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Welcome Back for the 2022-23 School Year

It’s that amazing time of year when our schools and programs come alive with students. There is nothing better than the smiles that welcome staff and students back to a new school year. This week, we held our all staff welcome back event at East Ridge High School and the stadium was filled with conversation, smiles and optimism for the year ahead. 

As we open the doors to students on Sept. 6, we hope to create a place where everyone feels safe, welcomed, encouraged, accepted and celebrated. Our outstanding teachers and staff seek to make positive and meaningful connections with students to ensure they have a high-quality education, a nutritious school meal and a safe ride to and from school. We also count on you, our families, to help address issues and communicate if there are questions or concerns that arise throughout the year.

This year, we will be responding to COVID-19 in the same way we address communicable diseases (flu, rotavirus, etc.). South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) will follow communicable disease procedures from local public health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please review all of our latest health guidance on our website

Finally, following the events in Uvalde, Texas, we have taken extra steps to remind all staff about the importance of our safety protocols. Though we can’t share all of our safety measures that we have in place, our emergency procedures do provide information that is publicly available regarding protocols, required drills and frequently asked questions. Additionally, we partner closely with our cities and local law enforcement. Earlier this month, our school leaders were part of a training with our local public safety departments. It was powerful to see the partnership that has been built between the school district and our cities. We also ask families to talk with their children about safety and encourage them to report any concerns they have to a trusted adult. Students in grades 6-12 are also invited to use our tipline to confidentially report concerns about school.

I’d like to thank you for choosing SoWashCo Schools. We are glad to have you as part of our team and appreciate your support as we welcome more than 18,700 students next week.

Sincerely,

Julie Nielsen

Superintendent