News for April 29, 2021

Vaccine Information
Roll Up Your Sleeves, Teens!
The Minnesota Department of Health is prioritizing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for 16- and 17-year-olds and their parents at Minnesota’s Mall of America Community Vaccination Site now through Saturday, May 1. 
In addition to the Mall of America opportunities, below are the direct scheduling links to other sites where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine:
The Pfizer vaccine has only been authorized to vaccinate youth ages 16 and up and will only be administered to those ages 16 and up. This push comes as Minnesota is seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, especially among younger Minnesotans. 
Getting vaccinated will help give Minnesota’s teens the best chance to learn in-person, participate in sports and activities, attend graduation and go to prom. Of course, we all still need to remain vigilant in regards to masking, hand washing and social distancing. For those still too young to be vaccinated, testing is critical. 
New Option for Free Student COVID Testing!
It is strongly recommended that all students get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks to help reduce the spread of COVID at school. Students who participate in sports or other in-person activities should take a COVID test every week. Frequent testing helps us to continue to offer in-person learning and extracurricular opportunities, especially with the increasing spread of virus variants in our state.
COVID-19 saliva testing is free and available to the whole family. If your student or other family members take a home saliva test, they can bring the completed test to the school health office the next day and we will deliver it to UPS for you. We hope this will make it easier to get your students tested.
Once a saliva test is completed, seal it in the biohazard bag and UPS envelope that is provided.  Your student can bring it to the school health office within 24 hours and the health office staff will deliver it to UPS. 
As soon as the test is returned to the lab for processing, you can order another test for your student, so they have it when it is time to take another test.
If you prefer, you can take your student to one of the free community testing sites.
Surveying Interest 
Do you want a Distance Learning Academy option next year?
Because of the ongoing pandemic, we are exploring the possibility of continuing to offer families a Distance Learning Academy option for the 2021-22 school year in addition to an in-person option. At this point in time, we are sharing this survey to gauge family interest. Please complete one survey per student by Monday, May 3, to help us understand your interest level. 
Subscribe to District News
Keep up With What is Happening in Our District
Do you know someone who would like to keep up with news about Roseville Area Schools? Invite them to subscribe to District News for biweekly updates and important information for our entire community. 
Finance Update
Did you Know?
To manage increasing expenses amid inadequate revenue, we have cut more than $8 million since 2013. Cuts have negatively affected staffing at all levels, student supports and class sizes. Those cuts will continue without additional revenue. Learn more about our Financial Forecast.
Roseville Area Schools has cut more than $8 million since 2013.
Survey Says...
Parents Give Roseville Area Schools High Marks!
In a recent random sample phone survey, parents rated the Roseville Area Schools high on several measures:
  • 93% rate the quality of education as excellent or good.
  • 96% believe our community receives a good value from its investment in local public schools.
  • 90% are satisfied with the district’s decision-making processes.
  • 94% trust the school board and administration to do what’s right for children in the district.
  • 90% feel the district has done a good job communicating its plans for managing school this year.
  • 91% are satisfied with the quality of information received from the district.
This has been a year like no other, and we greatly appreciate our families’ support!
News From Around the District
Russell's mural "Icon of a Revolution" at George Floyd Square (photo by Mike Madison @bumpopera)
Harambee Students Help Create Mural with Noted Artist
Fifteen fifth and sixth graders at Harambee Elementary were chosen to participate in the class SPRAYFINGER, where they learned the history of street art and how to spray paint. They worked with artist Peyton Scott Russell, a Minneapolis artist known for painting Prince’s gold star on First Avenue in Minneapolis, and more recently for his black-and-white mural of George Floyd at George Floyd Square. This six-week course culminated in the creation of the mural influenced by the students and painted by Russell. Learn more about Russell's art and process of working with students.
The partnership with artist Peyton Scott Russell is possible through a Turnaround Arts grant, a program of the Kennedy Center supported by the State of Minnesota. Harambee will be doing more projects with Russell after May intersession. 
RAMS Student Wrestler Takes First
RAMS 7th grade wrestler Alyzabeth Hiler took first place at the Minnesota State Girls Youth Wrestling Tournament this year! Alyzabeth has wrestled this year with the RAHS Wrestling team with Coach Tim Hanson, the Eastside Wrestling Club and the MN Girls Storm team. MN Storm took 7th place after two days of tough competition at the national level. Alyzabeth was also awarded most valuable wrestler for her team! We congratulate her on representing Roseville and Minnesota so well this season! 
Ellie, Jomi, Ani and Norah
RAHS Speech Team Excels at State Tournament
Eight RAHS Speech Team members recently competed in the MSHSL AA State Speech Tournament, and five team members made it to the finals round, putting them among the top eight speakers in the state for their category!
Congratulations to Alex Bailey and Norah Shea who took 6th place in Duo, Ani Heikkila who took 5th place in Drama, Ellie Urista who took 3rd place in Drama, and Jomi Omoya who is the AA Great Speeches State Champion for her performance analyzing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967 speech, "The Other America."
Click on their names above to watch their 10-minute presentations on YouTube. Congratulations speech team members!
Falcon Heights' Debbie Root Named Minnesota School Nutrition Employee of the Year
Debbie Root, a school nutrition assistant at Falcon Heights, has won the honors of Minnesota School Nutrition Employee of the Year and School Nutrition Association Regional Employee of the Year! The awards recognize the valuable contribution of school nutrition employees who exhibit a remarkable commitment to the school meal program and the students they serve.
For 27 years, Debbie has taken care of students’ needs, particularly those with special dietary needs or those students who are just having a bad day. Her smiling face, before mask-wearing days, was a comforting welcome to students as they entered the cafeteria each day.
Debbie has been instrumental in creating attractive, pre-plated meals for staff while also increasing grab-n-go meals at the school. A leader among her colleagues, Debbie encourages staff to grow professionally, helping to train new staff.
"Debra’s dedication to her students and colleagues makes her an exemplary candidate for this special award,” said Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA) President Mary Jo Lange. “Her longevity in the field shows her passion for school nutrition and for ensuring that no child in her community goes hungry.”
Debbie will be recognized next week in a virtual event where she will be a finalist for the national award. Thank you for your dedication to our students and healthy eating!
School Nutrition
Important Update on P-EBT
Due to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), many Minnesota students are receiving meals at no cost (regardless of income) from their school this year. Receiving meals at no cost does not make them eligible for P-EBT. Families can contact their school to verify if they were approved for free or reduced-price meals based on household income requirements.
To be eligible for P-EBT, children must meet one of the following qualifications:
  • Receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Approved for free or reduced-price meals through the Application for Educational Benefits for the 2020-21 school year.
P-EBT benefit amounts will be calculated based on the school’s learning model each month. Benefits will be issued when one of the following situations occur:
  • When the school reports distance learning for a majority of the month.
  • When the school reports hybrid learning for a majority of the month.
  • When the student elects distance learning for at least eleven days in a month.
All students approved for free or reduced-price meals will receive P-EBT benefits retroactive to September for the months they meet the learning model requirement.
Families can take two steps right now if they think they qualify for P-EBT:
  • Make sure the school has their current address and contact information.
  • Submit an Application for Educational Benefits to their child's school (if not already receiving SNAP, MFIP, Tribal TANF). Paper copies are available at the District Center. Fill out the form online.
Families will receive a new P-EBT card for each eligible child. The dollar amount may differ for each child in a family depending on the learning model for each school and grade level.