I want to start off today's update with an amazing display of Minnesota Nice. When I received a request for help in securing face masks, I put the word out and, WOW, what a response! To date, I have been able to share much needed protection for over 300 community members. Thank you to all the crafters who so generously donated face masks that I know were sewn with love, concern, and best wishes!
Governor Walz has deemed this to be MinneSEWta week- drop your handicraft masks off at one of our local fire stations on April 25th for distribution.
Breakthrough for Testing in Minnesota
Yesterday the Governor announced a new strategy to provide up to 20,000 tests a day, as a result of the hard work and innovation of our Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota research institutions. The goal of this statewide testing strategy is to ensure anybody who is symptomatic, a member of a vulnerable population, or who are on the front lines of combatting this crisis are able to get tested. Increased testing will give us a more robust understanding of the extent to which this disease spread, and provide an opportunity for us to better understand how and when we can safely begin to gradually reopen our state. You can watch the full briefing here.
Pay for Hourly School Workers
I have been working with my colleagues on a number of issues that may have flown under your radar. One of the education issues we are working on is ensuring that hourly school employees are paid through this school year. School staff and their families deserve to know if they are going to be paid during this distance learning period. Schools have it in their budget to pay these workers, school districts are receiving the same amount of funds they expected for the school year. We want to support these workers as best as we can with funds that are already available so they don’t have to rely on unemployment insurance like so many others. You can learn more about the bill here.
This bill has just become even more important now that we know that Governor Walz has ordered that schools remain closed for the rest of the year. This is a prudent decision from Governor Walz and will help ensure we flatten the curve. This means that the hourly workers absolutely need our help now. You can watch the press conference where the Governor made this announcement here.
A few weeks ago I sent out a survey asking for your thoughts on various issues related to COVID-19. Thank you all for participating in this survey; it helps me immensely when considering what legislation to pursue. If you haven’t completed the survey, and would like to, I encourage you to click on the survey link and participate. Here are the current results of the survey.
Thank you again to everyone who participated. If you have any additional questions or comments about this survey, please reach out to me.
School Library Media Specialist Day
This past Monday was proclaimed, “School Library Media Specialist Day” by Governor Walz! I was disappointed not to be at the Capitol to celebrate with all my comrades; let’s hope we can celebrate this day next year. As an SLMS for over 20 years I know how valuable libraries are to our staff and students and that is why I have been working hard to ensure that our schools continue to have licensed Library Media Specialists who provide technology, media literacy, and curriculum connections. During this time of distance learning, our school Library Media Specialists are especially vital in ensuring that our students continue to receive the technology and instruction to get them through to the fall. Be sure to reach out to yours or your community librarians and show your appreciation! Read the Proclamation here.
P.S. It was also National Kindergarten Day this week. Missing the opportunity to read aloud to students, I made this video for kinders and their teachers: Watch, “The Day the Crayons Quit” : https://youtu.be/NsgIygZPWGg
Keep In Touch
That's all for now — if you have questions regarding anything else, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4331.