Back to School Plan

Updated FIT Academy Return to School Plan

Para correo electrónico de traducción al español: espanol@fitacademymn.org

FIT Academy’s return plan was developed in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommendations and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requirements. It was developed based on the Safe Learning Plan unveiled by the State of Minnesota on July 31, 2020. As the pandemic is evolving, so is the state plan and as a result, so is FIT Academy’s plan. Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff while optimizing equitable opportunities for meaningful and sustainable instruction. The state plan also states as one of its top goals to “prioritize in-person learning, especially for younger learners”.

Parent Communications

Secondary Teacher Whereby Accounts

Secondary Coordinator, Social Studies 9-10, Career and College Readiness
Mrs. Halama: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/halama               
Social Studies- 6,7,8,11, Psychology, Mr. Jeske: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/bill   
6 & 7 Language Arts, Mr. Borgstrom: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/borgstrom

8-11 Language Arts, Mr. Kalenze: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/kalenze   

P.E. & Health, Ms. Salzman https://fitacademy.whereby.com/salzman    

French, Mrs. Trelstad: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/trelstad            

Art & ELL, Ms. Kline https://fitacademy.whereby.com/art

Science 6, 8, 9, 11 , Mr. McBride: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/mcbride

Science, 7, 10, and Sports Science, Ms. Flagstad: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/flagstad         

Math 6, 7, 8, Mr. Pierpont https://fitacademy.whereby.com/pierpont      

Math 9, 10, 11, Mr. Sullivan: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/csullivanmath20

Special Education Teachers

Ms.Boucher  https://fitacademy.whereby.com/kelly-bouchers-room

Ms Hurley: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/ms-hurley

Mr. Thiltgen: https://fitacademy.whereby.com/thiltgen

Ms. Wileman https://fitacademy.whereby.com/wileman                      

School Hours

Grades K-5: 8:05am to 2:05pm
Grades 6-11: 8:05am to 3:10pm

In accordance with the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan unveiled on July 31st, FIT Academy has developed a plan to welcome back students for onsite and hybrid learning. We are also offering distance learning as an options for families choosing to learn from home. The onsite and hybrid plans are subject to change as outlined in the state plan as we adapt to the pandemic and its impact on schooling. Our first day of school will be Tuesday September 8th. Please review the parent communications linked above for additional information including school hours for 2020-21.

Distance Learning Option: Distance learning will offer both scheduled and independent learning opportunities from home. We will also offer scheduled physical education, art, and academic support onsite on Wednesdays for distance learning families.

Hybrid Learning Option: Students in grades K-4 and high school will attend onsite everyday of the week except Wednesdays. Wednesday will be a remote learning day. Students in grades 5-8 will attend two days a week and learn remotely three days a week.

Technology Plan: We will make technology available to all families in need. Grades K-3 will manage content using Seesaw with the option for parents to pick-up paper and pencil. Grades 4-11 will manage content using google classroom. We will also use Whereby to stream and record live instruction.

Read the full 2020-21 Return to School Plan here:

COVID-19 Resources

The Information Below is from Spring 2020

Distance Learning Plan (Begins March 30, 2020)

  • FIT ACADEMY Distance Learning Plan in response to the COVID19 School closure:
  • This plan was developed beginning on Friday March 13, 2020 and has been updated to meet the requirements of Governor Walz’s executive order enacted on March 15, 2020. The executive order called for developing a comprehensive distance learning plan in the case of extended school closure beyond March 30. On April 23, the executive order was extended to the end of the school year.
  • During school closure due to concerns with the COVID19 virus, we will implement distance learning in accordance with governor’s executive order and directives from MDE. While FIT Academy provided advanced work in anticipation of closure beginning on March 13, 2020, based on clarification from MDE, it was determined that the distance learning program would not begin until March 30, 2020. FIT Academy determined and communicated to families that work provided prior to March 30 was optional and would not be graded.
  • The executive order calls for all employees to be available to work and ensures continued employment. The school shall remain open and accessible until further notice. Staff will have access to the building, parents will be able to pick-up materials, and the main office will remain open. Beginning March 30, if school remains closed, the office hours will be 8:00am to 3;30pm. All activity at the building will follow MDH guidelines with regards to precautions and social distancing.
  • In accordance with the executive order, distance learning will include many forms of communication including email, telephone calls, and web based video conferencing. The instruction may take the form of paper pencil or electronic work or assignments. We will provide pick-up and dropoff opportunities in accordance with MDH requirements but will also make all  content available electronically. The content must be of rigor, aligned with state standards, and provide continuation of instruction. In this effort, it is recommended to continue with instructional resources already in place as much as possible. Where necessary or appropriate, teachers may supplement with new resources.
  • BUILDING ACCESS: Building hours will continue as 8:00am to 3:30pm resuming on March 30, 2020 with at least one admin staff on duty during these hours. Teachers and staff will be encouraged to work remotely as much as possible. When staff are required to come in to support the lunch and daycare programs, precautions will be taken to follow all MDH recommendations for disinfecting and social distancing. Staff who are ill or considered at-risk by MDH standards will be asked to stay home. Teacher planning will be done primarily remotely beginning on Monday March 30, 2020. Parent homework pick-up and dropoff on Mondays will be designed to limit exposure in accordance to MDH recommendations.
  • PLANNING AND COLLABORATION: Teachers will be encouraged to collaborate via email, telephone, use of video conferencing, and posting of content on google classroom or our COVID19 webpage. School leadership will host a leadership video conference at least once a week. Leadership will host at least one video conference per week with each PLC group. PLC leadership will also host at least one video conference a week with their teams. The school leadership will use these conferences as well as email to update the staff regarding state updates to the governor’s executive order.
  • The school has surveyed all families for access to internet and a computer. FIT Academy has provided resources to ensure internet access and loan a chromebook to families in need. For information on access to free internet or a chromebook please contact Katie Hanson at khanson@fitacademymn.org
  • INTERACTIONS AND ATTENDANCE: It is expected that teachers will interact with students and/or parents/guardians in some form or other on a daily basis. This interaction may occur in any of the following forms: Email exchange, messaging service, turning in of assignments, confirmed reading of message, video conference, returning of assignments, or telephone call. Any of these interactions  will be used to evaluate student engagement and determine daily attendance. Any student or family with three consecutive days of unexcused non-interaction will be considered truant and will be contacted by administration. For grades K-5, interactions and attendance will be tracked by the classroom teacher. For grades 6-10, students will be required to check in daily and interactions will be tracked by content area teachers. Teacher attendance will be monitored by having teachers check into an attendance file daily as well as through the monitoring of their interactions with students and families by school leadership.
  • PLAN OVERSIGHT AND LEADERSHIP: The Executive Director and leadership team will be responsible for oversight of this plan, adjustments based on MDH and MDE updates,  and will communicate implementation to parents using email and staff using email and video conference.
  • PARENT & GUARDIAN ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION: In a distance learning model, parental guidance and support becomes increasingly important, especially for our younger students. Effective and timely communication is at the foundation of this parent engagement. The school will continue to monitor and adjust communication to this end. Parents should expect regular communication from the school and teachers. To this end, please contact Mrs. Amie Killorin to provide additional contact information at akillorin@fitacademymn.org
  • INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN FOR K-5: In grades K-5, much of the distance learning will consist of a combination of making content and materials available for pick-up and posting all materials on our website. To view content, visit our COVID19 page. Grades 3-5 may also use google classroom. Beginning Monday March 30, an email will be sent to parents by the classroom teacher with the instructional plan for the week. Content will be made available for pick-up on Mondays between 7;00am and 6:00pm for families wishing to pick-up and will also be available for download on our website. Parents will have the option to return assignments to school on the following Monday, scan and email assignments, or mail them to school. Teachers will continue to support via email and telephone conversation with the target of interacting with each student every day. Students in grades 3 – 5 will also incorporate instruction and assignments using google classroom. Students in grades 4 & 5 will also have a school email address to be able to communicate with teachers via google classroom.
  • INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN for 6-10: Our Students in grades 6-10 working on distance learning will do so using google classroom. This will be monitored and supported by classroom teachers. Students will have a school email address and will also be able to communicate with teachers via google classroom. Teachers will continue to support via email and telephone conversation with the target of interacting with each student every day. Content may be made available by posting on our website.
  • COMMUNICATION: Classroom teachers in grades K-5 and homeroom teachers in grades 6-10 will email a broadcast email to all parents or students daily. Support to parents and students will be available via email and telephone. Specifically, teachers will be available from 8am to 10am and again from 1pm to 3pm via telephone or email. Special education teachers will be available from 10am to 1:00pm. Parents and students should expect a response before the end of the day.
  • GRADING: We are still currently gathering information from neighboring schools as we finalize a plan for grading in grades K-5. All secondary students will be graded using letter grades. At the end of the quarter, Middle School students will have the option to revert any or all classes to a Pass/Fail grade. In High School, at the end of the quarter students will have the option to revert up to two classes back to a Pass/Fail grade.
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPPORT: Planning and instruction must take into consideration the needs of special education students and provide seemless support as written into IEP’s. Plans must be implemented to support these students and provide an equitable, quality distance learning opportunity. Special education teachers will broadcast email all parents daily and will provide individual support via email and telephone. Special education teachers will also collaborate with classroom teachers via weekly conference call to ensure coordination of services and support. The special education coordinator will oversee and ensure all supports are in place, including educational assistant supports. Related services providers will work with case managers to ensure services are provided to students in accordance with student IEP’s. The special education coordinator will review all IEP’s for posible ammendments needed to support the distance learning plan. The coordinator will ensure that all IEP timelines and meetings are scheduled as necessary via remote conferencing as needed. For additional information, please contact Jessie Thorson at  jthorson@fitacademymn.org. Please review the attached document for additional information.
  • ELL, 504, and HOMELESS SUPPORTS: Students who qualify for 504, ELL, or homeless support will continue to receive appropriate supports during the distance learning plan. Such supports should be adapted to support the distance learning needs of students. These will be reviewed and implemented on an individual basis. Please contact Tamra Paschall for additional information at tpaschall@fitacademymn.org.
  • UPDATE ON MCA STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS: The United States Department of Education has invited states to submit an application for waiver from the requirement to administer standardized assessments. The Minnesota department of education has indicated that they intend to apply for the waiver. This means that in the likelihood that the waiver is granted, there will be no administration of MCA or MTAS assessments.
  • FREE LUNCH PROGRAM: In accordance with the governor’s executive order, FIT Academy will provide a free lunch to students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Families will be able to order and pick-up meals from school. The school may also assist those who are unable to pick-up meals by delivering to homes. For more information on this lunch plan, please contact Tamra Paschall at tpaschall@fitacademymn.org
  • DAYCARE FOR ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL: In accordance with the governor’s executive order, FIT Academy will provide free daycare at school for all essential employees such as health care workers, public servants, emergency staff, and school staff. As recommended by the state, parents will be required to show a work ID or provide an employment letter. For additional information on this program contact Ed Cassidy at ecassidy@fotacademymn.org
  • MENTAL HEALTH & COMMUNITY RESOURCES: We recognize that this can be a difficult period for families and students. The sudden changes and unknown and isolating nature of this pandemic can bring on mental health issues. We have prepared a document with a list of mental health and community resources available to families in our community. Please also reach out to us at school if you need someone to talk with about these issues.
  • In accordance with the governor’s executive order, all employees will remain fully employed until further notice. Beginning on March 30th, employees will be allowed to work remotely as assigned by the Executive Director. However, the execution of this plan in itself requires the building to remain open and staff reporting to work.
  • Teachers’ primary assignment will be the planning and delivery of a quality distance learning program. Educational assistants will support special education, assist with disinfecting the building, assist with the meal program, and staff the daycare program. In addition educational assistants will be encouraged to connect with students via video conferencing to sustain supportive relationships with students. This will be done under the direction of the special education coordinator.
  • Spring Break will occur March 23-27 as scheduled and as such there will be no providing of meals, daycare, or instruction during that week. The office will be open from 9:00am to 1:00pm or by appointment. Please call the school or contact the appropriate staff to make an appointment.
  • FIT Academy has developed one webpage as a central resource for all communications, resources, and instructional materials related to the period of school closure. Please visit our COVID19 Plan and Information page.
  • This distance learning program and support programs outlined by the governor shall be implemented with vigor and enthusiasm. We recognize that as educators, we are public servants and must rise to the challenge of supporting our students and greater community.
  • Questions regarding this plan should be directed to Executive Director Claud Allaire at callaire@fitacademymn.org

External Educational Resources

Please note that these are independent resources and have not been reviewed or vetted for quality or content. These are not part of our distance learning plan and are simply provided as additional resources for families. We recommend parental review and supervision when using these resources.

Red Cross Kid Friendly Activities (Posted April 23, 2020)


University of Minnesota Reading With Raptors, Every Tuesday at 11am

Free Online Karate Classes (Posted March 23, 2020)

Tips for Making Homework Less Stressful (Posted March 23, 2020)

PBS Learning (Posted March 23, 2020)
Comprehensive site for all grades and content areas

National Geographic for kids Educational Resources (Posted March 22, 2020)
Comprehensive site for all grades and content areas

Scholastic Magazine Educational Resources (Posted March 22, 2020)
Comprehensive site for all grades and content areas

Pro Football Hall of Fame Youth Video Series (Posted March 21, 2020)
Youth videos and lessons for the football fan in your family

Free Online Tutoring for Families of Armed Services (Posted March 21, 2020)
Free tutoring for children of armed services members

ABC News Article on Suggestions for Keeping Kids at Peace While at Home

COVID19 Mitigation Resources