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Distance Learning

On March 25, 2020, Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-19, which authorizes and directs the Minnesota Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning period for public schools from March 30, 2020 through May 4, 2020. Distance Learning for students is scheduled to conclude on April 30. May 1 and May 4 are scheduled for staff preparation days in the event students would return on May 5. This is subject to change.

Distance Learning

St. Francis Area Schools students will engage in Distance Learning with access to appropriate educational materials and instruction from their licensed teachers to continue their learning. Distance Learning utilizes similar aspects to the traditional school day, such as course expectations, class announcements and learning objectives. Teachers will provide students with a variety of learning opportunities; not all will be digital in nature. 

Instructional Delivery

Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, staff will communicate course/class expectations to  early childhood through grade 12 students using the following:

  • Teachers will communicate with students through Google Classroom, packets that were sent home via material pick-up during the week of March 23-27 or email. Accommodations will be made for students with IEPs or 504 plans.
    Click here for a tutorial video on Google Classroom
K-12 Attendance

Attendance will be taken daily. At the elementary school level, classroom teachers will send a daily email to families. Families will need to respond daily to this email to mark their student present for the day. Students in grades 6-12 are required to log into Google Classroom or a Google Form daily and participate in an online activity to register their attendance. For students without access to Google Classroom, students/families will call the designated teacher on a daily basis and leave a voice message or send an email to the teacher.

Student absences for illness, doctor appointments, etc., will be reported following the same procedures as previous to Distance Learning. Please call the school's attendance line to report student absences.

Teacher Office Hours

The expectation is for all staff to be available by email or phone (via voicemail) daily. Please see below for each school's office hours:

  • Early Childhood Family Center, Cedar Creek Elementary School, East Bethel Elementary School, St. Francis Elementary School: 9:00 am-3:30 pm
  • St. Francis Learning Center, St. Francis High School: 7:45 am-2:25 pm
  • St. Francis Middle School: 7:35 am-2:12 pm
  • Transition 15: 7:30 am-1:30 pm

Staff will respond to all communication requests in a timely manner (within 24 hours) during scheduled hours via phone, Google Meet, Zoom or email. Teachers may communicate outside of office hours as needed.

Contacting Your Child's Teacher on a Distance Learning Day

Teachers, principals and other licensed professionals will be available by email or phone (via voicemail). There are two (2) ways you can contact your child's teachers:

  • Send staff an email to their school email address. Staff contact information can be found on the St. Francis Area Schools website ( in the Staff Directory.
  • Call your child's teacher and leave a message on their school voicemail. All voicemails are forwarded to staff members' emails. If you request a callback from your child's teacher, please leave your phone number and a specific time for a return call.

Staff will respond to all communication requests in a timely manner (within 24 hours) during scheduled hours via phone, Google Meet, Zoom or email. Teachers may communicate outside of office hours as needed.

Special Education

Please know that your child will continue to receive a modified version of special education services, accommodations and modifications from what is currently identified on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The methods and strategies to deliver specialized instruction will look different with a Distance Learning Plan. For example, starting March 30, 2020, services will be delivered through an alternative method that may include consulting with parents on specific learning strategies, using technology to demonstrate skills or ideas, phone calls or video conferencing with students and/or printed instructional resources. Your child's case manager has been working with you, other special education service providers (as appropriate), and classroom teachers to participate in developing this interim Distance Learning Plan. Each child's plan has been specifically and uniquely modified to best meet their special education needs, within the parameters of all of the governor's pandemic directives and restrictions.

Over the last ten days, your child's case manager has been gathering input and ideas and is developing a proposed interim IEP/IFSP Distance Learning Plan. This plan will be electronically shared with you by the end of the day March 27, 2020. This will be an addendum to your child's IEP/IFSP and should be reflective of the conversations/communications you have had with the case manager in the past couple of weeks. It is our intent to partner with you to try to support both you and your child as best we can during this challenging time.

Parent Technical Support & Access to Devices
  • Need help using class materials or websites?
    Please contact your teacher for help by sending an email or leaving a voicemail. It may take a day to hear back.
  • Technology Support
    Please submit a help desk ticket at On the help ticket, please choose the school you attend and add your contact information. For questions (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-4:00 pm) please call 763-753-7124 or 763-753-7158.
  • Additional Technology Resources
    Are available in the tab section of this page under Technology Help.
    - Connecting your Chromebook to Wifi
    - How to clean your Chromebook
    - Technology Equipment Check-out Agreement
    - Technology Support Letter
Internet Filtering at Home

To help protect students against harmful and inappropriate online material, as well as to keep a "scholarly" focus when learning online, St. Francis Area Schools uses online services provided by GoGuardian. This web-based protection operates both when in school and also at home for school managed accounts (i.e. when a student is logged into Chrome or a Chromebook with their school email address).

While filtering takes place both at school and at home, parents play an important role in supervising their child's internet access and usage. Parents are encouraged to discuss rules for appropriate internet usage and reinforce lessons of digital citizenship and safety.

For More Information

Visit the COVID-19 Page on the District Website

We know that your schedules are wide and varied. We are here to support you and your child during these evolving times, so please reach out to us as we are in this together.

Art: SFAS Distance Learning Graphic