Join us on Monday, December 21 at 6pm CDT for our Annual Meeting/Board Meeting:

Join Zoom Meeting

Pillager Area Charter School will be opening up to all students for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.  

  • While we are excited to work with our students in person again after such a long layoff, it is still our top priority to do so safely.  Therefore, we will be doing a split schedule for the first week.  

  • Half of our students will attend on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8-9 and half will attend on Thursday and Friday, September 10-11. Our goal is to have everyone back full time on Monday September 14.  

  • The two in person days during the first week will be used as an orientation for students to familiarize them with the new social distancing protocols that will be used at PACS this year.  We feel this will be the safest way to set some very important expectations for students and allow us to do a trial run without everyone in the building in order to acclimate both students and staff.  

  • Our hope is that everyone who enters our building this year will abide by the new protocols so that we can continue to see our students for the entire school year.  You will be contacted next week by your student's advisor to clarify which days your student will attend during the first week of school.  

Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding.  We are proud of the plans we have in place but we will need to continue to monitor the COVID case numbers in our area which may require us to shift learning models throughout the year. 

FY21 Planning Checklist 

and Scenario Plan Templates

Distance Learning Plan Template for 

Extended Distance Learning Period 5/5/20-6/30/20

Governor Walz Executive Order 20-41 requires that existing distance learning plans must be revised to include additional engagement efforts including, but not be limited to, addressing communication pathways with student families, community input on student and family needs, and other outreach opportunities. This, in addition to core instruction, supports for all student groups, nutrition, school-age care, technology needs and effectively delivering educational models to students in a distance setting. A school must revise their plan, including additional elements, and post the plan on its website by May 5, 2020

Minnesota defines distance learning as, “Students engaging in distance learning have access to appropriate educational materials and receive daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s).” It is important to note that distance learning does not always mean e-learning or online learning. It is critical to provide this learning in a format that can be equitably accessed by all students. School closures put burdens on children and families and disproportionately impact communities of color, as well as Indigenous, immigrant, low-income families and communities, and students with disabilities and their families. The policies and solutions we design are rarely created with the families most impacted by inequities in mind (let alone in equal partnership). As Dr. Rosemarie Allen says, “There are no hard-to-reach families, there are only hard-to-reach services.”… or hard-to-reach schools, and hard-to reach instruction. How will the school ensure that every child receives the equitable distance education opportunities that it is required to deliver to them?

Schools should thoughtfully reflect on the equitability of their distance learning plan, and work to ensure that its implementation does not disproportionately impact portions of their students and families. With that lens, schools should complete this document to address the additional information required. Schools should also attach a revision of their original distance learning template if they have material changes in its content based on reflection and revision. If there are no changes in the original distance learning plan, only this amendment must be completed and added to the school’s website by May 5, 2020.


Describe how the school is communicating information and expectations to students and families. Address how this is accessible to all families in the school and does not amplify inequities.

  • Advisors are following distance learning protocols set up in our original plan.  Advisors are expected to have electronic, verbal, and guardian communication each week.  If a student is a non attendant for 48 hours, they will be getting a phone call home.  Any student without internet access is getting daily phone calls in order to provide homework assistance.

Describe how families are to communicate concerns or questions to the school. Address how this pathway is accessible to all families in the school and does not amplify inequities.

  • Staff have required daily office hours in which they are expected to be responsive to parents and students.  All staff are using Google Voice accounts which allows them to make and receive both phone calls and text messages from parents and students.  The school voicemail has been updated with the phone number for the lead teacher of the school.  If someone tries to contact the regular school phone number, they are provided with the lead teacher’s Google Voice number.  Weekly guardian contact from advisors also provides a weekly opportunity for parents to ask questions and express concerns.

What platforms (technology systems) are families expected to maneuver in communicating with the school.

  • We are using multiple systems including school gmail which students were already set up with prior to distance learning, Google Classroom, the Remind App, and Facebook.

Describe how the school will reach out and overcome barriers that may exist in communication.

  • We are tracking communications in a Google sheet so that all staff can see in real time who is being communicated with and in what manner.  This allows us to identify any gaps in communication and prioritize reaching out to students and families we have not recently checked in with.  We have offered evening office hours but have had no responses from parents or students indicating that was necessary.


How has the school sought out information from the communities they serve to design a distance learning plan that works for those communities?

  • In addition to our weekly communication protocols, we have conducted surveys when we desire parent and student input on a particular issue.

Describe how the school has reached out to determine what specific students’ need?

  • Through effective execution of our communication protocols described above, PACS staff have been able to identify concerns and limitations of specific students.  Just as we do when we are in school, we have been responsive in creating individual distance learning plans for students that meet their unique needs in this unprecedented crisis while maintaining some level of accountability for work completion and credit accumulation.

Describe how the school has reached out to determine what specific families’ need?

  • Through effective execution of our communication protocols described above, PACS staff have been able to identify concerns and limitations of specific families.  We have prioritized health and safety over academics.  Once we know families have food, we provide them with mental health resources as needed.  Finally, we have made it possible for families to check out technology devices from the school so that their students have access to their school work. We have also identified families that are struggling to provide supervision and assistance to their high school students.  We have increased communication dedicated to the students of those families.


Describe what additional outreach opportunities the school has pursued and/or participating in to provide for the needs of your students. Identify any partner organizations the school is working with.

  • We have reached out to our typical community partners but have yet to put any programs in place as far as providing for the current needs of students and families.



Describe how the school identified the technology and or access needs of the students/families. 

  • We announced at the beginning of the distance learning process that devices can be checked out from the school.  We have enough to provide them to anyone that requested them.  All students have access to devices.  We still have three students that do not have internet access in the home but we are continuing to pursue options for them.  Of those that do not have internet access, we were able to identify that they have been provided with extra data so that they can use their phone to do some school work and communicate with teachers without extra cost.


Describe how the school worked to bridge the gaps identified to ensure equitable distance learning. 

  • Materials are provided by delivery to those that need them.  Assignments for pencil and paper students have been adapted from the online versions. Students can phone in their answers and be assessed verbally if they can’t get online to do so.


Describe how the school is working to identify student safety and wellness concerns.

  • Our school social worker is also connecting with families that are at high risk.  We are putting out a weekly newsletter that provides up to date best practices for keeping yourself safe physically, socially, and emotionally.  All online student communication is monitored. Even deleted comments are still visible to teachers.

Describe the procedures the school has put in place to be proactive in supporting student safety and wellness.

  • We provide one class each day dedicated to this initiative.  Resources provided include guided meditations, yoga, light workouts, and Brain Pop.  Our school social worker is also continuing to meet virtually with students to talk about mental health issues just as they would at school.  She has added students to that list she has identified during distance learning that would also benefit.  Some are group meetings so that students can interact with their classmates.  Others are individual depending on the need for the meeting.

Date: April 23rd, 2020

Re: COVID-19

Dear PACS families,

We continue to keep all of you in our thoughts as we continue to navigate through this difficult time. The Governor has outlined his plan for Minnesota’s strategy to slowly begin to open our state back up. This will be a slow process but will hopefully alleviate stressors for those unable to work at this time. It is important to remember the Stay at Home Order continues to remain in effect until May 4th, so keeping unnecessary travel and contact with those who do not live with you to a minimum is crucial. 

Furthermore the state is working on making testing more available to those who are symptomatic. If you are experiencing symptoms you can always call your local hospital or clinic’s nurse line to discuss whether or not you should seek treatment. Continue to use best practice in hygiene and social distancing to keep yourself and your family safe. 

Lastly, the announcement has been made that distance learning will continue through the end of the school year. We are hopeful that our efforts now will have a positive impact on returning in the Fall, and the staff continues to explore new ways to celebrate our graduating and returning students and families. Keep an eye out for opportunities in the near future to engage our community through different platforms. 

Although life will not look the same for a while we continue to make progress as a community and state. We simply cannot wait for the time we are all able to come together again! As always, please reach out to any member of our staff with questions or concerns. 

In health, 

PACS Staff

PACS Distance Learning Plan

Date: April 8th, 2020

Re: COVID-19

Dear PACS families,

We hope you are all in good health as we endure another week of social distancing. As some of you may have already become aware, the Governor has recently extended our stay at home order until May 4th. The purpose of this is to push the projected peak of Covid-19 into June/July in order to give us time to replenish the state with needed supplies to treat patients. We understand the struggle with this and want to continue to support our students and families as best as we can. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that masks be worn when leaving your home for necessary outings, such as buying groceries, to reduce the spread. This can be difficult due to low supplies, however the Surgeon General recently released a video on how to make them out of material from home. Links to view that information, along with other at home patterns for masks can be found at the bottom of this update. The link will also outline how to clean and properly wear your mask so that you can keep yourself and others safe. 

We are not out of the woods, and want to remind everyone to continue to follow the social distancing guidelines. Please continue to wash your hands often, cover your cough, and stay home when you can. This is undoubtedly a time of trial and perseverance, but know that we are keeping ourselves and others safe by making good decisions and flattening the curve. 

We will get through this together!

Best health, 

PACS Staff

Pillager Area Charter School Covid-19/Novel Coronavirus Announcement

Pillager Area Charter School Distance Learning Plan

Check out our online news blog, Pillager Charter News!


Vision: Our students will become success-oriented, contributing citizens, who are stewards of the environment and life long learners.

Mission: Pillager Area Charter School will educate by building relationships with students, families, and community, and provide opportunities to develop career readiness skills through experiential approaches to curriculum and instruction.

Pillager Area Charter School is an experiential high school serving grades 9-12. We take students on field experiences weekly to learn about industries and companies in our state, while allowing students to learn about local career opportunities. Go to Adventures to find out more! Many of the descriptions are written by our current and former students.
Contact Us


Physical Address:
12763 County Road 1 SW
Pillager, MN 56473  Map

Mailing Address:
PO Box 130
Pillager, MN 56473