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Minnesota is moving in the direction of an economy that works for everyone. Middle class families have a better opportunity to live the American Dream than they did two years ago. There’s a lot more work to be done. Thanks to new policies enacted by the legislature, we’re getting closer to where we need to go.
By working together and across party lines in many instances, state lawmakers restored fiscal stability, made new investments in education, raised the minimum wage, improved laws to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, made our tax system fairer, expanded access to affordable health care and made a down payment on long overdue improvements to our roads and bridges.
All of those accomplishments are an important departure from the previous decade when government avoided investments in our future. By restoring our commitment to providing high-quality services and ensuring a great quality of life, Minnesota is an even better place to live, work, raise a family and do business.
As we look to the future, we need to focus on ideas and policies that continue growing the middle class.
For example, we froze college tuition for two years and expanded financial aid, but the cost of a college degree is still beyond reach for too many Minnesotans. Many who do go to college are shackled with debt. College affordability and student debt relief must be priorities at the legislature over the next two years.
We made an important down payment on improving our roads and bridges, after years of neglecting our needs, there’s much more to do. Minnesotans deserve a transportation system that can handle the demands of a growing population and economic growth. People need to be able to safely get to and from work. Businesses need to be able to efficiently get their products and services to market. Building a world-class transportation system must be a priority.
We reduced the number of uninsured Minnesotans by nearly half and implemented basic consumer protections that prevent insurance companies from cancelling your coverage when you get sick. However, there are still less than five percent of Minnesotans lacking insurance. Achieving universal coverage must be a priority.
We still have more work to do to assure our waters are clean and safe for drinking and recreation.
We’ve seen employers add tens of thousands of jobs throughout our state, but we need to make sure every single Minnesotan can find a job that allows them to support themselves and their family to the fullest extent possible. Ensuring benefits for employees such as paid sick leave and paid parental leave must be top priorities.
The health of our democracy depends on a thriving, robust middle class. By continuing to focus on educational excellence, living wage jobs, universal, affordable health care, a clean environment and a safe, efficient transportation system, we can work together to build a thriving ‘middle-class economy’ that works for everyone.
If you want to read more about my work on the middle class agenda you can visit: here
Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield), serves Minnesota House District 20B. He can be reached by phone at (651) 296-0171, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail at 559 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
I met with Northfield News reporter Kevin Krein last week to discuss the 2014 campaign. In the article, he stresses my interests in the middle class and income inequality (see my Northfield News article as well), the need for affordable health care, the importance of offering Minnesotans a quality education, and the need to take care of our environment (check out my voting history on the Conservation Minnesota website). I have enjoyed meeting residents of 20B while out door-knocking and while attending public events. The stories and input I receive during these conversations are invaluable as I go forward.
According to a news release by the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota will begin a monitoring program for people who have recently traveled in West Africa. The framework for the program involves identifying travelers based on their possible exposure to the Ebola virus and monitoring as follows:
- All identified travelers will receive active case management that will include twice daily monitoring by MDH staff.
- None of the individuals being monitored will be allowed to use public transportation for trips lasting longer than three hours, regardless of exposure history.
- Only those with a known exposure will be restricted from using local public transit or attending mass gatherings.
- All travelers will be allowed to have family members in their home.
- Only those travelers who treated an Ebola patient and have been exposed will be required to be restricted in their home (have no physical contact with others).
- All travelers will be required to keep a log of all activities and a log of close contacts during the 21 days.
- Any situation involving children or adults who work with children will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
In a KARE11 TV report, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger assured the public that there is no outbreak or epidemic in Minnesota, and he said “we want to assure people in Minnesota that everybody’s that’s been to west Africa is being monitored on a regular basis, so they can go about their business and not worry. We’re doing the worrying for the State of Minnesota.”
Apple ID information for students under the age of 13:
This year, all students in grades 6-12 will be using a personal Apple ID model. This is a new model for middle school students. If your student already has an Apple ID they are currently using, they can continue to use that Apple ID on their school iPad. If your student does not already have an Apple ID they are using, please set up a new Student Apple ID. (Watch for an email from Apple on this process, more information below).
What is an Apple ID for Students:
Creating an Apple ID typically requires selecting a birthdate that demonstrates an age of at least 13 years old. Apple has created a Student Apple ID system for educational use for students who are under the age of 13. This system allows a parent to create an Apple ID for their student. Account information on Student Apple IDs cannot be changed without parent consent, and they do not require a payment option being attached to the Apple ID during setup. This differs from full Apple ID accounts.
Why do middle school students need an Apple ID?
A personal Apple ID allows students to access resources such as apps and digital textbooks shared by Northfield Public Schools. It also allows students access to iCloud, which backs up data and allows the “Find My iPad” feature to be enabled. Personal Apple IDs increase both security and functionality of students’ iPads
How do I create a Student Apple ID for my child?
You should receive an email from Apple that contains information about Apple IDs and a link to set up your student account. This has likely already been sent to you. Follow the instructions in that email to create your Student Apple ID.
What if I don’t receive an email from Apple?
There are a couple of reasons this could happen:
- A current parent/guardian email address may not be on file for you.
- Your student may have enrolled in Northfield Public Schools after our accounts were created.
- Your student may have already created an Apple ID using their school email address.
- Your student may be at least 13 years of age, in which case you can set up a full Apple ID at www.appleid.apple.com.
If you do not receive the email and do not have an Apple ID for your student, please contact Kim Briske at Kimberly.email@example.com or 507-664-3399.
Apple provides a wealth of information regarding parental controls and Apple IDs in general.
For general information regarding Apple IDs, please visit https://appleid.apple.com.
Apple also provides a parent guide with information about managing student Apple IDs and devices, which can be accessed at https://www.apple.com/education/docs/Apple_ID_Parent_Guide.pdf. This guide includes information about setting restrictions on your student’s iPad. Please understand that Northfield Public Schools also utilizes a Mobile Device Management system that automatically sets several restrictions on student iPads. If you need more information about restrictions or safe and responsible use of technology, please contact Kim Briske at Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-664-3399.
Thank you for your collaboration in providing high quality learning experiences and increased access to a wealth of educational resources through the use of technology. Please be in touch if we can be of further assistance.
We are officially one week away from our scheduled iPad Family Engagement Events at Northfield Middle School and Northfield High School. Please see below for the regularly scheduled dates as well as additionally scheduled times for those who are unable to attend next week.
Northfield Middle School:
- Monday, August 18th, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
- Wednesday, August 20th, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
- Make-up Date: Wednesday, August 27th, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
- Make-up Date: Wednesday, September 3rd, 7:45 am – 8:45 am
Northfield High School:
- Tuesday, August 19th, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Last names A-L)
- Thursday, August 21st, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Last names M-Z)
- Make-up Date: Thursday, August 28th, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
- Make-up Date: Tuesday, September 2nd, 9:00 am – 11:00 am*
*This is during scheduled Link Crew activities. Students participating in those activities should plan to attend at a different time.
If you are unable to make it to any of the above dates, please be in touch regarding alternate arrangements. Contact Kim Briske at email@example.com
I would also like to make some clarifications about the events. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the events:
Q: Do we need to be there for the entire 4 hours?
A: No, these events are a drop-in format. You can come when it is most convenient for you during the scheduled times. The whole process should take less than an hour.
Q: Do parents need to attend a meeting this year if they already went to one last year?
A: All middle school families should attend a meeting. The meetings have different content than last year. They will cover responsible use of iPads, information about Apple IDs, and information about the parent view of Schoology. There will be three meetings per hour that should last about 15 minutes.
There will not be meetings at the high school events.
Q: Why will middle school students have Apple IDs this year?
A: There are a few reasons for this. In short, they are security, the ability to backup iPads to iCloud, and improved processes for distributing school apps to students. An Apple ID serves multiple purposes. By having an Apple ID, students will be able to use the “Find My iPad” function in order to locate lost devices. Furthermore, they will be able to back up data more efficiently and experience a smoother transition between multiple Apple devices if they are using Apple products for personal use.
One big change from Apple this year is that they are allowing educational organizations to distribute apps to students via their Apple ID for a period of time, then pull them back for other students to use. This allow us as a district to be good stewards of district funds used to purchase apps. It also allows for the purchase of specialized apps pertaining to specific courses with the ability to transfer the apps to other students as needed.
While middle school students will have a personal Apple ID, at this time they will not have access to the App Store to download personal apps on school iPads.
Once again, please be in touch if you have further questions, comments, or clarifications. Contact Kim Briske at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-664-3399.
In preparation for the upcoming school year, iPad Family Engagement Events have been planned for Northfield Middle School and Northfield High School during the week of August 18, 2014. Parents and students should attend together to learn about using their iPad for learning in addition to insuring, setting up, and picking up iPads for the coming year.
Additionally, the schools will provide parents with information and instructions for accessing their students’ courses and activities through Schoology, our online learning management system. This resource provides access to course calendars, documents, assignments, and announcements, as well as other tools for teachers, students, and parents.
Dates for the iPad Family Engagement Events are:
Northfield Middle School:
Monday, August 18th, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, August 20th, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Northfield High School (dates coincide with student pictures and schedule pickup):
Tuesday, August 19th, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Thursday, August 21st, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
We anticipate a smooth process for families to set up and receive their students’ iPads. In order to facilitate this, please have your Apple ID and password ready when you arrive. Students who already have a personal Apple ID should continue to use that one. Students who do not already have an Apple ID will need to create one. Parents of students under the age of 13 will need to create an Apple ID with their students. Information regarding this process will be sent via email in the near future. For general information regarding Apple IDs, please visit https://appleid.apple.com. If you have forgotten your Apple ID and/or password, please visit https://iforgot.apple.com.
Insurance rates are $25 (reduced rates available for free and reduced lunch families). You may pay for insurance at the Family Engagement Event or pre-pay by visiting https://eps.mvpbanking.com/cgi-bin/efs/login.pl?access=55621. Insurance covers repair or replacement for non-intentional damage or loss of an iPad.
As always, our goal is to support all students families in achieving educational excellence. Please feel free to contact Kimberly Briske, Director of Technology Services, if you have questions pertaining to Transformational Technology or the use of iPads in general. You may call 507-664-3399 or email email@example.com.
The Northfield Public Schools welcome Kim Briske to the District as Director of Technology Services. Kim began her new position, focused on technology and its ability to personalize teaching and learning, on July 1st.
A resident of Northfield, Kim comes to us from the Farmington Public Schools where she was a Digital Learning Specialist. She was instrumental in leading that district’s customized learning plan that provided individual iPad tablet computers for all students in grades Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Prior to her role as a Digital Learning Specialist, she taught Spanish for eight years at Farmington High School.
Kim will be leading the District’s next steps in the Transformational Technology initiative. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (507) 664-3399.