Welcome Letter for St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center

See you soon!
August 02, 2019

The new school year begins on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 for all 9-12+ St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center Students. As assistant principal at the ALC for the past four years, I feel the excitement on the horizon. 

Our school motto, “The longer the climb, the greater the view…” was chosen last May by our students and staff. We know there is an amazing commitment from all ALC students as they strive and enjoy the view from the top of the mountain despite perhaps having a longer climb.  Each student who chooses to enroll in our alternative program has made the commitment to reset and finish with a personalized plan for success! The metaphor and motto supports our vision to be unafraid of the future as there is an amazing view when hard work and determination help you personally climb toward success and graduation!

I look forward to being able to continue to support you all as you continue earning credit and life experience. In addition to offering courses personalized for your needs, we have been working hard to improve credit earning opportunities as we support the Portrait of a Graduate and our district and building goals for supporting the World’s Best Workforce.

ALC new and returning staff

  • Michelle Engelstad: math teacher and learning leader

  • Michelle Ortmeier: social studies teacher and physical ed (NEW)

  • Brynna Turnau: science teacher (NEW)

  • Brenda Stinson: special ed teacher 

  • Karen Swager: language arts teacher 

  • Tom Wendt: generalist, physical education, health, physics, art, industrial tech

  • Susie Stewart: administrative assistant

  • Patty Millard: paraprofessional

Other important dates

August 8, 2-4 p.m. - Intake interview at ALC New students only and a parent/guardian attend a meeting with others who seek ALC interview and intake opportunity for fall.

August 16, 8-11 a.m. - Parking Permit Pick Up in SAHS Main office,  Lifetouch for ID photos

August 22, 2-4 p.m. - Back To School and optional opportunity to walk the ALC halls and parents may meet your St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center Teachers

August 27, 7:40 a.m. SHARP - First Day for ALL ALC students

October 4 - Lifetouch retakes before school

Improvements for the ALC

  • NEW CLASSES: Teachers purposely recommended fall schedules with your insight including ALC electives many of you personally requested. Your fall schedules are handed out on your first day of school, August 27, 2019. They are also available on Skyward on August 26 so feel free to login and look. 
  • SAFETY: Please do not access 31S for drop off or pick up from 7:10-7:45 a.m. or 2:10-2:45 p.m. as we do have new site expectations. NEW EXPECTATIONS FOR PARKING
  • TWO FOR ONE and Independent Study Planning: We support all student seniors who are independently organizing a project for dual partial credit.  Our schedule will reflect a daily time slot to meet with staff and communicate in advance for goal setting and increased learning that results in credits earned in the ALC.
  • SENIOR PRIVILEGE with a clear commitment and 4-6 credits remaining may apply for select independent study hours with an authentic blended learning plan they initiate with advisor support to expedite their graduation. 
  • BELL SCHEDULE: ALC further aligns the morning bell schedule with the high school bell schedule so as to allow for fewer disruptions due to hall passing and allow students to attend electives. 
  • NEW TALL TABLES: Custodial staff rearranged tables in our largest classroom to allow student space
  • ALC ADVISORY: Advisory continues once a week on Wednesdays between hr 3 and 4. 
  • EXCITEMENT: We look forward to continuing the vision process for every student to succeed in our School Within a School ALC program.
  • MINDFULNESS and INDEPENDENT STUDY PILOT: Mindfulness and Independent study plans may emerge at the end of the day.
  • PLC UPDATE: Our teachers will continue to have Professional Learning Community (PLC) time on Fridays until 7:40 a.m. We no longer have meetings on Wednesday morning so classes start on time.

Familiar and successful ideas from the past

  • Students have quarter and semester grading terms for semester reporting, feedback, attendance and grading in Skyward so that advisors have faster and easier access to student progress, attendance and transcripts. 
  • Students continue to have space in the SAHS lunchroom or in the small lounge adjacent to the main lunch area to host 35 students each day for 30 minute lunch. Please do not plan to eat in the ALC classrooms.

Reminders of success

  • Welcome all of our new/returning students as they enroll in a truly alternative school
  • Attend every day for optimal credit earning; we begin classes on time promptly at 7:40 a.m. 
  • Adhere to cell phone expectations to remain “Off and Away” unless given clear consent.
  • Seek a pass one at a time and be prepared to share it with security in advance.
  • Seek your own path attending every hour and strive to combine class credits in Wednesday advisory and other 1:1 opportunities.
  • Register afterschool for online courses if interested in digital learning. The program starts September 24, 2019. If you are interested in a digital class from 2:15-4 p.m. T-W-Th) 
  • Keep cell phones in the classroom when using restrooms as there are no phones in bathrooms.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer! Follow us online or watch the St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center site ALC website or facebook account ALC facebook for additional updates as the year unfolds.