NORTHFIELD CENTER — Families of children enrolled in kindergarten this past school year will receive a prorated reimbursement. 

The school board also committed to fully refund all 2019-20 kindergarten families for the time school was closed due to COVID; a formal vote will take place at its next meeting on June 22.

Superintendent Joe Clark said that the district will charge a $300 deposit full-time kindergarten next year, "but families will not be required to make any additional payments until kids are back in school full time."

"Also, tuition for 2020-21 will be prorated, with the district not charging for any days canceled due to the pandemic," Clark said. "It is possible the 2020-21 school year will be disrupted. This may include a delayed start to the school year, students attending school in shifts, and lengthy school closures during the year."

Clark said that tuition for full-time kindergarten is $2,700 for the year; this year. This year, due to the pandemic, full-time kindergartners lost about 49 days, not quite a third of the school year.

Treasurer Karen Obratil said that the amount that will be refunded needs to be set and approved by the school board at its June meeting.

Clark added that families who enroll in part-time kindergarten may not be able to switch to full-time kindergarten later.

The deadline to select full-time kindergarten is July 3. Also, the deadline to switch from full-time to part-time kindergarten and still receive a refund of the deposit is July 31.

Food distribution will end in the summer

The last day for the district’s food distribution program is June 1. The school board voted to end the distribution due to declining participation and other summer resources available.

"We’ve been feeding kids since we closed," Clark said. "Right now, we get reimbursed for meals, but we will not in the summer. Also, participation has dropped by about a third. In talking to other districts, those haven’t done a summer program aren’t planning to do one."

The final meal pickups will be May 21, and 28, and June 1. There will be no meal pickup Memorial Day.

Clark said that the Monday food distributions give students and their families about three days worth of food. For the final day, "we will clean the cupboards out."

Assistance programs such as Knights Caring for Knights and the Emergency Assistance Center have traditionally provided help to families needing assistance during the summer months, Clark said. Also, he added, the district "could always restart the program" if the need was there.