The school districts in the State of Minnesota have been absolutely wonderful in sharing information, remaining transparent in this unprecedented time, and going above and beyond to make sure that all students and families have the most up-to-date information available.

In a recent email, dated March 20th, the Owatonna School District gave their update on how they are responding the the COVID-19 pandemic, including their efforts to ensure that all households are ready for distance learning as well as making sure that all children are fed lunch. Schools are not just for learning, and kudos to the districts across the state for acknowledging that some families may be facing an extreme hardship during this time and stepping up to make sure those kiddos are getting a balanced meal.

Next week, March 23-27th is on the calendar as Spring Break for the Owatonna School District, and they were not prepared to provide meals for students. You can read the entire update here. In part:

A quick update on some of what the amazing and hard-working Owatonna Public Schools staff has accomplished in less than a week:

  • Distance learning plans have been developed for all students - grades pre-kindergarten through 12 - in the event of continued school closure. These plans include online and other learning activities, contact with teachers and much more. More information will be coming next week regarding this topic.
  • Chromebooks were distributed to all students/families in grades K-12 who needed one for distance learning.
  • Lunches and breakfasts have been provided for any child 18 or younger in the district from March 18-20. Next week, March 23-27, lunches will not be provided to students due to the scheduled spring break. Starting March 30, if distance learning begins, this service will continue. More information to come.
  • Free child care will continue to be provided at McKinley Elementary for parents who are healthcare workers and emergency staff that are required to report to work. Please call 507-444-7900 if you have questions regarding eligibility or registration for child care.
  • Custodial and maintenance staff have been going over and above to make sure buildings are cleaned and sanitized frequently during the day.

Shortly after that email was sent out, we received another one, stating that some of the local churches will be providing those meals to children age 18 and under, with the same pick-up locations.

As you know, we are committed to finding ways to provide meals for our students.  We are thankful that next week, three local churches (Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Johns Lutheran Church and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church) will be stepping forward to provide lunches for our students.

Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Wilson Elementary - Curbside pickup by front entrance
McKinley Elementary - Curbside pickup by front entrance
Owatonna Middle School - Curbside pickup by Door #13 (6th Grade Doors)

On a personal note, I am most thankful to everyone who is stepping up to make sure that our children are getting meals that they may need, that neighbors are checking on neighbors, that everyone is banding together to make this unsettling time seem not quite as bad.


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