Steps to starting the 2020 school year strong

This fall's school start is unlike any other. Here are some key steps you can take to start this school year strong and some resources to help you do so.

1. Make a plan

Having a plan for this school year is more critical than ever before! Use these tools and resources to help get your child off on the right foot:

  1. If your child has a virtual or distance component to their learning, one of the most important things you can do is set up a daily schedule (to help them and you!) to have a routine and bring a little normalcy into this atypical year. There are many great schedule tools and tips out there—we recommend Khan Academy's schedules (partly because they're broken out by different age groups).
  2. Communicate with your child's teacher. Let your child's teacher know how distance learning went for your child last spring and how they're doing, generally, academically. You can use Learning Heroes' Readiness Check to get a "gut check" on where your child is at academically (and then use this tool to communicate with your child's teacher).

2. Find the additional supports your child needs to succeed

Use the tool below to find appropriate technology and learning supports for your families needs and preferences.

Access to devices or internet

iPads, Chromebooks, & wifi hot spots for MPS students
MPS is providing iPads (grades PK-2), Chromebooks (grades 3-12), and wifi hot spots to all families who need them. You will need to directly contact your school to receive a device. You can find your school’s phone number on their Minneapolis School Finder profile page or the school’s website. Please note: the district is currently out of hot spots. They are available via e-ticket only. 

Low-cost computers, computer repair, and internet packages for low-income families – PCs for People sells affordable computers (refurbished desktop and laptop) as well as offers affordable computer repair and low-cost high speed 4G LTE internet service starting at $15/month to families meeting certain income requirements (household income less than 200% federal poverty guidelines). You can order online or visit the office at 1481 Marshall Avenue in St. Paul.

Low-cost computers – Tech discounts offer low refurbished desktops and laptops. These are open to anyone on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Technology support

Technology support for MPS students– MPS has a help desk to support students and parents with technology concerns. You can reach them at (612) 668-0088, Monday-Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Support available in multiple languages.

What is a better fit for your family?

Virtual supports

Online tutoring for K-12 students with a Hennepin County library card – K-12 students with a Hennepin library card (you can get one here!) can get live online tutoring support in most subject areas from 1 pm – 11 pm daily. Help available in English and Spanish.

Online tutoring for students in grades 2-12 through ConneXions tutoring – Students in grades 2 to 12 can sign up directly with high school-aged tutors who specialize in different subject areas and ACT preparation. Available times vary and can be found on the ConneXions tutoring website.

The Scholar Squad– Families receive a one-on-one consultation with an experienced educator/coach to review your child's progress and learn about proven interventions, get questions answered about your child's literacy development, and get help identifying additional support that may be helpful, including Reading/Math Corps virtual tutoring and activities that you can do at home to support learning.

Looking Glass Books - Sign up to receive free diverse K-2 children's books in the mail: Families can receive free curated early elementary picture books in the mail. The program works to thoughtfully select books to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in and to be age-appropriate for your child.

In-person supports

In-person school day programming for K-8 students at the YMCA - This flexible, full-day program offers a safe space where Y team members support K-8 students completing distance learning. The program does not include teaching a curriculum but does include caring adults that are available to help kids stay on track during the day. Flexible day options. Bring your own snack/lunch. Childcare assistance accepted. Available at Blaisdell and Harold Mezile North Community YMCA, as well as surrounding suburban locations.

In-person school day programming for PK-5 students at the YWCA – Childcare provided from 7 am to 6 pm, five days/week. Students attend their own online school from the site - they have wifi but students are encouraged to bring a hotspot if they have one. Each student has their own school schedule, and the YWCA staff provide support for distance learning, meals, and childcare during the non-school hours; childcare assistance accepted.