Lace Up Your Favorite Shoes, it's Walk to School Day!
Rochester Public Schools

International Walk to School day is a global event that promotes student physical activity by walking and biking to school. Minnesota Safe Routes to School upholds this vision within our communities making efforts to improve walking and biking conditions for youth and to encourage more active lifestyles.

Elton Hills Elementary School students came to school in large numbers either walking with their parents or siblings and by either walking or biking and one student even came to school in roller blades.

Upon their arrival to school, students received a sticker and a reflector tag to commemorate their participation in Walk to School Day!

AEM Youth Art Month Virtual Student Exhibition 2021 Celebrate Youth Art Month: Art Connects Us
Rochester Public Schools


Congratulations to the following teachers and their students whose artwork was chose to be exhibited in this year’s virtual show:

Franklin and Montessori at Franklin Students:

  • Gabby Burt
  • Giovanni Cruz-England
  • Sofia Richter
  • Amal Hassan
  • Josie Kral
  • Karamba Beyai
  • Art Teacher - Tiffany Erie

Gage Elementary:

  • Nardos Yohannes
  • Persia Ramirez
  • Luca Ramirez
  • Art Teacher - Cassie Wellen-Okronglis

Additionally, Rochester Public Schools would like to acknowledge Franklin and Montessori at Franklin’s art teacher, Tiffany Erie, who is also a regional art teacher leader through the Perpich Center, and Minnesota’s Elementary Art Educator of the Year. Tiffany works closely with teachers in the region. A peer teacher in Lanesboro, MN, Stena Lieb,

also had student work chosen for the AEM YAM Virtual Student Exhibition. Those students are Ben Norby, Sam Johnson, William Miler, Brooke Lambrecht, and Malia Tessum.

AEM Youth Art Month Virtual Student Exhibition will be open for viewing March 1st - March 30th at the Art Educators of MN website. The students and their artwork will be celebrated and recognized for their achievements. The public is invited to view winning flag designs from around the state and a collection of student artwork.

Elementary Hybrid Scheduling, Transportation Information, and Start/End Times
Rochester Public Schools

On August 20, elementary school parents (including Lincoln K-8) received communication through our District's Skylert message center, which provided a Group 1 or Group 2 assignment for elementary students in the hybrid learning model.

  • Students in Group 1 will attend in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday and distance learn on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
  • Students in Group 2 will distance learn on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and attend in-person classes on Thursday and Friday. 

Hybrid Schedule Example

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
In-Person Group 1 Group 1 Clean/Prep Day Group 2 Group 2
Distance * † Group 2 Group 2 Group 1 and 2 Group 1 Group 1
* Many students who receive Special Education and English Learner services are in-person five days a week.
† Childcare provided for registered critical workers during school day hours for children grades K-5.

Starting with Week 3, we will transition into the schedule above where Group 1 will meet in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, Group 2 will meet in person on Thursdays and Fridays. Students will participate in distance learning the other three days of the week.

Week One (8/31-9/4)


Monday 8/31

Tuesday 9/1

Wednesday 9/2

Thursday 9/3

Friday 9/4

In-Person Instructional Planning Days for PreK-12

Group 1

Group 2

No School

Distance Group 2 Group 1

Week Two (9/7-9/11)


Monday 9/7

Tuesday 9/8

Wednesday 9/9

Thursday 9/10

Friday 9/11

In-Person Holiday (No School) Group 1 Clean/Prep Day

Group 2

Group 2
Distance   Group 2 Group 1 and 2 Group 1 Group 1

Week Three (9/14-9/18)


Monday 9/14

Tuesday 9/15

Wednesday 9/16

Thursday 9/17

Friday 9/18

In-Person Group 1 Group 1 Clean/Prep Day

Group 2

Group 2
Distance Group 2 Group 2 Group 1 and 2 Group 1 Group 1


Additional Information about Elementary School:

Neighborhood elementary schools will begin at 9:15 AM, district-wide option schools will start at 9:10 AM. Elementary schools will dismiss one hour earlier than normal, which will be approximately 2:30 PM. Early dismissal allows time for teachers to connect with students who are not in person. Dismissal times will be staggered to allow for social distancing. School principals will be able to communicate specific dismissals before the start of the school year.

Parents eligible, and who have registered for transportation will receive bus route information early next week. If you are eligible for transportation and did not register to ride, please do so as soon as possible or call (507) 328-4260.

If you have concerns about your cohort, please contact your school principal by Friday, August 21, by 4 PM. We will attempt to make requested changes, but may not always be able to honor this based on capacity in the building, staffing, and bus routing.

Step Into Learning 2020
Rochester Public Schools

Many of our elementary schools have been researching ways to improve our Meet the Teacher Time in the fall, as well as make the first week of school more productive. In the first month of school, much of our time is spent assessing students. Several of our elementary schools (Bishop, Ben Franklin/Montessori at Franklin, Folwell, George Gibbs, Sunset Terrace, and Washington) have been utilizing an alternative start, called Step Into Learning at the beginning of the school year. Additional schools were approved for the alternative start at the December 10, 2019 school board meeting. This will allow for more efficiency and relationship building with our families beginning in fall 2020.

Parents will register through Skyward (usually in August) for a 30-minute conference to meet the teacher.
     ~ It will give us a quiet opportunity to talk to you and your child before school starts.
     ~ Your child’s teacher will assess your child
     ~ You can have school photos taken
     ~ You can visit the nurse
     ~ Get your lunch account set up
     ~ PTSA
     ~ Much more

More information will be shared with parents/guardians from the school's principal. 

The following schools will participate in Step Into Learning in 2020. Please note, the school district calendar for 2020-2021 has not been approved nor published yet. 

  • Bishop,
  • Franklin / Montessori at Franklin,
  • Folwell,
  • Gibbs,
  • Sunset Terrace,
  • Washington,
  • Bamber Valley,
  • Elton Hills,
  • Jefferson,
  • Lincoln, and
  • Pinewood