The safety and well-being of the DeLaSalle community remains our highest priority and continues to guide our planning and response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 13, DeLaSalle announced its decision to transition to DeLaSalle Online School through March 27. Please find additional information on this page about the online school model and our ongoing response. 

Dear DeLaSalle Community,

Each day we wake up planning to do our best and adjusting to what is in front of us. Well today most certainly was an adjustment. It was the most quiet of the school days thus far with empty classrooms and hallways. However, it was busy with a focused faculty and staff who were very engaged planning the shift to DeLaSalle Online School. 

What our response to the coronavirus has taught us is that we must be flexible in adjusting to new developments and recommendations from public health officials. On Monday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans limit their gatherings to 10 or fewer people to mitigate the spread of the virus. DeLaSalle’s emergency response team, which includes representatives from across the school, has been meeting daily. The ERT met this afternoon to discuss this new recommendation and evaluated how the day went. DeLaSalle is announcing the following adjustments:

Starting Wednesday, March 18, the DeLaSalle campus will close to all non-essential personnel until further notice. We originally planned for faculty to teach from their classrooms this week. Following the CDC’s recommendation on Monday, we have made the decision that faculty will now teach DeLaSalle Online School from home, much earlier than we anticipated.

So faculty and staff have time to make this adjustment, we have postponed the soft launch of DeLaSalle Online School from Tuesday, March 17 to Wednesday, March 18. You can see an updated schedule for the week here There will be no online instruction for students on Tuesday. DeLaSalle Online School will be held in periods 1-4 on Thursday, March 19 and in periods 5-8 on Friday, March 20. 

The ongoing response to coronavirus has led to other decisions that will impact students.

  • The College Board has postponed the Saturday, April 4 ACT exam. ACT will notify registered students directly in the next few days, informing them of the postponement and providing instructions for next steps. Students registered for the April 4 exam may instead take the exam on either June 13 or July 18.
  • The College Board also administers Advanced Placement exams that are scheduled in May. Officials today announced they are researching the possibility of students taking their AP exams online at home. We will communicate additional information as we receive it from the College Board.

We have also received many questions from families about the status of scheduled school events. We have not made a final decision about any events at this time. But, we are evaluating our scheduling options and will communicate more information when we make a decision.

Like you and your families, we have been taking steps to prepare ourselves for what lies ahead. We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate the best path forward and will continue to be in regular contact with you.

Sincerely,

James Benson

Principal

Dear DeLaSalle Students,

As we begin our Online School, it is very important that you read emails carefully in order to understand this new process. The online classrooms will not look like the online learning days you might have had for a snow day. You will be meeting with your teacher and classmates at specific times and will have responsibilities to engage in the class, as you would if you were meeting face-to-face.  Attendance will be taken during class. If you are not in attendance without an excuse, that will be considered a skip and will be handled by the deans. All online interaction is an extension of the physical classroom, and expectations of your behavior online is the same as what we would expect in the classroom.

Several different applications will be pushed out to your iPad, including but not limited to: Google Meet, Flipgrid, Ed Puzzle, Genius Scan, and Khan Academy. If there is not enough space on your device, you must delete personal apps/photos and videos to make room for these school apps. Students should not delete any of these apps as you will be using them during DeLaSalle Online School.

For each of your classes, you will join a Google Hangout Meet with your teacher for a live session with your classmates. Each teacher will post the Meet link on each course’s homepage by Tuesday morning. When joining the Google Meet, you should have your microphone muted. If you would like to speak, we ask that you use the built-in chat messaging to request to unmute. This will assist your teacher in facilitating the class, and give you and your fellow students the best learning experience possible.

On Tuesday, we will initiate a soft launch of DeLaSalle Online School. All students and teachers will connect through Google Meet video conferencing in twenty-minute sessions. The objective of this day will be for each teacher to explain how technology will be used for students to continue learning in a particular course. This day may feel like the first day of a new semester.

Starting Wednesday, DeLaSalle Online School will formally continue work in all classes. Four classes per day will be scheduled in one hour blocks through March 27th. Spring Break will be March 30th – April 3rd and will then allow us to assess the programs and protocols along with any challenges that need to be resolved. To get us started, here is the schedule for March 17- 20.

In the interest of everyone’s safety, students are not permitted on campus unless cleared by an administrator. Students who need to come to campus to pick up an item must reach out to the Dean of Students office by emailing deansoffice@delasalle.com or by calling the office number at 612-676-7661 or 612-676-7667.

Support will be available by emailing studenthelp@delasalle.com or calling 612.676.7678. It is preferred that you send an email message as it is much easier for the support team to prioritize, assign and track your issue. We will address student issues as soon as possible, but please be patient as we work to support all students in having a successful online school experience. Additionally, the Islanders Course has a new button on its home page, and we will house tips and reminders that will help you during Online School.

We know this is not what you expected when the school year began. None of us could have ever forecasted this. Yet, here we are. We adjust to what is in front of us and we lean in to what we have to. Many faculty and administrators have been working throughout the weekend to plan this shift.

We look forward to you all being in school sooner than later. The hallways are too quiet and the building feels too empty, but we still have work to accomplish. Let’s get to it so we can finish the school year strongly and on time.

Live Jesus in Our Hearts…Forever!

Jim Benson
Principal

Dear DeLaSalle Community,

Over the past several days, including this weekend, DeLaSalle faculty and administration have been working behind the scenes to shift all academic operations to DeLaSalle Online School. In order to begin this initiative successfully, DeLaSalle will host a professional development day for faculty on Monday. There will be no online classes that day.

In response to this worldwide crisis, Google has opened up access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities free of charge for DeLaSalle to use. Teachers will be testing the Google Meet platform for collaboration with every student in each class via video conferencing, otherwise known as synchronous learning. Teachers will be meeting as departments and getting training in other areas of online schooling as well. 

DeLaSalle Online School

On Tuesday, we will initiate a soft launch of DeLaSalle Online School. Students and teachers will connect through Google Meet video conferencing in twenty-minute sessions. The objective of this day will be for each teacher to explain how technology will be used for students to continue learning in a particular course. Starting Wednesday, DeLaSalle Online School will formally begin.  Four classes per day will be scheduled in one hour blocks until Spring break begins on Friday, March 27th. The break will then allow us to assess the programs and protocols along with any challenges that need to be resolved. The schedule for the week is here. Separate directions will be sent to your child that will indicate how they will sign in for each of their classes. It is expected that when each period begins every student will be connected with their teacher for the course. 

DeLaSalle Online School will be different than online learning days that we have had for a snow or cold day. We recognize it will take time for students and teachers to adjust to this new model. For our students, support will be available via email studenthelp@delasalle.com or phone 612.676.7678. We will address student issues as soon as possible but please be patient as we work to support all students in having a successful online school experience. Our goal this week is to support all participants and learn each day how the system is working. Adjustments will be made each and every day, but the schedule will remain the same. 

WiFi Accommodations

Nearly all DeLaSalle families have WiFi at home. We have been in communication with the small number of families who do not have home WiFi to provide them with a mobile hotspot that will allow students to connect and continue learning with their teachers and classmates.

Student Activities Update

As we announced on Friday, all co-curricular activities are postponed until March 27th, which includes practices and meetings. This is now consistent with the Governor of Minnesota’s Emergency Executive Order. The Student Activities Office is in communication with the Minnesota State High School League. The MSHSL postponed all spring competitions until at least April 6th. Activities staff will be working with coaches and moderators to send out communication regarding staying active and up to speed with activity specific skill and development. 

Access Restricted to DeLaSalle Campus

In the interest of everyone’s safety, students are not permitted on campus unless cleared by an administrator.  Students who need to come to campus to pick up an item must reach out to the Dean of Students office by emailing deansoffice@delasalle.com or by calling the office number at 612-676-7661 or 612-676-7667. 

Students Who Receive Free and Reduced Lunch Benefits

We are finalizing plans to provide food to students who qualify for free and reduced meals and are planning to deliver meals to students while DeLaSalle On. Students and family members participating in the free and reduced program will receive an email detailing the delivery schedule and confirming their address. All questions regarding meal delivery should be directed to Pam Beckman, Director of Food Service at 612.676.7658 or Pam.Beckman@delasalle.com.

Parents and guardians, we have always been most grateful for your partnership. That partnership is more important now than ever before as we will need you to make sure your child understands the shift that is happening in their academics. We know this is just adding to the list of conversations you have had with your child about this global health crisis.While many may be feeling anxiety in this time, rest assured, we are working hard to normalize your student’s world through continued growth in his/her academics.  At this time, DeLaSalle Online School will happen for two weeks and then we will use the rescheduled spring break to assess our future options. 

This global crisis changes on a daily basis. We will be evaluating new information and communicating with you as necessary. What does not change is our faith and our ability to pray – and we will continue to keep you and your loved ones in our prayers. 

Live Jesus in Our Hearts! 

James Benson
Principal

Dear DeLaSalle Families and Community:

The safety and well-being of each of you remains our highest priority and continues to guide our planning and response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. I write to share with you information that we provided to our students today.

Fortunately, at this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community.  DeLaSalle administration has been closely monitoring the quickly-changing responses across the Twin Cities, and we are receiving updates from local and state officials as our country attempts to contain and mitigate the spread of this virus and safeguard all citizens.  We appreciate your cooperation, patience, and understanding as we respond to rapidly evolving circumstances.

Transition to Online School

To support public health recommendations for community mitigation and social distancing, DeLaSalle will move from in-person classroom instruction to an online school for the next two weeks. There will be no school on Monday, March 16 as faculty and staff participate in professional development as we transition to online school. Online instruction will begin on Tuesday, March 17 and continue through Thursday, March 26. Students will stay home and receive communications and lessons from their teachers via their iPads.  Our faculty will directly provide further information regarding online learning to the students in their classes in the coming days. To prepare for this transition, we instructed students to bring their iPads and all personal belongings home with them at the end of the school day today. 

Spring Break Rescheduled

We have also decided to reschedule our April 6-10 spring break to one week earlier to align with the Minneapolis Public Schools spring break, which is March 30-April 3. DeLaSalle faculty will participate in professional development on Friday, March 27, and students will not participate in online learning on that day. Moving our spring break one week earlier will allow us to assess the online school model and evaluate whether to resume in-person classroom instruction or continue with online school.

Student Activities Postponed

All DeLaSalle student activities are postponed until further notice, which includes performances of the spring musical “Catch Me If You Can.” We saw the Minnesota State High School League’s decision earlier today to cancel both the boys’ and girls’ state basketball tournaments. We recognize that this is a painful and difficult decision for all activity participants, who played an exceptional season and made it to the highest level of play in Minnesota – or who prepared over many hours for a production. 

International Travel Postponed

We have also made the decision to suspend all school-sponsored international travel until further notice to prevent placing students, faculty, and staff at increased exposure to the virus. This decision cancels the Jamaica service immersion trip scheduled over spring break and the Global Advantage Program academic course scheduled for Italy in June. Affected students and families will receive additional communication in the coming days from the faculty leading these trips. Meanwhile, students on exchange at a Lasallian school in Valencia, Spain are returning home this weekend out of an abundance of caution. 

Our emergency response team continues to coordinate our response. The team remains in consultation with local and state health officials as we regularly evaluate our options and determine next steps for the days and weeks to come. If there are additional changes to schedules and programming, we will communicate those to you as soon as possible.

These are unprecedented times. But the strength of DeLaSalle for more than a century has been how well our community unites and responds to such challenges. We are confident that our community will do the same in this situation, even though we are adjusting our operations. And, as people of faith, we pray for those affected by the virus and directly responding to it, and remember now more than ever that we live in God’s holy presence. 

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Barry Lieske, AFSC
President