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2020-21 School Year Plan

Transition to Distance Learning

November 2020

St. Francis Area Schools will transition to a Distance Learning model. The current COVID-19 infection rate trend shows a rapid escalation in both Anoka and Isanti counties. Zip code data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows the district at well over 155 positive cases per 10,000. Also, this action follows a growing number of school employees being directly impacted by COVID-19 isolation and quarantine. Please know, the health and safety of staff, students, and the community remain at the forefront of our decision to transition to Distance Learning. 

Transition to Distance Learning Timeline

St. Francis High School and Middle School
  • November 16    Announce Distance Learning beginning
    Thursday, November 19
  • November 17-18    Professional planning days for secondary staff. No school for students  in grades 6 -12, T15 and Distance Learning.
  • November 19-24    Distance Learning
  • November 25-27    Thanksgiving Break
  • November 30-January 11    Distance Learning
  • January 11    Board meeting to review Learning Models
East Bethel and St. Francis Elementary Schools Grades K-5
  • November 16    Announce Distance Learning beginning
    Monday, November 30
  • November 17-20    Hybrid Learning
  • November 23-24    Professional planning days for elementary staff. No school for students in grades K-5 and Distance Learning.
  • November 25-27    Thanksgiving Break
  • November 30-January 11    Distance Learning
  • January 11    Board meeting to review Learning Models
Cedar Creek Elementary School Grades K-5
  • November 9-10    Professional Planning days for elementary staff, no students
  • November 11    Distance Learning
  • November 23-24    Hybrid students in attendance. No school for distance learning students.
  • November 25-27    Thanksgiving Break
  • November 30-January 11    Distance Learning
  • January 11    Board meeting to review Learning Models
Grades Pre-kindergarten and Early Childhood Family Education
  • Stays in the current Hybrid Model until further notice

The district will continue prioritizing options to bring students back for in-person instruction. 

Prioritizing In-Person Support and Services: 

Per Executive Order 20-94, school districts operating in a Distance Learning model should prioritize providing in-person instruction and services to students with disabilities and whose individualized education program calls for intensive services that cannot be provided in a distance learning model. Our special education teams will be in contact with students with an IEP.

CTE Education:

St. Francis Area Schools understands providing hands-on instruction is important while in the Distance Learning model. Any educator that would like to have a hands-on in-person lab, may do so by requesting in-person programming with their building administrator. These lessons will be for 10 or fewer students or based on the capacity of the room and follow public health guidelines. 

Mental Health Assistance: 

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created different types of mental health circumstances and high levels of stress for many of our staff, students, and families. Some may need a support system to help rebalance and refocus on the task of learning and being productive in a school. During Distance Learning, counselors and social workers will be available to address mental health and well-being. 

Breakfast and Lunch Programs:

St. Francis Area Schools is participating in the United States Department of Agriculture's COVID-19 meal program, which has been recently extended through the end of this school year. This program will continue to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to all enrolled students even during Distance Learning. Although the meals are free, you must successfully register by using the Distance Learning Meal Request Form. If your student(s) is already in Distance Learning and receiving meal bundles, there is no need to sign up again. 

Essential Childcare for Tier I Critical Workers:
This is a school-age childcare program intended for extreme circumstances in which parents or guardians cannot be at home because they are Tier I Critical Workers. Care will be provided during school hours and staffed by Educational Assistants. Please follow the state guidelines (page 23) to determine if you qualify as a Tier I worker. Both parents must qualify as Tier I to receive free care. For registration information, please email

Pre-kindergarten and Early Childhood Family Education:

Preschool Place 15 and Early Childhood Family Education will continue under recommendations from the Superintendent, Director of Community Education, and Director of Student Services. The Superintendent will give as much notice as possible to parents in the event of a learning model change.

Distance Learning Help Centers: 

Each site will house a Distance Learning Help Center. The location of the center will be at 50 percent of room capacity and will maintain social distancing guidelines. It will be monitored by St. Francis Area Schools staff who have limited duties while students are in Distance Learning (counselors, social workers, behavior interventionists, health office staff, assistant principals, etc.). Transportation will not be provided to a Distance Learning Help Center. Priority will be given to those students that have limited internet access in their homes. Appointments are required to attend. More details will be sent to families from the administration of each building.

Every effort will be made to make this change go as smoothly as possible. Thank you for your understanding and support.