Tutors: The District does not endorse or recommend specific tutors; however, a list of people providing tutoring services is available.
The Hutchinson Public Library also has many resources for student learning.
By Lesli Mueller, Director of Child Nutrition
If you haven’t heard, the Free School Meals program is in progress for the 2023-24 school year. The program entitles all K-12 students to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost regardless of family income. Meals will continue to be the flavorful and nutritious meals that students and families have always expected from our school nutrition services.
Our farm to school program is a prime example of the superb quality of foods students are eating in the cafeterias. Hutchinson Schools is the recognized leader amongst other school districts to take the leap and purchase local foods for improved school menus that fuel kids for learning. The nutrition staff in all our kitchens have done an amazing job chopping, preparing and cooking in brand new ways to get the best taste out of all our local ingredients.
You may be surprised to hear about the wide variety of locally sourced foods we offer to students every school day. An abundance of different kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits, some only available in our area. Honey and the freshest milk comes to our schools from farms close by. We are excited for the first time that all our beef offerings on the menu are 100% locally raised beef. That means for example, our taco meat, spaghetti sauce and tater tot hotdish are all made from real ground beef.
In the last couple of years you may have noticed for the month of September we celebrate all beef burger Fridays. Our students can top their burger with Minnesota cheese and an array of locally raised vegetables of their choosing. All beef brats, homemade meatballs, barbacoa beef added to our “Build a Burrito” menu and beef tips in gravy are selections you’ll see in the upcoming months. Local foods we will be adding to our Farm to School program this year are maple syrup, oats, dry beans, and whole grain flours. And students will be enjoying rotisserie chickens locally raised for their Thanksgiving meal this year.
We realize these whole foods from our area farmers are unfamiliar to some of our students. It can be a challenge to get students to try unfamiliar foods. One way we aim to overcome this challenge is by featuring taste tests to introduce these new local foods to students prior to being on the menu.
The Farm to School program not only offers these incredibly delicious and nutritious local foods, but also allows an opportunity of educating students to know where their food comes from and the health benefits of eating locally raised foods. Learning about where food comes from has happened in the classroom but also from school visits from our farmers to talk with students about growing food for school meals.
October is Farm to School month and the district celebrates it by taking part in the “Great Lakes Apple Crunch” on October 12th. This event includes all schools in the state of Minnesota who want to participate. The fun event entails groups of students in the cafeteria simultaneously taking a bite out of an apple that came from a local orchard. Food should be fun for kids and a way for them to connect to the local foods we serve. Other highlights for the month of October will be showcasing new menus using locally sourced foods like Squash Mac n Cheese and Baked French Toast with Apples in Maple Syrup.
We believe building strong community relationships with our area farmers can connect students to stories about food, increase the chances of more students enjoying eating foods straight from the farm, and supporting farmers by offering an economic opportunity that keeps them closer to home to spend time with family.
The ISD 423 Board of Education will conduct a work session on Monday, September 25, 2023 beginning at 5:30 pm in the media center at the Hutchinson Middle School (1365 South Grade Road).
Order your Middle School Yearbook for 2023-2024!
By: Michael Scott, Director of Teaching and Learning, Hutchinson Public Schools, ISD 423
The 2023 Minnesota legislative session ended with what seemed to be a record number of legislative changes that will affect Minnesota public schools. The Minnesota Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act, better known as The Read Act, was passed into law. The ultimate goal of this legislation is for every student, beginning in kindergarten, to read at or above grade level every year.
As a public school district, there are many aspects of The Read Act that Hutchinson Public School staff will be putting into place by the deadlines outlined in legislation.
One of the major components includes school districts using, starting in the 2024-2025 school year, a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) approved literacy screener for grades kindergarten through grade 3. This screening tool will assist staff in determining which students need further literacy intervention. Fortunately, the Hutchinson School District is already using approved screeners from FastBridge.
A second major component for school districts is to provide literacy training, starting July 1, 2024, to staff who are directly involved with reading instruction. This training is to include K-3 classroom teachers, pre-kindergarten teachers, special education teachers, K-12 reading intervention teachers and support staff, curriculum directors, and staff involved with the selection of literacy resources. The MDE has named the approved training options and will provide school districts with further guidance as the year continues in order to ensure completion of this training by July 1, 2025, by these staff members. In addition, by July 1, 2027, other staff who support literacy instruction will also need to receive this training.
A third component is the MDE will provide school districts by January 1, 2024, a list of evidence-based literacy curricular resources for districts. As explained on the MDE Read Act website, “A district must use evidence-based curriculum and intervention materials at each grade level that are designed to ensure student mastery of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency and reading comprehension.”
As in the past, school districts will submit their local literacy plans to the MDE annually and submit student achievement data. In addition, by August 30, 2025, school districts must either employ or contract with a literacy lead to support the implementation of the Read Act.
As an educator and a parent, I do appreciate the emphasis and funding our state legislators have appropriated to literacy instruction, curricular resources, and staff training in an effort to increase reading proficiency for all students. After all, reading proficiency is the foundation for learning.
While your children are attending school, our staff will continue to strive to provide the best literacy instruction, resources, and interventions to help your child succeed. My hope is that components of the Read Act will assist our district’s staff in strengthening their literacy instruction.
In partnership with the instruction at school, I encourage you to read to and with your children as much as possible. As they encounter vocabulary or text that they don’t understand, explain to them the meaning of the words and the context of the passage. Talk with your children about their reading and emphasize that good readers reread for understanding. The more your child reads and uses the strategies learned at school, reading ability will continue to improve.