Campus in the fall
Distance Learning Plan

Perpich Distance Learning Plan

The purpose of this information is to outline the various components of our distance learning plan. As the conditions we find ourselves under are constantly changing, so too, may parts of this plan. What will not change is our commitment to support our students in providing an educational experience that fosters their becoming a thinking artist.

Updated may 5, 2020

As part of our charge from the MN Department of Education, we were asked to consider adjustments to our Distance Learning Plan that could be implemented for the remainder of the school year. Here are three that will be in place beginning May 5th:

1. Attendance

We will continue with the adjustment of having teachers no longer attach an assignment to attendance check ins. The attendance task they will give students will be something simple such as responding to an email, or responding to some prompt as a check for how students are doing or how they are understanding some aspect of the previous day’s lesson. Students will have until 11:59 p.m. that day to respond to the prompt to be marked “present.” Students should know that this check in is an important part of any success they experience in distance learning. (see grading information below)

2. Work Days

We will build in a student work day each of the remaining weeks of the academic year. This day is set aside for students to work on assignments or reach out to teachers for individual help if they want it. Teachers will not initiate any meetings on these days. If students want to connect with teachers, they can do so, by mutual agreement, any time from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Designated work days are May 4, May 13, May 20, May 26, and June 4.

3. Option to receive an A-D grade or a P grade

Students will have until June 3rd to inform their teacher if they want a P grade in their class instead of an A-D grade. If students don’t inform their teacher, they will default to regular letter grading. The P grade is not calculated into the GPA; A-D grading is. As an administration, we are declaring that the only way a student will receive an “NC” grade is if they do not show up and engage in their classes. If students put forth effort, even if their grade percentage is below the traditional passing mark, we will award a “P” grade. We are taking this stance because we are aware that it is difficult to factor in the conditions that contribute to student performance in classwork. The choice we are providing allows students to select the grade that has the most positive impact on them and their record. Students should know that this is designed to take pressure off of them, not to give them an excuse to check out for the year. We will monitor student attendance and class participation and will make the administrative decision to give a student an NC if their attendance/engagement stops during the balance of the year. If students and families are interested, they can work with Carol Grzybowski or their case manager to help them determine the grading decision that benefits them the most.

When and how should we expect communication from Perpich?

Families will continue to receive emails from us each week. We’ll maintain the newsletter format, including current information that will allow families to stay up to date.

What is the structure of distance learning at Perpich?

Educational programming will be communicated via emails from individual instructors. Programming and materials may be directly sent through email or information may come via email that directs students to learning management systems (LMS) that instructors have already set up with their classes. (ex. Google Classroom or Schoology) Instructors may also use communication tools like Google Hangout or Zoom. If so, instructors will provide directions on how to access those programs.

Our staff has learned that in distance learning, less is more. We are going to focus on the most essential learning for our courses. For families, that means they should not expect students to be working at their computer for 8 hours a day! We encourage students to establish a routine that includes both protected, structured time for course work and protected, structured time for movement/exercise/fresh air/etc. Beyond personal effectiveness, establishing routines in a new environment like we are facing contributes to a reduction in stress and anxiety!

When will staff be available and how can they be reached?

This will be communicated by each instructor to their students and families. For purposes of communicating with school, we will maintain our 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. school hours. Each instructor will communicate “office hours” when they are available to connect with students. While most learning that instructors provide will be asynchronous (students don’t have to be online at the same time as the instructor), some will be synchronous (everyone online at the same time). In those cases, the scheduled date will be communicated in advance and will be held at the time when the class would normally meet. For your reference, the daily schedule can be found below.

Will students be able to retrieve their belongings from school?

If students need materials that are at school, they can arrange a time to pick them up. Call school at 763-279-4200 between 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to set up a time. If students live too far away, we can arrange to have school materials shipped home.

If students need items in the dorm, please call Mark Quamme, our dorm director, at 763-279-4201 between 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to set up a time.

Student expectations

Instructors will outline individual class expectations just as they have for face-to-face classes. Students are expected to interact (via email, LMS, or other communication tool) with each of their instructors, each school day. Doing that will allow instructors to mark a student present for the day. If students do not, they will be marked absent. We will follow our attendance policy (p. 23 of the Student Parent handbook) which states that students may lose credit for a class if they accumulate 6 total absences in a class in a quarter. If students are in a position where they will not be able to interact online, parents should call in to excuse them for that day. The attendance line is 763-279-4199.

Family expectations

We do not expect families to be the instructor! Our instructors will do that work. Families can support that work by encouraging protected, structured time for students to do school work. Set up specific blocks of time where the only expectation is completing school work. If possible, designate a space at home where students do their school work. Monitor student progress by checking their class standing on Infinite Campus. If you have questions, reach out to your student’s instructors.

Student Support Services

Our Counselor, Carol Grzybowski, is available for students and families. She will continue to support everything from academic needs to post-secondary concerns to social emotional issues. She can do this via email, phone, or video conferencing.

Case Managers Thane Plantikow and Jay Melchior will continue to work with students that need modifications/accommodations to support learning. Additionally, they will provide instructional activities aligned with current IEP/504 goals and services. They will be communicating with the students and families they serve to coordinate support. IEP meetings will be held via conference call or online virtual meeting platforms.

Headway Emotional Health Services will continue to offer services via online sessions for students currently seeing DeRelle Morrison. Referrals to begin services are also available.


Food Resources: For students and families experiencing difficulty accessing food services at this time, many of your local school districts are providing food to any in need. Check with your resident school district to find where food is being made available to families with this need.

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Key Contact Information

Conn McCartan, Principal
Rebecca Bullen, Asst. Principal
Carol Grzybowski, Counselor
Charles Rick, Executive Director
Main Switchboard (staffed 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) 763-279-4200
Attendance Line 763-279-4199

Daily Schedule (for synchronous class meetings)









"[Perpich] has given Ana direction, skills, and shown her how to express herself through her art. She has grown enormously, and is forever inspired and changed."

Kelly Wray, Perpich Arts High School Parent:

"Our daughter Lizzy just graduated from Perpich [in 2012]. We had just moved to Minnesota in August, the month before the start of her junior year...(and that fall,) she was able to begin the best two years of schooling in her life. We love the school, the staff and all the school represents in the arts and the community."

Kim Parker, Perpich Arts High School Parent

“Our greatest concern was not being able to supervise him during these vulnerable years. We live 250 miles from the school and we couldn’t imagine how we would be able to maintain the quality of communication we felt necessary to be ‘good’ parents. What resolved our concerns were our observations of how attentive the staff was to the residents. They initiated contact with us as needed. They asked all the ‘right’ questions that showed us they understand kids and understand parents, (i.e., what we needed to feel secure about our son being so far away and in someone else’s care). We also discovered that good communication won’t depend on how physically close you happen to be. We feel we’ve continued to have close intimate connection with our son despite the distance. And the dorm staff fosters it.”

Perpich Arts High School Dorm Parent

"For 17 years I’d carried the bulk of my children’s education myself. Sending the two oldest away to Perpich was a huge step of faith and I have not been disappointed. The teachers, in particular, have been fabulous!"

Merri Mickelson, Perpich Arts High School Parent

“Our greatest concern about sending our daughter to live at the dorm was, of course, her safety. After attending an information session and then orientation day all of us felt much more secure. The dorm is set up very securely with a set of very reasonable yet strict rules; our daughter wanted to attend the Arts High School badly enough that she was willing to follow those rules. We were comfortable with the curfews, the sign in and out procedures, and all the other restrictions (some of which were stricter than home). Our daughter has learned to balance her life on her own, to live with other people and their differences and she’s felt a little freedom.”

Perpich Arts High School Dorm Parent

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