in the Minnesota Statutes surrounding truancy, here is a link:

I will send a new link to the Student Handbook after the Board has had the opportunity to look at the revision.

COVID Update

Rice County’s COVID-19 case rate for the one-week period ending December 7, 2021 is 565.91/100,000 in a one-week period. A case rate above 100/100,000 in a one-week period indicates a high level of community transmission. Here is a link to the CDC explaining more about the transmission levels:

For detailed information about this area, here is a link to the Rice County website:

Currently, the push is vaccination for everyone who can possibly get it.

Going Home Sick

If your child is going home ill, it is important that they go through the health office to be excused. We have had a few students contact parents to come pick them up prior to informing us that they needed to go home. Please make sure we are in the loop! We should be making the determination with the student on whether or not they are heading home. 

Middle School Field Trip

The whole middle school is heading to the Children’s Theater Company production of Annie on Dec. 21, 2021! If you are interested in chaperoning, please contact Bob Gregory-Bjorklund! (

Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for parents, caregivers, or other important adults in the lives of our students to join us at school! The past two years have been difficult, but the more positive relationships students have with caring adults, the better off they will be. We would like to have two adults join us every day. I created a signup that goes to the end of the second quarter. (I will create a new signup each quarter.) I put 11:45am-1:00pm as the timeframe on the signup below, because the lunch hour is the busiest time, and the easiest time to connect with students. However, we would also welcome adults at other times of the day. For example, it would be wonderful to have additional adults at the beginning of the day to greet students, or to be present during project work time. 

Sign up to join us here:

Volunteers will need to show proof of vaccination, wear a mask, and pass a background check.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 14, 8:00am-10:00am: Picture Retake Day!

Dec. 16, 4:00pm-5:00pm: Finance Committee Meeting (online:; ‪(US) +1 575-305-4543‬ PIN: ‪952 009 179‬#)

Dec. 21, all day: MS Field Trip to Children’s Theater Company for Annie

Dec. 21, 6:30pm-8:30pm: Arcadia School Board Meeting (in person at Arcadia or online:; (US) +1 321-465-5002‬ PIN: ‪929 499 461‬#)

Dec. 23-31: Winter Break

Have a great week!