St. Croix Lutheran Academy is a private Christian school that enrolls 500 students in middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12), including local, out-of-state, and over 100 international students from more than 15 countries around the world. About 150 students are housed in SCLA's modern on-campus dormitory.
American students come from the Twin Cities metro area and across the United States. All students enjoy the inclusive, diverse Christian family community as well as the many unique opportunities that a private school offers. Caring, skilled teachers, coaches, and staff invest their time and talents in the betterment of all SCLA students. The education students receive is exceptional - spiritually, physically, and academically.
SCLA students experience a respectful, inclusive environment that fosters learning, personal growth, and friendship.
Students compete in six rounds of the Minnesota Math League Contest from October through February and compete in collegiate math contests by working after school with the head of SCLA’s math department.
Students in grades 6-12 are invited to participate on SCLA's robotics teams (middle school and high school) which take part in VEX Robotics Competitions from mid-October to late-February. Additionally, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, students build innovative robots and compete year-round. The robotics team started in 2018 and has hosted its own tournament at the school each year. In 2019, during the team's second year, both a middle school and high school team qualified and competed at the state tournament.
Speech is a Minnesota State High School League activity that begins in November and ends with the State Speech Tournament in April. All students in grades 7-12 are eligible to participate in one of the thirteen League-sanctioned categories. SCLA students regularly advance to competition at the State Speech Tournament and qualify for finals and a state ranking.
To be on the team, students must attend team meetings once per week, practice with a coach and peer once per week, and attend a minimum of three tournaments out of the nine scheduled during February and March. To letter, students must attend at least six tournaments. The top three students in each of the thirteen categories at the Section Tournament will advance to the State Speech Tournament.
Students interested in the visual arts and broadcasting have the opportunity to serve as camera operators, broadcast associates, and sound/light technicians for various events. The co-curricular program is led by the Visual Recording Arts class instructor. This service group learns about SCLA’s modern broadcast audio visual technologies and volunteers time and talents for chapel, concerts, sporting events, and other major events, such as graduation. Visit the YouTube page for SCLA videos.
With 22 athletic programs to choose from, nearly 75% of St. Croix students participate in one or more athletic activities. Many SCLA students are three-sport athletes – competing in the fall, winter, and spring.
With over 100 international students in attendance, students at SCLA experience a broad intersection of cultures in daily life and through organized programming. Dormitory students have the chance to share a room with a student from a different state, country, or continent.
Designed cultural experiences and a cross-cultural mentoring program enable international students to find success inside and outside of the classroom. International students also have opportunities to share their own cultural background by presenting to school groups and showing friends the unique and interesting aspects of their life at home.
Global Leadership Team
This select group of international and American students meets regularly throughout the school year to discuss school culture and help facilitate fun cross-cultural learning experiences. The team plans cultural aspects into many everyday events and implements unique experiences such as the International Festival, multi-cultural holidays, and multi-cultural presentations to SCLA’s student body and other schools.
This important group of select American volunteers donates their talents and a part of their summer. They are the first American students to meet new international students at the beginning of the school year and participate in focused events to ease transition to American school and social life. Mentors experience the benefits of cross-cultural friendship through fun and personal multi-cultural interactions.
Chinese language students at SCLA are encouraged to visit China on a school-sponsored trip available every two years. Students participate in an authentic service learning trip through a one-week experience teaching at a summer English camp for children in Beijing. Students and chaperones then take one week to visit the ancient land and culture of China in Beijing and Xian, China.
German Exchange Trip
Experiential learning in the German language includes an on-going interaction with students at Evangelisches Gymnasium in Siegen, Germany. On alternating years, students come from Germany to visit SCLA for two weeks and SCLA students visit Germany.
Costa Rica Trip
SCLA’s Spanish language program offers a bi-annual trip to Costa Rica or other locations in Latin America to provide relief and lead Christian programs for young people in the local communities.
Students apply to represent SCLA in their home country, grade school, and church. SCLA ambassadors host events, present to grade school students, provide tours to new families, and write thank you notes to elder church leaders.
Crusader Athletics Student Leadership Team
The purpose of the Crusader Athletics Leadership Team is to build and equalize both spiritual and financial support for all SCLA teams. Duties may include cheerleading at specific events and assisting with fundraising events, e.g. the 5K and the golf classic, among others. Students meet monthly for team building, leadership, and character training during the school day, including a leadership-focused Bible study.
Students volunteer for this multi-faceted leadership program and are selected by coaches and instructors. Leaders attend a day-long workshop at SCLA presented by an outside expert in the field of leadership. In August, selected students attend a day-long leadership seminar off-campus. Peer leaders often provide peer mentoring and homework assistance.
The student council assists in the planning of school activities, promotes good student-faculty relationships, fosters student leadership, and nurtures a healthy school spirit among all students. Student council membership includes a male and female representative from each class, an international representative from each class, a president from each class, and five executive officers (president, vice president, international representative, secretary, and treasurer). Each class elects its own representatives, and the entire student body elects the executive officers. Each year the SCLA student council selects a mission project and raises money throughout the year through special events, dress-down days, sales, and contests.
All SCLA students are encouraged to build servant leadership skills by sharing their time and talent as active volunteers. Opportunities for this type of service are available inside and outside of the classroom and include community clean-up, visits with the elderly, ministry to people with special needs, peer tutoring, mission trips, and many others.
Any volunteer time spent at church, school, or in the community is eligible for credit hours. SCLA records these service hours on student transcripts and the permanent record. Universities often consider a student's life outside of school along with GPA and coursework when determining acceptance to college and eligibility for scholarship awards.
Service Opportunities at SCLA include but are not limited to:
- Mission Trips
- National Honor Society
- Southview Acres Team
- Student Council Mission Project
- Blood Drives
- Food Drives
- Road-Side Clean-Up
- Packing meals for the Hungry
- Night to Shine (Tim Tebow Foundation sponsored prom for people with special needs)
- Peer Tutoring
- Special Events
For people with special needs, developing friendships can often be tough. In response to this, teens from SCLA have developed a friendship group called New Friends. This friendship group aims to create an atmosphere where everyone who attends can hang out and develop friendships in an atmosphere of 100% love and acceptance. At a New Friends event, young people, with and without special needs, join together to enjoy various activities like games, music, crafts, and snacks. The focus is on having fun and developing new friendships in a safe, judgment free environment. Learn more at StCroixNewFriends.org
Dorm residents receive a standard lunch, with add-on a la carte options for purchaseLunch Menu
Daily Lunch Service
St. Croix Lutheran Academy partners with Pioneer College Caterers to provide lunch service. Pioneer has served faith-based institutions for over 50 years, providing great food and service on campuses across the country. The lunch program offers daily hot, nutritious meals prepared on-site, along with options for fresh salads, sandwiches, soup, and dessert.
Breakfast, evening, and weekend meals as well as after-school snacks are provided in the dorm residence dining room.
Noon lunches on school days are provided through the school's hot lunch program. Dorm residents are provided one full entree OR a combo. Anything added a la carte will be charged to the student's account.
The menu varies each week and includes dishes from around the world (currently Asian, Hispanic, Italian, American and Mediterranean influences) and is constantly expanding to meet the needs and preferences of our students.
St. Croix Lutheran Academy offers students organized social opportunities several times per school year, including:
- Homecoming parade and dance
- Lunch Picnics
- Snowfest Week and Dance
- Sadie's Dance
- Senior Lock-In
- Student Council Cafe
- Spring Formal
It is our hope that these and other events will provide an enjoyable outlet for the students as well as opportunities to exercise responsible behavior.
Students are supported by the Guidance Department as they discover their gifts and plan for their future. Guidance Department staff aims to meet the needs of students by delivering proactive and supportive services while also engaging parents, teachers, and other stakeholders.
Students are served in both group and individual settings, and they use Naviance as a tool for planning and discovery. Students work closely with the SCLA guidance staff as they research careers and colleges, explore standardized testing requirements, complete the application process, request transcripts and letters of recommendation, communicate with college admissions personnel, and more.
Standardized tests are taken by students in grades 9-11 each Fall. Grades 9-10 take the Pre-ACT in October. Grade 11 has the option to take the PSAT as a preview for the SAT and ACT college entrance exams and to qualify for National Merit scholarships. Some 10th graders choose to take the ACT in place of the Pre-ACT.
On-campus ACT and SAT testing is offered to SCLA students in the fall.
Students have access to online ACT and SAT preparation software through their Naviance account.
SCLA Testing Code
SCLA's code is 242-673 and is asked for on the registration. It is very important that this number be listed, for it directs the test scores back to the Guidance Department.
Career and College Exposure Opportunities
SCLA teachers and Guidance staff organize classroom visits by local professionals in different career fields and backgrounds. These visits by professionals provide students with insight into the connection between classroom learning and future career possibilities.
Students come to St. Croix Lutheran Academy with a variety of gifts and talents. The Learning Resource Center (LRC) was established to support students with learning differences for academic success within the inclusive classroom setting. The LRC provides academic support through directed study halls, instruction in study skills, and test-taking support.
Assets of the program include:
- Peer Tutoring: The program provides peer tutors for students needing assistance in a specific academic area.
- Special Education Plans: Students with identified learning disabilities or medical conditions that affect learning may receive accommodations through a Learning Support Plan. Students that need services through the public school system receive those services through a plan developed with District 197.
Meet the LRC Director
Lorna Kapanke serves as SCLA's Learning Coordinator. She works with the middle school principal, the guidance department, and class advisors to identify students who need the support of this program. She is available to meet with the families to discuss each student’s specific needs as well as plan for an academic transition prior to the beginning of the school year so that success can begin from day one!
If you have a student who might benefit from this program or have questions about what SCLA offers, Mrs. Kapanke welcomes the opportunity to talk with you. Contact her via email or call (651) 455-1521, ext. 1117.
When a student needs help from an unbiased listener, SCLA offers individual counseling to help our students through the tough times. Guidance Director Pastor Dave Huebner is available to advise students daily, professional Counselor Beth Walters from Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services is available weekly, and every student is assigned an advisor to assist with class and activity choices as well as personal and spiritual counseling.
District 197 provides the services of a school nurse for those students attending SCLA who request such services. The nurse’s office is equipped with first-aid supplies, simple diagnostic equipment, and a resting place for students who are feeling ill.
St. Croix Lutheran Academy offers students the tools necessary to succeed in an ever-evolving technological world, and the campus is 100% wireless accessible.
Classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard or smart TV technology. Students in the middle school are lent a Chromebook for the year. In the high school, the 1:1 laptop/device classroom initiative that allows every student to bring an electronic device into the classroom for immediate access to internet resources (to complement regular book work), improved communication with teachers using Google tools, and improved organizational skills.
Chapel services incorporate video and digital resources using the triple-screen video projection system and are streamed live via the internet every day. Web streaming has also been used for athletics, music concerts, and special events enabling relatives and friends near and far to be a part of the activities at SCLA.
SCLA’s Library Media Center offers students access to:
- An extensive collection of online resources
- Computers available in study halls and before/after school hours
- Computer labs for class-time work
Student email accounts are provided for each student and are used by instructors and staff to communicate directly with students.
The student records management system, Educate, provides both students and parents a secure portal to access their personal records for an immediate grade, attendance, and conduct information.
SCLA’s Christian college-preparatory program has a reputation for excellence in a friendly and safe environment with supportive instructors. With a challenging curriculum and small class sizes, SCLA is an outstanding educational value.
Middle School Courses
All previous plus
- Applied Technologies
- Basic Foods
- Business, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Finance
- Child Development
- AP English Language & Comp.
- Drawing 2
- Sculpture 2
- Ceramics 2
- Digital Media Arts
- AP Calculus AB/BC
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics 2
- AP Psychology
- AP U.S. History
- Spanish 5
- Online College Credit Courses
WHAT IS STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. STEM courses and programs have never been more valuable than they are today. Business leaders have been seeking individuals with 21st-century learning capabilities for the past two decades, and STEM is simply another way SCLA can prepare students for careers beyond high school.
HOW IS IT TAUGHT?
Project Lead The Way (PLTW)—the curriculum SCLA uses for some of its STEM courses—uses the Activity-Project-Problem approach. Students use industry tools and technology in hands-on experiences where they develop skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Problem-solving is the name of the game, and both the PLTW and non-PTLW courses are loaded with it.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE FOR SCLA STUDENTS?
The need for individuals to fill STEM-related careers has exploded, and students explore components of these careers throughout the curriculum. Significant college scholarships are available for STEM-related programs.
WHO CAN TAKE STEM CLASSES AT SCLA?
In grades 6-8, all students take a semester-long STEM class each year. In grades 9-12, STEM classes are offered as electives. Enrollment is limited for each section, so early enrollment is important.
IS THERE A COURSE FEE?
There is no fee for grades 6-8 for the required STEM science courses. In grades 9-12, there is an initial $500 fee for the student’s first course. This fee helps offset costs of technology and materials specifically for these courses.
IS COLLEGE CREDIT AVAILABLE?
High school students can receive transcripted credit for some of the PLTW courses from participating universities (including schools like St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University-Mankato). There is an additional fee, and certain course requirements may need to be met.
WHAT STEM CLASSES ARE OFFERED AT SCLA?
MIDDLE SCHOOL (three-year rotation)
Design and Modeling (DM) - Students apply the design process and use modeling software to solve problems.
Automation and Robotics (AR) - Students design robots using mechanisms, program them, and troubleshoot.
Green Architecture (GA) - Students explore principles of construction and home design, integrate components to maximize energy efficiency, and design homes using CAD software.
Engineering Essentials (EE) - Students will learn foundational concepts of engineering practice. The course provides student opportunities to explore the breadth of engineering career paths and to solve engaging and challenging real-world problems through engineering essentials.
Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) - Students complete hands-on projects through the design process while using 3D modeling software to study engineering concepts and document their work.
(Prerequisite: EE) Offered every other year opposite POE.
Principles of Engineering (POE) - Students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation, while developing skills in problem solving, collaboration, research, and design.
(Prerequisite: EE) Offered every other year opposite IED.
Introduction to Computer Science (ICS) - Students are introduced to the basics of computer science and programming (e.g., data types, logic, algorithms, searching). Societal impacts of computing and technology are also discussed.
Computer Science Principles (CSP) - Students dive more deeply into the concepts covered in ICS, while also covering more advanced topics. The impact of computing on society continues to be discussed. (Prerequisite: ICS)
WILL MORE COURSES BE OFFERED IN THE FUTURE?
As interest (and enrollment) increases, SCLA may offer additional STEM courses.
The Post-Secondary Enrollment Option program, also known as PSEO, was created in 1985 as a means to “promote rigorous educational pursuits and provide a wider variety of options for students.” Through PSEO, high school students receive both high school and college/university credit for college or university courses that are completed.
The program is available to students throughout the state of Minnesota. Through PSEO, students may take courses on a college or university campus, via online, or, if available, at their high school.
See the academic dean for details.
Want to learn more about SCLA with other interested families? Join us at one of our showcase events.
Each showcase features a curriculum fair and Q&A sessions.
The Showcase dates are:
- Tuesday, November 14, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- April 2024 (TBA)
Call anytime to schedule a personal visit or shadow a student, (651) 455-1521.
SCLA is an excellent educational value. Tuition is lower than most private schools in the Twin Cities metro, and the cost to educate is lower than most public schools. Contact an admissions associate for complete details.
The tuition for St. Croix Lutheran Academy is a variable rate. The final rate is determined after calculating financial need and deducting applicable scholarships. Call or email the admissions staff for current rates,
A variety of financial aid and scholarship opportunities exist because of caring donors who help make a St. Croix Lutheran Academy education affordable. Last year, SCLA provided financial aid to over 65% of families.
American families may apply for tuition assistance at StCroixLutheran.org/scholarships.