High School Solution Task Force

  • Process

    Workshops with community participation for a High School Solution in District 742 began Nov. 19. We engaged representatives from: students, principals, teachers, staff, parents, community members, district leadership, civic leaders and district partners to help find a solution for what is best for high school learners in the St. Cloud Area School District. The workshop descriptions, times and dates are listed below. For a more detailed description of the workshops, click HERE.

    There were four workshops scheduled, beginning Nov. 19 and running through Dec. 3. Two optional tours of remodeled and new high schools will be offered during that time frame as well. Two final workshops were held on Feb. 2 and Feb. 5 to refine the finalized design recommendation.

    On Wednesday, March 11, from 4 – 6 pm, the Task Force convened again to prepare a presentation for the Board of Education. Representatives of the task force presented to the Board from 6 – 6:30 pm prior to the Board’s scheduled work session at 6:30 pm. View the presentation. Watch the video.


    To co-create a clear and compelling vision of the future for St. Cloud Area High School learners and to align the educational programs and physical design of facilities with this vision.

    • Workshop 1: Creating a Shared Vision for Our Future—What We Want for St. Cloud Area High School Learners
      On Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Apollo High School Media Center, 90 students, teachers, staff, administration, parents and other community members met to begin the creative design process for a high school solution in St. Cloud. Small discussion groups considered ideas and preconceptions of what's best for all high school learners. What are your thoughts?
      • Click HERE to watch Workshop 1 Presentation.
      • Click HERE to watch video of Workshop 1.
    • Workshop 2: Analysis and Assessment—What’s Working/What’s Not Working with Our Existing High Schools
      On Friday, Nov. 21, the High School Solution Task Force continued its work at Technical High School. Participants received student-led tours of Technical High School, followed by an exercise that prompted participants to share what elements of the school align or don't align with their vision of what a high school facility should be. What are your thoughts?
      • Click HERE to watch Workshop 2 Presentation.
      • Click HERE to watch the Teaching & Learning Presentation.
      • Click HERE to watch video of Workshop 2.
    • Workshop 3: Exploring Our Options—Design Scenarios
      The purpose of this Workshop was to generate conceptual design scenarios that consider a broad range of options for High School Facilities in the community, including:
      • Remodeling/Additions to Tech to support an 1,800 student high school
      • Remodeling/Additions to Apollo to support 1,800 students
      • A New High School for 1800 students
      • Other Options?
      • Participants looked for the Common Ground across all options that captures the vision statement described in Workshop One and aligns with the Strategic Plan, and concludes with a whole group activity to establish a set of Criteria that will be utilized to evaluate the synthesized options in Workshop Four. Click HERE to watch video of Workshop 3.
    • Workshop 4: Synthesis and Recommendation—Finalize Design Recommendations
      Workshop #4 took place at Apollo High School’s Resource Room on December 3, 2014. The purpose of this workshop was to finalize design recommendations for each site, using the design criteria generated in Workshop #3, for a presentation to the Board of Education and community members. It began with a review of the synthesized options for each site, including cost estimates, and followed with analysis of these options against the agreed-upon criteria. The final decision of the task force was to recommend to the Board that a new Tech High School be built upon the 33rd Street South site in St. Cloud.

      A special meeting of the Board of Education convened immediately after the workshop concluded. John Pfluger, architect for the Cuningham Group, introduced the presentation team volunteers from the High School Design Task Force to the Board and reviewed the process of the four workshops.

      The presenters then took turns explaining to the Board the steps of the decision-making process for a High School Solution. They discussed their highest hopes for the process, the given understanding that the solution must meet the objectives of the Strategic Plan, the design parameters, the forces of change considered, the discussion of limiting beliefs, and the various activities, including aligning and mis-aligning features of both high schools. They described the rationale behind design options.

      Board members asked questions of the panel and shared concerns and insights.

      Click HERE to watch Workshop 4 Presentation.
      Click HERE to watch video of Workshop 4.
      Click HERE to watch video of the High School Design Taskforce Presentation to the Board of Education.

    • Workshop 5: Refinement and Conceptual Design of a New Tech High School and Improved Apollo High School

      85 members of the High School Design Task Force met Monday, February 2nd, at Apollo High School to discuss and design conceptual space for the new Tech High School and for improvements to Apollo. After a review of Workshops 1 – 4 and board action on the Task Force recommendations, the group heard presentations from Assistant Superintendent Marsha Baisch and Architect Meg Parsons on best practices for learning communities in 21st century high schools, which included flexible spaces and collegiate space. Task force members then proceeded to break into teams to design “outside the blocks” for academic space within the two high schools. They then shared their 3-D creations to the large group.

      • Click HERE to view the Presentation.
    • Workshop 6: Refinement and Conceptual Design of a New Tech High School and Improved Apollo High School

      Workshop Six began on Feb. 5 at Apollo High School with a dynamic presentation by Landscape Architect David Motzenbecker giving an overview of the site plan of the 33rd Street site. Through aerial photographs, Motzenbecker showed topography, natural areas including woodlands and wetlands, and spoke of soil types. He also spoke of site-inspired opportunities for learning communities.

      Participants then viewed two options for the new Tech High School, both using input and feedback from Workshop Five activities. In small groups, the task force then worked together to assess strengths of each plan and determine how well it fit the vision. They were able to manipulate parts of the drawings as they felt necessary to create an ideal site.

      Finally, the participants revisited the conceptual work of previous workshops regarding improvements to Apollo High School. They again broke into groups to assess strengths of the plan and offer suggestions.

      • Click HERE to view the presentation.

    **Optional Site Tour of the New Alexandria High School – What are Others Doing**

    • Nov. 21, 2014, 12:15 - 4:15 pm – Immediately following the second workshop, the High School Design Task Force Committee was taken on a tour of Alexandria High School to help participants understand what a new High School that supports 21st Century learning looks like as they prepare to generate recommendations for St. Cloud in Workshop Three. View the tour.

    **Optional Site Tour of the Remodeled Hopkins High School – What are Others Doing**

    • Nov. 25, 2014, 8:15 am - 1:30 pm – Between the second and third workshops, the High School Design Task Force Committee was taken on a tour of Hopkins High School to help participants understand how the remodeling of an existing High School can support 21st Century learning. View the tour.