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.
Youth in Government
This nation-wide program consists of students interested in the democratic process. They meet weekly starting at the beginning of the school year to move through a model legislative process that culminates in January at the St. Paul government center with a weekend of debates, voting, and trials.
United Nations Assembly
This world-wide program consists of students interested in international diplomacy and the process of law. Started at SCLA by a Korean student, this team has the advantage of the international mix of SCLA students. They meet weekly to plan for the model assembly held annually in March at the large conference center in downtown Minneapolis.
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
Daily Lunch Service
St. Croix Lutheran Academy offers daily cafeteria service. Students may select from a nutritionally balanced entrée, specialty salads, a full salad bar, and a la carte items using a PIN they receive with their schedules and information packets at the beginning of school. Lunch funds must be current in order for students to receive meals. A free or reduced lunch program is offered to qualified students; contact the finance office for more information.
Breakfast, evening, and weekend meals are provided in the dormitory dining hall. Noon lunches on school days are provided through the school's regular lunch service. The complete cost of food is included in tuition for resident students who are on campus during the regular weeks of school.
Food Service Director Brittney Sawyer, along with kitchen staff, serves two hot meals a day - breakfast and dinner - during the week, as well as an afternoon snack hour. On the weekends, brunch is served late morning, followed by dinner in the evening.
Each meal and snack is accompanied by a soup of the day, an open salad bar, fresh fruit, cereals, beverages and toast station. Box lunches and our “Save a Meal” program are also offered to students who may miss a meal due to after-school activities.
The menu varies each week and includes influences from dishes from all around the world. Currently, our menu has featured food from Asian, Hispanic, Italian, American and Mediterranean influences, and is constantly expanding to meet the needs 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.
SCLA students are supported by the Guidance Department as they discover their talents and gifts and plan for their future. Guidance Director Pastor David Huebner works with a non-public-school guidance counselor (John Brennan) provided by the West St. Paul School District, ISD 197, to help students discover their aptitude and interests and to locate options of post-secondary education at colleges, universities, and occupational training schools.
Students are scheduled annually for individual sessions with the ISD guidance counselor during which they research different options for careers or continuing their education. Beginning in their sophomore year, SCLA students are connected to the Naviance online college planning program where they can explore thousands of universities, apply online, track their admission status, and electronically submit their transcripts and academic letters of recommendation. SCLA prepares students for their post-graduation endeavors by offering a University Experience.
Standardized tests are taken by students in grades 9-11 each Fall. Grades 9-10 take the ACT Aspire. Grade 11 takes the PSAT as a preview for the SAT and ACT college entrance exams and to qualify for National Merit scholarships.
Colleges and universities require an entrance exam score for consideration of applications and admission. Most Midwestern colleges require the ACT, while those schools in the US coastal states (east and west) look for an SAT score. Information and online registration are available for both of these tests. Most students take this exam their junior year, but some students will take the ACT or SAT more than once.
High School Testing Code
SCL's testing 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.
ACT & SAT Prep
Classes to prepare students for success in the ACT, SAT, and TOEFL (test of English language fluency, for international students) are offered by instructors at SCL.
Career Day and College Visits
SCL offers students learning opportunities such as Career Day and college and university visits during their junior and senior years to help them make their post-graduation decisions. Students receive one-on-one guidance, if desired, and are encouraged to take advantage of all the guidance programs available to them. Senior students are encouraged to watch the Guidance bulletin boards (in the cross-hallway) for information on scholarship opportunities and scheduled college recruiter visits to SCL.
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 can receive modifications and accommodations through a 504 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 meets with the families to discuss each student’s specific needs, and “staffings” for students will occur with teachers and families 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.
St. Croix Lutheran Academy offers transportation services from the east and southwest metro areas. Centralized public locations for pick up and drop off are re-drawn each summer to provide timely and efficient service. Routes are designed to arrive at school by 7:40 a.m. and depart at 5:40 p.m. to accommodate most after-school practices and activities.
Contact Transportation@StCroixLutheran.org for more info.
Serving students from Shakopee, Prior Lake, Savage, Burnsville, Apple Valley, and Eagan.
Limited pick-up locations along County Road 42 west of 35W and along Interstate 35E.
Serving students from Stillwater, Hudson, River Falls, Oakdale, and Woodbury.
Limited pick-up locations along MN Hwy 36, WI Hwy 35, Interstate 94, and Interstate 494.
^Non-refundable deposit due May 1.
*Discount applies only if sibling(s) utilize the same route options.Payment schedules are available on the sign-up form.
Transportation for District 197 Residents
School District 197 provides free bus transportation for students living within the school district. This service includes all or parts of the communities of West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake, Mendota, Eagan, and Inver Grove Heights.
To receive a list of families who carpool from your area, please call the main office at 651-455-1521.
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.
- Introduction to Middle School
- Science (Physical, Life and Earth Science)
- Math 1 or 2
- Language Arts 1or 2
- Bible Class 1
- World Cultures
- Physical Education
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
All previous plus
- Applied Technologies
- Business, Entrepreneurship, and
- Basic Foods
- Child Development
- Global Cultural Competence
- AP English Language & Comp.
- AP Music Theory
- Drawing 2
- Sculpture 2
- Ceramics 2
- Video Recording Arts
- AP Calculus AB/BC
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics 2
- German 3
- Spanish 5
- Online College Credit Courses
Before registering for AP courses, consider that some colleges may not grant college credit for AP courses. Those that do grant credit may require a minimum score. SCLA offers the following AP courses:
- AP Calculus AB/BC
- AP Chemistry
- AP English Literature & Composition
- AP English Language & Composition
- AP Music Theory
- AP Physics 1
- AP Physics 2
- AP Psychology
- AP U.S. History
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.
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 CURRENTLY OFFERED AT SCLA?
Middle School (on a 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.
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)
STEM Capstone - In this independent-study-style course, students use what they have learned in previous STEM courses (including math, science, and technology courses outside of the
WILL ADDITIONAL 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.
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 or click on the fact sheet below.
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 over $1.1 million of financial aid to over 65% of families.
All American families who complete income tax forms are encouraged to apply for tuition assistance directly through Smart Aid (aid determination will be based on need). Smart Aid collects an application fee from each family applying for financial aid, and SCLA's application fee of $25 is also completed via the Smart Aid system. After families complete the application and financial aid forms, SCLA's principal will respond with acceptance details or concerns and the aid amount with estimated total cost.
- Association Scholarship
- Community Scholarship
- Carol A. Dobrunz Memorial Scholarship
- Gerber Memorial Scholarship
- Grimm Family Scholarship
- Tim Harley Scholarship
- Iona Lange Heath Scholarship
- Roland and Deloris Jensen Family Scholarship
- Gina Myrlie Scholarship
- Jeremy R. Pieper Scholarship
- Scott Ude Scholarship
- Doris B. Welke Scholarship
- Waldhauser Memorial Scholarship
Association Scholarship (Grades 9-12 Only)
Association scholarships are awarded to members of a St. Croix Lutheran High School Association congregation.
Community Scholarship (Grades 6-12)
This scholarship is awarded annually to students who are not affiliated with a congregation that supports SCLA. Local businesses and families provide funds for the community scholarship to encourage community volunteerism and leadership.
Carol A. Dobrunz Memorial Scholarship (Grades 10-12 Only)
This scholarship is awarded annually to students entering grades 10, 11, or 12 who show a career interest in education. A minimum GPA of 3.5 must be maintained, and involvement in leadership programs at SCLA is required.
Gerber Memorial Scholarship (Grades 10-12 Only)
Established in honor and in memory of Warren George Gerber and Dr. James Warren Gerber, this scholarship is awarded to two students entering grades 10, 11, or 12 who show a career interest in medicine or biological science. Preference will be given to students who are members of a church body that supports SCLA. A minimum GPA of 3.5 must be maintained by the student, and community service involvement is required.
The Grimm Family Scholarship (Grades 9-12)
The Gilbert G. and Ruth H. Grimm Scholarship was established in 2001. Both Gilbert “Gib” and Ruth recognized the importance of a quality Christian education.
Ruth passed away in 1992 and Gib joined his Savior in May 2019 – blessed be their memory!
Two (2) $500 scholarships will be offered each year to a qualified high school student. Students will be considered based on financial need (as determined through Smart Aid).
Tim Harley Scholarship (Grade 9 Only)
Established in honor and in memory of Timothy Jon Harley, a 1996 graduate of SCLA, this scholarship is awarded to two freshmen students who are referred by their elementary school or middle school principal for academic promise and who exhibit a clear financial need in order to attend SCLA.
Iona Lange Heath Scholarship (Grade 9 Only)
The Heath Scholarship is funded by the Iona Lange Heath Scholarship Fund and is awarded to two freshmen students who exhibit a record of strong academic achievement and community service. Preference will be given to students who are members of a church body that supports SCLA. The scholarship is renewable based on student need and academic performance.
Roland and Deloris Jensen Family Scholarship (Grades 9-12 Only)
This scholarship was established in honor of Roland and Deloris Jensen by their children who are alumni of SCLA. A student’s Christian attitudes and actions, scholastic ability, and potential for Christian leadership may be considered in the final selection but will not overshadow a student’s financial need.
Gina Myrlie Scholarship (Grades 9-12 Only)
To honor her memory, the Gina Myrlie Scholarship Fund was established to benefit new or returning students who participate in SCLA Fine Arts programs (band, choir, or drama).
Jeremy R. Pieper Scholarship (Grades 10-12 Only)
Established in honor and in memory of Jeremy R. Pieper, 17-year-old SCLA honor student and athletic leader, this scholarship is awarded to one female and one male student entering grades 10, 11 or 12 who exhibit a clear financial need, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, and are actively involved in SCLA co-curricular activities.
Scott Ude Scholarship (Grades 9-12 Only)
Established in honor and memory of Scott E. Ude, SCLA 1983 alumnus, this scholarship is awarded to one or more students entering grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 based on financial need. Additionally, funds are awarded to an outstanding graduating senior who intends to further his or her education for entering the public ministry.
Doris B. Welke Scholarship (Grades 9-12 Only)
This scholarship is awarded to one student who exhibits clear financial need.
Waldhauser Memorial Scholarship (Grades 9-12)
Established in 1994 by Gordon and Patricia Waldhauser in memory of their son Scott Malcolm Waldhauser (June 5, 1968 - July 12, 1994). Two (2) $500 scholarships will be offered each year to a qualified high school student. Students will be considered based on financial need (as determined through Smart Aid).