We don’t just prepare students for a job or college.
We prepare young people for life.

Updates for Friday, August 7

This communication will provide additional information related to our school opening decisions.

St. Croix Prep Special Board Meeting

6:00 pm on Tuesday, August 11 in the PAC

St. Croix Prep will hold a special board meeting to approve the learning model for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. This meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, August 11. St. Croix Prep’s board has met in person since the start of the pandemic. Given the expectation of faculty to show up at facilities to begin preparation for the new school year, we believe it only appropriate to continue our in person meetings. We will hold the meeting in the PAC and those interested in attending may physically distance in the seating area.

Stillwater Area Public Schools Approves Hybrid Learning Model

Last evening, Stillwater approved to start the school year in the hybrid learning model.

Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan – Revisited

  • Covid-19 County Case Data
    Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan uses the number of Covid-19 cases by county over 14 days per 10,000 people. Given the county’s case rate, schools have the flexibility of opening in the following models:

County Case Rate

Learning Model

0-9

In person learning for all students.

10-19

In person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary students.

20-29

Hybrid learning for all students.

30-49

Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary students.

50+

Distance learning for all students.

  • Model Applied to St. Croix Prep
    St. Croix Prep is located in Washington County. At the time of the Governor’s announcement (July 30), Washington County’s current case rate was 14.84. Revised case rate data is released every Thursday. The August 6 Washington County case rate was 15.63. Per the MDH, the following is the Washington County historical case rate data:
      • July 12 to July 25 – 15.63
      • July 5 to July 18 – 15.00
      • June 28 to July 11 – 12.71
      • June 21 to July 4 – 10.74
  • Note 1: The discrepancy between the initial Washington county case rate released by MDH (14.84) and the revised number (15.00) is due to the lag in reporting.
  • Note 2: The County Case Rate/Learning Model grid is only one of the items considered in determining the learning model a school will implement for the start of the school year.  Each school must also evaluate staff restrictions/availability, transportation, supplies, the ability to follow all procedures/protocols, the sustainability of the learning model given quarantine/isolation requirements, and the guidance related to physical distancing.

Parent Meeting

Wednesday, August 12 from 6:00-8:00 pm

We will hold a parent informational meeting on Wednesday, August 12, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We will send additional information on the details of this meeting (e.g. physical attendance, virtual option, etc.)

Student Learning Model Registration

Due TODAY (Friday, August 7)

This registration must be completed for each student. Responding today allows for effective planning.
 
Remember that a family may transition from the hybrid model to distance learning at any time; but a transition from distance learning to the hybrid model may only occur at mid-quarter or end of quarter. 
 
Students not registered by August 12 will be placed in the learning model approved by the school board in the special board meeting on Tuesday, August 11.

Thanks for your continued attention to our communication. We hope your weekend is enjoyable!

Updates for Wednesday, August 5

Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Announcement

Regarding the announcement by the MSHSL, each of St. Croix Prep’s fall activities has a Covid-19 Preparedness Plan which you may request for your review.
 
  • Fall Sports Registration: the MSHSL voted Return to Participation for the following sports: Boys and Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis and Cross Country. The fall season will have a reduction in the length of season and number of games/matches/meets. Football and volleyball have been moved to a season that will run from March to early May. The start date for all fall sports is August 17.
  • Registration for fall sports is open on SchoolPay. Click here to sign up. The following are the steps for registration:
  1. Pay the sports fee.
  2. Fill out the online emergency contact information.
  • Reminder – All students participating in an athletic program must have a valid Minnesota State High School League physical on file with the Activities Office. The MSHSL approved the extension of the expiration date of the Three-Year Physical Clearance. Copies of the physical form can be found here. Please email Beth Grubisch if you are unsure if your child has a physical on file.
  • Families will be required to complete the following prior to participating in practices. Students WILL NOT be able to attend or participate in practices without ALL items (registration, physical, forms and waivers) completed:
  1. Fill out/turn in the MSHSL eligibility forms.
  2. Fill out/turn in the MSHSL health questionnaire.
  3. Fill out/turn in any additional waivers required.
  • NOTE: these three forms will be emailed to families of registered students once the forms are finalized. Forms will also be available on the school website.
  • All questions can be directed to Rich Dippel at 651-395-5904.

School Age Child Care for Essential Workers

Per Executive Order 20-82, St. Croix Prep will provide care for children of Tier 1 – essential workers at no cost during the school day for kindergarten to age 12 children at times when the district is operating in a hybrid or distance learning model. More details on this program will be communicated soon.

Face Coverings – Additional Information

  • The face masks for students (cloth and disposable), face masks/shields for employees will be delivered to St. Croix Prep during the last week of August.
  • As it relates to our school operations, face coverings may be temporarily removed:
  • When students are engaged in physical activity (e.g. during recess or physical education) or sporting events where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult or impractical.
  • When eating or drinking.
  • During practices or performances involving singing, acting, public speaking, or playing musical instrument that make wearing a face covering difficult or impractical.
  • When communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, or has a disability, medical condition, or mental health condition that makes communication with that individual difficult while wearing a face covering.

Learning Model Registration Must be Completed for All Students

To facilitate planning for the school year, complete this registration for each of your children. Deadline for completion is this Friday, August 7.

Screening Expectations

As communicated previously, families, students, and St. Croix Prep staff are expected to self-screen at home prior to coming to school. Anyone experiencing the following symptoms should not attend school and contact their health provider: new onset of cough, shortness of breath, fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea. Note: We will not administer temperature checks at school due to time restrictions, temperature stations tend to be gathering spaces which infringe upon the physical distancing guidelines and data privacy issues (HIPAA).

Bus Transportation

Regarding bus transportation,
  • Bus capacity will be at 50%, as defined by MDE/MDH.
  • Students, drivers, and bus aides are required to wear face coverings.
  • Students will be one to a seat and those from the same household may sit together.
  • Seats will be assigned.
  • Bus pick up at St. Croix Prep will be marked for physical distancing.
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) driven accommodations will be reviewed with a commitment to finding solutions for all families of children.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will take place following each route with special attention to high touch areas.

We will continue to provide details to other operations impacted by our school opening.

Thank you for your partnership as we continue to August 31.

Updates for Tuesday, August 4

St. Croix Prep Community,

Today’s communication is intended to offer additional information related to Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-82, and St. Croix Prep’s school opening.

Fall Sports Registration Update

On August 4, the MSHSL voted Return to Participation for the following sports: Boys and Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis and Cross Country. The fall season will have a reduction in the length of season and number of games/matches/meets. Football and volleyball have been moved to a season that will run from March to early May. The start date for all fall sports is August 17.

Registration for fall sports is open on SchoolPay.

The following are the steps for registration:

  • Pay the sports fee (which is subject to change based on the MSHSL decision, scheduling and transportation factors, etc.).
  • Fill out the online emergency contact information.
  • Reminder – All students participating in an athletic program must have a valid Minnesota State High School League physical on file with the Activities Office. The MSHSL approved the extension of the expiration date of the Three-Year Physical Clearance. Copies of the physical form can be found here. Please email Beth Grubischif you are unsure if your child has a physical on file.

Families will be required to complete the following prior to participating in practices. Students WILL NOT be able to attend or participate in practices without ALL items (registration, physical, forms and waivers) completed:

  • Fill out/turn in the MSHSL eligibility forms.
  • Fill out/turn in the MSHSL health questionnaire.
  • Fill out/turn in any additional waivers required.
  • NOTE: these three forms will be emailed to families of registered students once the forms are finalized. Forms will also be available on the school website.

All questions can be directed to Rich Dippel at 651-395-5904

Updates for Tuesday, August 4

St. Croix Prep Community,

Today’s communication is intended to offer additional information related to Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-82, and St. Croix Prep’s school opening.

St. Croix Prep’s first day of school begins on August 31. We have already communicated that up until September 8, our first days will be in a distance learning model since it appears no bus transportation will be available until then. This notification, of at least two weeks in advance, is in compliance with the Executive Order.

St. Croix Prep will post our learning model plans via the Parent Update on August 21. Concepts and details of these plans are currently being communicated in these updates. This posting date is in compliance with the Executive Order, which states that each school must electronically post and communicate plans to students and families no later than one week before the beginning of the school year.

St. Croix Prep Covid-19 Program Coordinators

St. Croix Preparatory Academy’s Covid-19 program coordinators are Jon Gutierrez, Executive Director (jgutierrez@stcroixprep.org; 651-395-5905) and Candace Westlund (nurse@stcroixprep.org; 651-395-5906). The Covid-19 program coordinators will communicate concerns, challenges, and lessons learned related to Covid-19 preventive activities as needed with staff, students/families, school leadership, and local health officials.

Face Covering Requirements/Distribution

COVID-19 Tests for Educators

As noted in previous communication, face coverings will be required for all staff, students, and people present within the school facility and on bus transportation, with exceptions granted for those noted in the previous Executive Order.
 
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will provide the following:
  • One cloth face covering for every K-12 student.
  • One cloth face covering for every school staff member.
  • Three disposable face masks per student and face shields for all of the school’s licensed teachers and 50% of non-licensed staff.
  • Minnesota has secured a contract with a national saliva testing lab and will work with all insurers to ensure that all educators have access to a COVID-19 test from day one. This test can be conducted at home and uses a courier for transport. This ensures that in the case where an educator has close contact with a confirmed case and experiences any challenges getting tested in their community, there is a back-up option.

St. Croix Prep’s Face Covering Policy is Forthcoming

Per Executive Order 20-81, all K-12 students are required to wear face coverings except for individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.
 
If you believe your child qualifies for this exception, please contact Candace Westlund at nurse@stcroixprep.org.

Distance Learning Registration/Survey

In order for us to plan effectively, your feedback is imperative. Thank you to those who have already completed this.

Other Relevant Information

  • Stillwater Area Public Schools will make a learning model decision at their board meeting on August 6. Per their meeting on August 3, they are leaning toward a hybrid model, for purposes of planning, but subject to change based on Washington County Covid-19 case rates as outlined in the Executive Order 20-82. We are communicating with them, since we utilize their bus transportation services.
  • Parent Information Sessions. We will not hold these this week, as we need to compile information from the distance learning registration and our employee feedback.
  • Special Board Meetings. The board is considering a special board meeting once we have compiled all of the relevant information from our work this week.

Thank you for your attention to these items. We hope you are enjoying your days of summer!

Updates for Monday, August 3

St. Croix Prep Community,

On Thursday, Governor Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced guidance on the 2020-2021 school opening options under Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan. This communication will explain more about this plan and how St. Croix Prep will proceed in determining the learning model that works best for our entire school community.

Basics of Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan Learning Models

School districts have the flexibility in selecting the learning model that works best for their community – in person learning at school, distance learning at home, or hybrid learning which is typically seen as a combination of both.

Covid-19 County Case Data

Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan uses the number of Covid-19 cases by county over 14 days per 10,000 people. Given the county’s case rate, schools have the flexibility of opening in the following models:

County Case Rate

Learning Model

0-9

In person learning for all students.

10-19

In person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary students.

20-29

Hybrid learning for all students.

30-49

Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary students.

50+

Distance learning for all students.

Model Applied to St. Croix Prep

St. Croix Prep is located in Washington County; Washington County’s current case rate is 14.84. This would allow for in person learning for elementary students and hybrid learning for secondary students. Note: St. Croix Prep has Lower School (K-4), Middle School (5-8), and Upper School (9-12). Due to scheduling and staffing overlap, we are discussing whether “elementary” represents students in grades K-4 or K-6. Note: Schools may offer a more restrictive model than the one made available by the Minnesota Safe Learning Model. For St. Croix Prep, this may be due to variables such as public health guidelines for each model, transportation, your registration responses (discussed below), and feedback from our staff (discussed below).

Distance Learning and Registration

Each family has the option of choosing to place their students in a distance learning model, despite the model recommended by the state of Minnesota or the one implemented by St. Croix Prep.

For those families new to St. Croix Prep, distance learning is your child learning from home via technology – each class being conducted via video presentation or “live” interaction with the teacher, class or small group. Nearly all classroom activities (e.g. attendance, homework, assignments, and testing/assessment) is done via technology. All subjects are covered in this manner with the primary mode of interaction being Google Classroom, Google Chat, Zoom, etc. 

We have sent out a survey which asks four questions for each of your child(ren) attending St. Croix Prep: Student’s name, Student’s Grade, Learning Option for this Student – Hybrid or Distance, and Bus Transportation — Yes or No. Please complete this by Friday, August 7.

St. Croix Prep’s Internal Process

We must go through the same evaluation process with all of our employees, determining staff who may not be able to work in the school due to health risks or members of their family whose health may be at risk. We will determine this information by August 7. 

IMPORTANT: Your registration responses and our internal staffing evaluation will help us determine PRELIMINARY information for those sending their child(ren) to school — classroom set up, building/classroom capacity, food service requirements, bus transportation coordination with Stillwater, and potential staffing alignment. We will follow up with these families to see how we can refine our offering by asking more detailed questions.

Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) & Activities

MSHSL has been meeting throughout this process. We anticipate receiving guidance from them on Tuesday, August 4, as to how activities may be conducted based on Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan. We will communicate this information to you immediately; and if appropriate, we will post registration information on our website on Wednesday, August 5.

We realize you likely have many questions. We ask you to be patient. We anticipate sending out additional communication, probably on a daily basis.

We look forward to a great year!

Governor Walz and MDE Announce Return to School Options For The 2020-2021 School Year

Friday, August 31

St. Croix Prep Community,

On Thursday, July 30th, Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education offered guidance on the opening of the 2020-2021 school year under Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan. The learning models (in person, hybrid, and distance) available to St. Croix Prep will be based on the "14 day county level case rate", a calculation developed by MDH & MDE. The higher the case rate, the more limited the learning model, and vice versa. In addition, the plan allows for variation of learning model based on the age/grade of the students (due to transmission rates). In other words, based on these metrics, learning models may differ within our school building.

This sudden change in direction will require us to spend the next day or two evaluating the Covid-19 data, and other information, which will be released to us later today (Thursday, July 30th)

Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan metrics means that St. Croix Prep and Stillwater Area Public Schools will almost assuredly open with the same learning model.

Given the local decision making ability we now have, please note this:

  • We have been in weekly meetings with Stillwater Area Public Schools; and we are continuing to coordinate our approaches.
  • Due to our reliance upon Stillwater for our bus transportation, and the new metrics of operating, it appears inconceivable that St. Croix Prep can offer a learning model that differs from Stillwater.
  • Stillwater has already announced to their families they are preparing for a hybrid model, while offering distance learning to those families who prefer it. This communication mirrors a similar approach and we will continue to work under this assumption since they seem to be the most likely options.
  • St. Croix Prep’s next board meeting is on August 18, 2020. The board will consider holding a special meeting prior to this date to discuss the 2020-2021 school opening.

Given the above, please note the following:

First Day of School

Monday, August 31, 2020

Mark your calendars — we will begin classes on Monday, August 31. Stillwater Schools has changed their start date to Tuesday, September 8. St. Croix Prep will keep a start date of August 31, during which all of our instruction, until September 8, will be via distance learning. We will use this time to do a soft roll out of the school year by getting everyone familiar with technology, sign on procedures, class schedules, getting to know your kids, and answering the many questions you may have regarding this adventure we are embarking on.

Learning Registration

St. Croix Prep will most likely operate at some point during, if not start, the school year in the Hybrid Learning Model. In the Hybrid Learning Model each family has the option of choosing to place their student(s) in a Distance Learning Model. In preparation, St. Croix Prep must gather information on each family’s choice. Tomorrow’s Parent Update will include a link to St. Croix Prep’s Learning Model Registration. This registration will require that you answer four questions for each of your children attending St. Croix Prep:
  • Student’s Name
  • Student’s Grade
  • Learning Option for this Student – Hybrid or Distance
  • Bus Transportation — Yes or No
As you complete this registration, remember that a family may transition from the hybrid model to distance learning at any time; but a transition from distance learning to the hybrid model may only occur at mid-quarter or end of quarter. NOTE: If the Hybrid Model is not implemented initially, but is implemented later in the school year, families will be given the opportunity to modify their registration choice.

This registration must be completed by Friday, August 7. This data will help us determine classroom set up, food service requirements, bus transportation coordination with Stillwater, and potential staffing alignment.

Hybrid Model

  • Stillwater Area Public Schools provides bus transportation to St. Croix Prep therefore our hybrid models of implementation will be similar.
  • The hybrid model will be a 50% split of students who do not choose distance learning as their preference. For ease of bus transportation, keeping consistency for families with students in multiple schools (e.g. LS, MS, US, and Stillwater public schools) we will make this 50% split based on the student/family last name. 
  • The student pools “A” and “B” will attend school on the following days (NOTE: This is a change from previous communication.):
          • Monday – Group A (Blue)
          • Tuesday – Group B (Gold)
          • Wednesday – Group A (Blue)
          • Thursday – Group B (Gold)
          • Friday – Distance learning for everyone
  • Note: We will rename “A” and “B” to “Blue” and “Gold”, respectively.
  • This grouping will allow for restricted mixing of student groups, reduced cleaning, and an end of week day for instructional follow up, virtual office hours, and planning.
  • Synchronous Learning Environment. Our intention is to “livestream” each class, so that those students at home may view, listen, and participate in each of their scheduled classes. Curriculum will flow much easier, teacher preparation/work will be streamlined, and schedules will be more normalized. Our distance learning time from August 31 until September 8 will be used to refine this delivery model.

Academic Programming and Activities

  • Each school (e.g. Lower, Middle, Upper, Student Services) will communicate additional details related to the details of their operations. These will include Kindergarten Camp, Kindergarten Assessments, New Student Orientation, Book/Equipment pick up and return, etc.
  • Activities will follow the guidance from the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) which will occur very soon. They may issue guidance today but a hybrid model does seem to indicate that fall sports seasons will be conducted in some capacity.

We will be holding a meeting next week (e.g. in person and virtual) where you may attend, obtain more information, ask questions, etc.

We look forward to kicking off the new school year!

How We Prep

Schools today focus on giving children an education to help them get a job or gain acceptance to a college. We’re not this kind of school – our purpose far exceeds this.

We don’t just prepare students for a job or college, we prepare young people for life.

We partner with parents who are invested in their child’s future, and are committed to their children not just surviving in life, but thriving in life.

We combine a classical education with our culture of character to help children not just reach their career or educational goals, but to reach their life goals.

St. Croix Prep. Prep For Life.

K-12 Environment

One place to call home.

One building, managed by one administrative team, allows for a tightly integrated curriculum scripted with intentional scope and sequence beginning in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

You Won't Get Lost

You Are Familiar.

With a small enrollment, all students will receive personalized attention, permitting a low student/teacher ratio and membership in a mutually supportive community of learners.

Classical Education

Time Tested.

St. Croix Preparatory Academy was founded on a classical model of education, grounded in the time-tested methodology of the Trivium. Our model focuses on providing students with the lifelong educational tools to learn and think for themselves.

Character

Preparing For Life.

St. Croix Preparatory Academy purposefully sets high expectations for all students, staff, and parents. The school places more emphasis on character development, respect, self-organization, responsibility, self-discipline and leadership than a traditional public school.

Paideia Seminars

Thinking Put Into Practice.

The Paideia Seminar is a formal discussion in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, think critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others.

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