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


In person learning for all students.


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


Hybrid learning for all students.


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


Distance learning for all students.

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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).

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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!