Planning Guide


This plan is developed based on the current guidance issued by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Governor Walz and the State of Minnesota Stay Safe MN Plan. These plans are designed to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. This plan does not include all details of the Preparedness Plan; and this plan may need to be updated based on new guidance.


This plan is for St. Croix Preparatory Academy (“St. Croix Prep”, “School”), a K-12 public charter school, located on the campus at 4260 Stagecoach Trail North, Stillwater, MN 55082. The School is organized into Lower School (K-4), Middle School (5-8), and Upper School (9-12).

The Three Learning Models:

In-Person Learning

In this planning scenario, students will attend school full time. Schools should create as much space between students and teachers as is feasible during the day, but will not be held strictly to enforcing 6 feet of social distancing during primary instructional time in the classroom.

No large events or assemblies will be held and modifications may be made to the school day to limit the number of students in one area at a time for lunch, recess, dismissal times, etc.

The School will follow all safety protocols and guidelines for face coverings, cleaning, and sanitizing.

Hybrid Learning

In this planning scenario, schools must limit the overall number of people in school facilities and on transportation vehicles to 50% maximum occupancy. Sufficient social distancing with at least 6 feet between people must occur at all times. If distancing cannot be achieved in a space or transportation vehicle, the number of occupants must be reduced. Note: Per the Minnesota Department of Health 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools there are qualifications on this strict compliance, such as “Systematically review and evaluate classroom capacity with the goal of creating as much space between people as possible, recognizing that it is not always feasible to have 6 feet of social distancing during primary instructional time in the classroom. Consider reducing class sizes or using alternative spaces with greater capacity to allow for more physical space between people.”

St. Croix Prep will assign students to a “Blue” Group and “Gold” Group. Students in the Blue Group will attend school on Monday and Tuesday, while the “Gold” Group is learning from home; the groups will switch on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be a distance learning day for all students.

Distance Learning Icon

Distance Learning

Students engaging in distance learning having access to appropriate educational materials and receive daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s).

St. Croix Prep will implement a synchronous model, where via technology, students will join the classroom and learn from the teacher at the same time as their peers.

In addition, students will have access to recorded mini-lessons, one-on-one interaction, and small group interaction.

Students may sign up for the usage of a Chromebook to enable learning which will occur in the hybrid and/or distance learning model. In addition, the school will assist in establishing internet capabilities for those families in need.

Distance Learning Option and Transition

  • Every family, regardless of the learning model implemented by the School, has the opportunity to choose the distance learning model for their student(s).

  • Transition from In-Person/Hybrid Learning Model to Distance Learning Model. At any time, families may choose to transition their children to the distance learning model.

  • Transition from Distance Learning to the Hybrid Model. Given the School is in the hybrid model, a student’s transition from the distance learning model back to the hybrid model may occur at mid quarter or end of quarter with a week notification desired.

  • Transition from Distance Learning to the In-Person Model. Given the School is in the in-person model, student’s transition from the distance learning model back to the in-person model may occur at any time.

    Note 1: We have prepared three different models of instruction – traditional, hybrid, and distance learning. Based on the Covid-19 situation in our school and/or surrounding community, we may be required to use and/or change to each of these models throughout the school year.

    Note 2: According to the MDH Planning Guide for Schools, schools may choose to implement strategies that are more restrictive than the scenario established by the state, but may not choose to implement plans for a scenario that are less restrictive.


COVID-19 Program Coordinators

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.

Jon Gutierrez

Executive Director

Candace Westlund

Licensed School Nurse

Jon Gutierrez

Executive Director

Candace Westlund

Licensed School Nurse

Physical Distancing

  1. Physical distancing is the means of minimizing exposure by keeping space between oneself and others outside the home. The physical distance of 6 feet (two or more adult arm lengths) or more is a critical tool in mitigating the spread of Covid-19.

Attendance and Truancy -- For All Models and All Schools

  • Parents will call absences into each school’s attendance line or by sending an email to the appropriate office manager. We will note if a student’s absence is related to any of the Covid-19 symptoms.
  • All teachers will be incorporating attendance into their class using Google Classroom. This will be completed by 10:00 am of each school day.
  • Office managers will follow up on unreported absences beginning at 10:00 am.
  • All attendance will be recorded in Synergy, the school’s student information system.
  • Office managers and principals will monitor and address any attendance concerns with families and individual students.
  • Truancy guidelines will be followed with special consideration given to the circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Croix Prep staff attendance will report their absences via the school’s electronic notification system (Frontline), noting if their absence is related to any of the Covid-19 symptoms. School administration will fill spots as necessary.

Student Access to Learning Materials and Technology

  • All students will have an opportunity to pick up books, supplies, and equipment necessary to fulfill the objectives of our educational program (all learning models).
  • Chromebooks will be made available to all students who need such a device.
  • All students have email accounts to facilitate communication and integration into Google Classroom.
  • The school will work with outside providers (Century Link) to provide families who need broadband service.
  • When necessary (e.g. due to quarantine, transportation issues, etc.) the school will arrange secure pickup and delivery of appropriate materials and equipment.
  • Livestreaming, and recording, of classroom sessions will be available to ensure that all students can participate in classroom instruction.
  • In addition to the classroom instruction, small group instruction, reading/math specialist sessions, 1:1 meetings, and office hours will be used to facilitate remediation, special education/504 services, and mental health counseling.

Services by Non-Teaching Staff

  • Croix Prep’s College Counselor will continue his work with all Upper School students, guiding juniors in their college application process, keeping appropriate people informed of College Board changes in AP Testing, ACT, and other college application related materials.
  • Youth Service Bureau has partnered with St. Croix Prep to provide counseling services to our staff and families. They will offer sessions and meetings based on need.
  • Croix Prep’s health services personnel will continue to offer appropriate advice related to situations related to the Covid-19 environment.

Data Security and Privacy

  • Google Classroom, Zoom, Synergy, and other tools currently implemented in our learning model use industry standard security practices.
  • We will continue to inform, train, and monitor that staff are aware of appropriate instruction which does not infringe upon student data privacy.

Emergency Workers’ Childcare

Per Executive Order 20-82, St. Croix Prep will provide childcare for Tier 1 emergency workers.  We will supervise their learning via St. Croix Prep staff.

Special Education Service, 504 Plans, English Language Learners

  • Every Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be reviewed and modified to accommodate every learning model. Case managers will communicate with their students/families to discuss implementation of these. Special education staff will have daily interaction with students, be in contact with general education teachers to modify assignments as needed, and ensure that appropriate accommodations are being made.
  • Special education services, including related services, will be delivered via the technology utilized by the school.
  • IEP meetings may be conducted via video conferencing or at the school with appropriate safety precautions (e.g. physical distancing, face coverings, etc.)
  • Our English Language Learners will receive additional instruction for vocabulary acquisition. This will be in the form of technology, printed curriculum, etc.

Before and After School Care

St. Croix Prep will provide before and after school care.  This will be provided by the YMCA (YCare) at the campus of St. Croix Prep.

Health and Wellness

Health Screening

If you are not feeling well, have been told you are a close contact of a positive COVID case, are awaiting a COVID test result, or have tested positive for COVID please stay home.  Families, students and staff are expected to self-screen at home before coming to school.  Anyone displaying the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home:

More common: fever greater than or equal to 100.4, new onset and/or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell
Less common: sore throat, nausea, chills, vomiting, muscle pain, diarrhea, excessive fatigue, new onset of severe headache, new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose
*Per MDH guidelines when county case rate data is greater than 10 individuals with even only one less common symptom need to stay home. Both the student with symptoms and siblings need to stay home, how long depends on whether the symptomatic student is evaluated or not and the results of the evaluation.
Please notify the school nurse at 

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is the means of minimizing exposure by keeping space between oneself and others outside the home.  The physical distance of 6 feet (two or more adult arm lengths) or more is a critical tool in mitigating the spread of Covid-19.  If there is a need to be physically closer, it is important to maintain this closer contact less than 15 minutes.


  • Staff and students will be educated on proper handwashing and use of sanitizer with frequent reminders throughout the year.
  • Specific handwashing times will be built into the daily schedule: before/after lunch, before/after recess, before/after visit to the Health Office, bathroom, when arriving home, etc.
  • Approximately 100 sanitizers have been installed outside of classrooms. These will be used by students in between class periods.

Face Coverings/Masks

Per Executive Order 20-81, face coverings are required in school settings. 

Monitoring & Excluding

We will ensure attendance reporting to office managers allows the Health Office to follow-up in a timely and appropriate manner.

St. Croix Prep staff will utilize their standard reporting procedures to report absences and associated symptoms.  The Health Office will follow up when necessary.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Decision Tree for Exclusion will be followed.

Mental Health

  • Youth Service Bureau will continue to provide counseling services to St. Croix Prep staff, students, and families.
  • The school community will receive regular communication on mental health issues, how to make mental health referrals, and forms for completion of information.

Exposure Response

The following is subject to change based on guidance from the CDC and MDH.

  • Persons testing positive for Covid-19 may return to school after meeting after isolating for 10 days since the start of the symptoms, having no fever for at least 24 hours, and showing symptom improvement.
  • Persons who have a close contact with a positive Covid-19 case will quarantine for 14 days from their last contact.
  • The School will notify the entire school of positive Covid-19 cases; but in order to maintain data privacy, communication will only indicate which division (e.g. Lower School, Middle School, Upper School) the case was found.
  • Close contacts of any positive case will be notified and given instructions on quarantine procedures.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfecting will be done in areas where the infected person spent time.
  • In accordance with requirements by the MDH and MDE, the school will have a separate “isolation” room, with PPE, for those students who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms while in school.

School Meals

  • Breakfast and lunch will be available on site.
  • Meal locations will be adjusted to accommodate schedules and physical distancing. These locations will include but not be limited to classrooms, cafeteria, outside, PAC, and auxiliary gym.
  • Physical distancing markers and signage will be used in meal locations.
  • Students will sanitize or wash hands before and after meal service.
  • Meals, utensils, and condiments will be pre-packaged for in school delivery/pickup.
  • Pre-packaged meals will be available for purchase for students on the days they are not present at school.
  • Pre-packaged meals will be available for pick-up at designated sites for qualifying families.


The following adjustments have been made due to COVID-19 mitigation:

Hand Sanitizer Stations

Approximately 100 sanitizing stations have been installed outside of the classrooms.

Physical Distancing Markers

Physical distancing markers have been placed division offices, atrium, hallways, locker rooms, bathrooms, eating areas, bus pick-up/drop off areas, and parent pick-up/drop off areas.

Plexiglass Barriers

Plexiglass barriers have been installed for office managers and personnel with community/student interaction.

Building Water

Water fountains have been disabled; all water bottle filling stations will remain operational.

HVAC Runtime

HVAC systems will run two hours prior to personnel arrival in the morning and two hours after cleaning crews have departed in the evening.  Outside air flow has been increased and ionization capabilities are being installed. 

HVAC Filters

HVAC filters will be checked and replaced on a regular basis.

Increased Cleaning

Increased cleaning and disinfecting will occur in high touch areas and between classes.

Transportation Capacity

Systematically review and evaluate transportation capacity (with Stillwater Area Public Schools Transportation Department) with the goal of creating as much space between riders as possible, recognizing that it is not always feasible to have 6 feet of social distancing.

Classroom Space

Systematically review and evaluate transportation capacity (with Stillwater Area Public Schools Transportation Department) with the goal of creating as much space between riders as possible, recognizing that it is not always feasible to have 6 feet of social distancing

Crowd Management

Have staff monitor arrival and dismissal to curtail congregating and ensure students go straight from their vehicle to their classroom, and vice versa.

Limited Access

Limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups and organizations.


Implement contactless pick up and/or delivery of school curriculum, supplies, and equipment.

No Visitor Policy

Croix Prep will have a “No Visitor Policy”. All meetings must be scheduled in advance; and those meetings must follow the Face Covering policy and physical distancing guidelines.


There are other areas of guidance and compliance related to early learning programs, community education, homeless students, and tribal considerations.  Due to limited student population or lack of programming (e.g. Pre-K programs), this plan does not include details related to these.

Communication to Parents and Students

All of the learning plan information has been and will continue to be communicated to our stakeholders via the website, newsletter system, emails, Zoom webinars/meetings, and video conferences.  These communication items may originate from the Principals, Director of Student Services, Health Office, Activities Director (as well as coaches and advisors).