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A Message of Gratitude, Gratefulness and Appreciation from Superintendent Nielsen

A Message of Gratitude, Gratefulness and Appreciation from Superintendent Nielsen

Dear SoWashCo Schools Families,

Holiday greetings to you! It’s hard to believe that winter break is here. It seems like we were just welcoming students back for the first day of school.


Winter is a time I am reminded of the beauty of living in Minnesota – and this past week didn’t disappoint as we experienced one of the most majestic snowfalls of all time. Looking outside our back door, we found ourselves truly living in a winter wonderland.


This time of year it is important to take the time to share gratitude, gratefulness and appreciation with our friends and family. I want to thank you for being part of the SoWashCo Schools community! 


Our district continues to grow, and with that, we are presented with many opportunities. I want to share a few facts about SoWashCo Schools to reflect on:

  • One School District, Many Communities
  • Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park, Woodbury, Afton and Denmark and Grey Cloud Island townships
  • We are the sixth-largest school district in the state.
  • We are the second largest employer in Washington County with nearly 3,000 employees.
  • Our staff provides programming for students from birth to age 21.
  • Students in our schools speak more than 60 languages.
  • Currently, 37% of our students identify as a race other than white.
  • Our enrollment to date is 18,626


With these facts in mind, we will soon be sharing a new demographic study, along with information we learned from our recent community survey to better serve our families and inform our Long Range Facilities Plan. We are also finalizing our work to develop a new strategic plan. We have heard from students, staff and families and expect to roll out our new strategic plan this spring.


We have some important projects and large decisions on the horizon in SoWashCo Schools. I want you to know that as we make these decisions, we are seeking, and listening to, feedback from our students, families and staff to make the best decisions possible for our growing school district. 


I wish you a safe and relaxing winter break. Enjoy time with your families and we will see you in the new year.



Julie Nielsen Signature

Julie Nielsen