FAQs

  • ACTIVITIES

    Will we have Activities this year?

    St. Cloud Area Schools recognizes the value of participating in Activities and will strive to provide full access to these opportunities. We will follow the guidance provided by the Minnesota State High School League.

    How will you ensure safety for our students during practice and games?

    We will follow best practices from the Minnesota Department of Health and information provided from the Minnesota State High School League.  

    Which high school sports will be offered this fall?

    The Minnesota State High School League has approved fall high school sports for Girls Swimming and Diving, Girls and Boys Soccer, Girls Tennis and Boys and Girls Cross-Country. There will be an adjustment in the length of season and a reduction in the number of events, but we are excited that we can move forward with these activities.

    How do I register my student for these Activities? 

    Starting Monday, Aug. 10th, both Tech and Apollo will be open for registration for the approved fall sports. Our hours will be from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On Thursday, Aug. 13th we will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. For your convenience, we have added the registration packets online to both Tech and Apollo’s activities pages.

     

    ATTENDANCE

    Does my PK-5 grade student need to attend every class if they’re learning at home?

    Yes. Whether at school or at home, students are expected to engage in all learning activities and to be in attendance at the beginning of each day.

    Does my 6-12 grade student need to attend every class if they’re learning at home?

    Yes. Regardless of whether 6-12 grade students are at home or in person, students must follow their daily schedules and be present, virtually or physically, at the start of each class. Period attendance will be taken and students are expected to be on time and present for each class.

     

    CHILDCARE

    Is childcare provided for Tier 1 workers?

    As required under the federal CARES Act, District 742 will provide daycare for all Tier 1 employees and District 742 staff. We are also partnering with Boys and Girls Clubs to provide daycare through KIDSTOP. Normal fees will apply.

    How do I know if I am a Tier 1 worker and qualify for free child care during my working hours?

    Tier 1 workers are defined as critical workers by the state of Minnesota during this state of emergency. They include health care workers, law enforcement and first responders, educators and child care workers. For the complete list, see Appendix A of the Minnesota Public School Planning Guide.

    How do I sign up for emergency childcare during hybrid and distance learning?

    Detailed information will be posted when it becomes available.  Immediate questions can be directed to Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota at (320) 252-7616.

    Is there a fee for emergency childcare?

    If we are in a hybrid or distance learning model, Tier 1 workers (including district staff) will have access to childcare during school hours at no charge, and at a fee for before and after school care. Location and details of the child care services will be available from Boys & Girls Club.

    Where can I get help with childcare if I have financial questions?

    • Boys & Girls Club of Central MN: 320-252-7616, bgcmn.org
    • Families may also call 1-888-291-9811 for assistance with financial resources to afford care. https://mn.gov/mmb/childcare/families/

     

    COMMUNICATION

    Will I be notified if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at my child’s school?

    Because of the rapidly evolving nature of COVID illness, current information and protocols concerning our community and school sites will be updated regularly on the district website. As appropriate, families will be notified of positive cases within a school site and of actions taken. Depending on the circumstances, the risk to others may range from low to high, and protocols will vary accordingly. 

    Each school site will have a designated nurse serving as the COVID Coordinator for that building to track and report daily any suspected COVID infections. The district COVID Response Team will meet daily, or as needed, to determine appropriate action and communication regarding  positive cases. 

    How far in advance will I know if my child’s school needs to close due to COVID-19?

    In the event of a school closure, families will be notified immediately.

     

    COMMUNITY EDUCATION

    Will there be community education classes offered this fall?

    Yes, St. Cloud Community Education is creating innovative opportunities for class experiences with enhanced health and safety procedures. While our programs this fall will look different than in years past, we are committed to providing the best experience possible.  St. Cloud Area Schools and St. Cloud Community Education are together following the guidance from the United States Centers for Disease Control, the MN Department of Health, and the MN Department of Education. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.  Connections, community, and learning experiences are what keep us inspired.  We invite you to stay up to date with all that we are offering by following us on Facebook, Twitter or on our website at https://www.isd742.org/Page/35

    To view our current class offerings, go to our registration website.

    https://isd742.ce.eleyo.com/

    If you have questions– please call (320) 370-8200.

    Will Adult Basic Education classes be offered?

    Yes, we will be offering ABE classes for our community. 

     

    HEALTH AND SAFETY

    Does my child have to wear a mask all day?

    Yes, all students and staff must wear a mask during the day and when on district property, including buses. Masks may be removed when eating.

    Will students and staff follow social distancing?

    During in-person learning, buses and classrooms will be full and the capacity to social distance will be severely limited. During hybrid learning, buses and classrooms will be at 50% capacity and strict social distancing will be required. 

    What happens if students refuse to follow health and safety protocols?

    The health and safety of our entire learning community is our top priority. Students will be expected to follow all safety protocols. If concerns arise, school administration will partner with students and families to resolve the issue. For sustained or serious breaches of health and safety protocols, students may be assigned to learn from home full time. 

    What are the screening procedures for staff and students?

    Families and staff are encouraged to take temperatures each morning before school. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should not go to school. Students and adults should screen for respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath prior to coming to school each day and stay home if exhibiting symptoms. Staff will use a daily checklist and families will use a symptoms checklist in Skyward Family Access. If your child will stay home, be sure to report the absence.

    Will families, volunteers, or visitors be allowed in the schools?

    Not at this time. We are strictly limiting entrance into our schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    What cleaning protocols will the school district follow?

    • Schools will follow daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols per Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and local public health guidelines, including classrooms, common areas, labs, gyms and playgrounds. For more information, refer to the Back to School Guide published on our website.
    • Drinking fountains will be disabled, but water bottle refilling stations will be operational. 

    What happens if students or staff exhibit symptoms during the school day?

    Each school has established a Care Room for anyone showing potential COVID-19 symptoms. Families will be required to pick up their child if they show symptoms. We cannot transport ill students home.

    What happes if I think my child has been exposed to COVID?

    • If you think your child has been exposed, monitor for symptoms and socially distance. If symptoms appear, have child stay home and contact your medical provider.
    • If your child has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, quarantine for 14 days and monitor. If symptoms appear 5-7 days after exposure, have your child tested. 

    What happens if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a classroom or school?

    Families will be notified if their child has been directly exposured. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will be performed based on contact tracing findings. 

     

    LEARNING MODELS

    What is the in-person learning model?

    In-person learning means that our students and staff will return to our school facilities and follow their typical daily and hourly schedules. Learning and teaching happens in the classroom and through assigned independent homework. Safety protocols such as wearing masks and symptom screening will be in place.  However, a return to in-person learning means that our buses and classrooms will be at full capacity and opportunities for social distancing will be limited. 

    What is the hybrid learning model?

    Hybrid learning provides a combination of in-person and distance learning designed to address health and safety concerns. Per MDH and MDE, hybrid learning limits capacity to no more than 50% of that available on a bus, classroom, cafeteria, school, or other district facility.  In this plan, movement around the school and student interaction will be limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow for contact tracing.

    How many days a week will students come to school in the hybrid learning model?

    In the hybrid learning model, most students will attend school in-person two days weekly and three days online. Based on their last name by alpha, students will be assigned to attend on Monday and Wednesday OR Tuesday and Thursday. Some students with special learning needs, such as beginning multilingual learners, students with Individualized Education Plans or 504 Plans, or students with transitional or migrant status, may attend school in-person four days each week. 

    Is the hybrid model in place for the entire school year or just this fall? 

    We will receive data every two weeks from MDE that indicates the level of COVID -19 transmission in our community. We may at some point need to go to distance learning based on this information. Districts can choose to select a more restrictive learning model, but never less according to the Governor's executive order.

    Why AB/AB/Flex? Other districts are using an AA/BB/Flex or an AA/Flex/BB.

    We did consider other models. After conferring with teachers, they preferred to see all of their students M-Th so they could schedule follow up sessions on Fridays to reteach concepts that were not clear over the course of the week or to work individually or in small groups with students who needed enrichment or support.
     
    Additionally, an AA/Flex/BB day made it impossible for us to transport students to school while also delivering meals to the students who were not in school two days in a row. By alternating days, we can send meals for the distance learning day with students when the leave from their in-person day.
     
    Finally, the AB/AB model gives us 24 hours to contact trace and notify families in the event of an exposure to COVID-19. When students come on an AA/BB model, we have only the evening hours to complete the lengthy process.

    What happens on Fridays?

    Each Friday will be designated a distance learning day and no students will attend school in-person. This day provides opportunities for all students to work independently or synchronously with their teacher or peers to complete assignments and assessments. It also allows time for a deep cleaning of our buses and facilities. On Fridays, instruction from their assigned teachers will take place through SeeSaw or Schoology.

    What is the distance learning model?

    Distance Learning is a method of learning and teaching in which instruction, course materials, and assessments are conducted virtually. Distance Learning 2.0 is the name of our revised program. Based on what we learned after the spring, we have made significant changes to our plan.

    What will Distance Learning 2.0 look like for PK-5 grade students?

    If distance learning is required due to health and safety concerns, students in grades PK-5 will log into Seesaw at the start of each school day to meet virtually face-to-face with their teachers and classmates. They may work throughout the day virtually with their teacher as a whole class, in small groups, or independently.  Students are expected to engage in all learning activities and to be in attendance at the beginning of each day.

    What will Distance Learning 2.0 look like for 6-12 grade students?

    If distance learning is required due to health and safety concerns, students in grades 6-12 will be expected to follow the same schedule as when they are physically in our school buildings. Students will log in to Schoology and Google Meet at the start of each class period to meet virtually face-to-face with their teachers and classmates. They may be instructed to remain online for the duration of that class period or to collaborate in small groups or work individually. Period attendance will be taken, and students are expected to be on time and present for each class.

    What will it take to move from one learning model to the next? Will the transition be sudden?

    Transitioning between models—in either direction--is dependent on the governor’s matrix and local health data. We are monitoring the county numbers provided by the state every week and watching for trend data. We will look at three weeks’ stable numbers at a time to determine if we should transition to a less-restrictive learning model. If there were a drastic increase in COVID cases locally, or at a single school, we would move quickly to transition to distance learning to ensure everyone’s safety.

     

    ST. CLOUD AREA SCHOOLS DISTANCE LEARNING ACADEMY

    What is the St. Cloud Area Schools Distance Learning Academy?

    This year, we are providing students with a fully online learning opportunity through our Distance Learning Academy. Saint Cloud Area Schools is proud to offer a 100% Distance Learning option for students. Families with students in PreK-12 who prefer the option of distance learning throughout the entire 2020-21 school year should register for this program. This option is available to families with children who are four years old through 12th grade regardless of the district’s decision to return to school in an in-person, hybrid, or distance learning scenario. Language Immersion programs will be offered through the St. Cloud Area Schools Distance Learning Academy. Advanced Placement (AP) and College In the Schools (CIS) courses may be available.

    Who will be teaching in the Distance Learning Academy?

    Teachers and staff are drawn from across the district and are assigned to teach solely in the Distance Learning Academy. Staff will be licensed to teach in their content areas.

    Will all classes be available in the Distance Learning Academy?

    Students will be able to complete state standards and meet graduation requirements, however not all elective courses may be available. Advanced Placement (AP) and College In the Schools (CIS) courses may be available depending on enrollment.

    Will Immersion programs be available through the Distance Learning Academy?

    Yes, Chinese and Spanish Immersion programming will be available in the Distance Learning Academy. 

    Will DLA students be able to participate in sports and activities?

    All students can engage in extracurricular activities at their school of enrollment when/if extracurricular activities become available.

    Will DLA students take assessments such as STAR and MCA?

    Yes.

    Why do I have to commit to the Distance Learning Academy so early? 

    We are asking families to indicate their choice for the Distance Learning Academy in early August for several reasons. We will need to completely re-staff our schools based on the choices families make and the medical needs of our staff. Matching staff to the Distance Learning Academy's students' academic needs will require time.  Once this re-staffing is complete, our elementary schools then need to redo class rosters, and our secondary schools will rebuild our master schedules and re-create all of our students' course schedules. While these processes are happening, our transportation department will also need to re-route our buses and pick up/drop off times. All of this work will need to be done prior to the end of August.

    Is the Distance Learning Academy a year-long commitment?

    Our ideal would be to allow families the flexibility to transition in and out of the Distance Learning Academy at the trimester mark. However, we cannot guarantee this will be possible because of the staffing and transportation demands and the need to maintain appropriate class-sizes. Families will be able to apply to return to their assigned brick-and-mortar schools two weeks prior to the end of the trimester. We will use the In-district transfer process established by the Board of Education.

    What are the hours of the student day for DLA?

    9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

     

    LEARNING AND TEACHING

    What will the grading system be like this year?

    K-5 Grades

    Given the uncertainties facing all members of our learning community, we will continue to provide accountability with flexibility and compassion. Elementary students will receive a “Meets” or “Does Not Meet” for all subject areas and work habits. If a standard is not graded during the trimester students will receive an NA for “Not Assessed.”

    6-12 Grades

    Regardless of the learning model, families will have the choice of grading options each trimester: A-CNC or P/CNC.  Families and students will be able to view their final grades before making a selection.

    How will SeeSaw be used for instruction this year?

    Regardless of the learning model, for students in grades K-5, Seesaw will be our learning and teaching platform.  All lessons and instructions will be available through Seesaw.  

    How will Schoology be used for instruction this year?

    Regardless of the learning model, for students in grades 6-12, Schoology will be our learning and teaching platform.  All syllabi, daily agendas, course materials, and assignments will be available through Schoology.  Course layout and workflow will be aligned across secondary to create consistency for students and families.

    What will happen with music, physical education, or hands-on courses?

    In the Governor’s Executive Order regarding masks, it says that masks may be removed during certain activities in courses such as these if social distancing is maintained to the extent possible. Teachers will be planning the safest opportunities for our students and cleaning of shared equipment will happen according to guidelines.

     

    START OF SCHOOL INFORMATION

    How can I enroll my child in District 742 schools?

    Enroll online at https://www.isd742.org/domain/2025 or contact the Welcome Center. 320.370.8116.

    When will we know our student’s teacher/schedule for next year?

    Your child’s school will contact you with this information once planning is complete.

    What time will my child’s school start for 2020-2021?

    Start and end times are posted on each school’s website. Schools with changed times this year:

    School

    Student Start Time

    Student End Time

    Apollo

    9:00 a.m.

    3:45 p.m.

    McKinley-ALC

    9:00 a.m.

    3:25 p.m.

    North

    9:00 a.m.

    3:45 p.m.

    South

    9:00 a.m.

    3:45 p.m.

    Tech

    9:00 a.m.

    3:45 p.m.

    Westwood

    8:40 a.m.

    3:10 p.m.


    When will I get to meet my child’s teachers?

    You will meet your child’s teachers virtually through individual conferences with either your child’s homeroom or advisory teacher. Other teachers will introduce themselves to you through video and other online communication.

    Are you having Open Houses or Goal Setting Conferences?

    Goal setting conferences will take place before school starts and may happen virtually. 

    If my children have different last names, can they attend on the same schedule?

    Yes, family members will be assigned to attend on the same day - A or B. School counselors will be scheduling students based on class size and bus route capacity. You will not need to take any action to make this happen. 

    When will I know which days my 3-12 grade student is attending? 

    You can expect to hear which day your student is attending in a few weeks. We need to balance transportation routes and class sizes. Our schools will be in touch as soon as possible to give you this information.

    Why are we dividing students by last name by alpha and not by grade?

    This was a hard decision and one we did not take lightly. Ultimately, we chose to divide our students between A and B days by last name alpha for several reasons. First, we know many families need their children to attend school on the same schedule. If we assign students to an A or B day based on last names, we are able to provide this consistency for families. Second, many of our classes at the high school level are taught specifically by grade. For example, 11th grade students typically take US History and English 11. Assigning by grade would mean that we could not meet 50% capacity in classrooms. Additionally, for the classes that serve mixed grades, either class sizes would be substantially unbalanced or some students would be unable to have the classes they selected. 

     

    SCHOOL DAY

    What can my child expect when starting the school day?

    Adults and students will be required to wear protective masks when on all district property, including buses and classrooms. Students will have their temperatures taken as they exit the bus or their vehicles, or before entering the school building. Multiple entrances may be designated for screening to prevent congregation and wait time.

    Who will be taking the students' temperatures as they depart the bus or their parents cars?

    Staff trained in symptom screening and temperature checks will do these at the start of the school day. We are finalizing plans for inclement weather at each building. Our school administrators will be completing these plans in the coming weeks. We will not be taking temps for all students mid-day. 

    Will students be able to go to recess? How will recess work?

    We are planning to have elementary students go outside for recess. Details regarding how that will look are still being determined. 

    Do students have to wear masks when outside on school grounds?

    We are waiting for guidance from MDH and MDE regarding mask use outside when at recess or in a class meeting outside, such as PE. We will be posting our FAQs on our website soon and will be updating that regularly as new information is provided to us.

    Will students eat in the cafeteria?

    Students will either eat in their classrooms or cafeteria depending on the grade level.

    Will hot lunch food be out in the open?

    No.

    Can I come into the school building to drop off or pick up my child?

    No, per the Governor’s order we are limiting the number of visitors and volunteers in the building. 

    Will school supplies be shared this year?

    No. School supplies will not be shared. Any school district property used for instructional purposes will be sanitized between student use.

    Do students have to wear masks all day?

    We will require all students and staff to wear masks while inside our school buildings. They will need to keep them on at all times inside, as required by the Governor's order.

    Will there be pre-school this year?

    Yes, we will offer pre-school this year. It will look different than in past years, and we are still developing plans for our 3 and 4-year-old programs. This information will be shared with our community in the coming days. Please check our FAQs for updated information. They will be available on our website tomorrow.

    Will temperatures be taken before students get on the bus at the end of the day or transition to kid stop?

    Temperatures will be taken before students enter our schools at the start of the day. We will not temperature check students any other time unless they are exhibiting other symptoms. KidStop develops their own procedures and will be sharing those with families. They've done an excellent job this summer of developing and maintaining protocols.

    How many classes will my 6-12 grade student attend each day, whether learning at home or in person?

    This year, 6-12 students will attend three classes daily.  Classes will last approximately 110 minutes with a 30-minute lunch. Passing time between classes will be carefully managed to reduce opportunities for hallway congestion and student gatherings. 

    TECHOLOGY

    What if we have problems with technology that interferes with my child's learning?

    Report the problem to your teacher. Media specialists are assigned at each school to assist with your student's technology and learning platform questions. 

    TRANSPORTATION

    When and how will we find out about busing schedules for in-person days?

    This information will be communicated in the coming weeks, and you will be notified through mail like in past years.