Northern Lights Academy

Safe Learning Plan
COVID-19 Information:
Right arrow Northern Lights Academy 2020-21 Safe Learning Plan (includes all 3 learning models) 

Right arrow NLA School Closure and Distance Learning Plan (updated May 5, 2020)

Right arrow Families First Coronavirus Response Act Employee Rights Poster

November 24, 2020 Update for Families and Staff From Assistant Special Education Director, Barb Mackey:

Dear NLA Families,  Staff and Referring Districts,

Thank you so much for the hard work to make the new hybrid schedule work this past week. Our students and families are working hard to follow through on both In Person and Distance Learning and we are very proud of all the effort put into learning! We know this isn’t easy for anyone. Our staff continue to work hard to meet the needs of students in both the In Person and Distance Learning models and  to problem solve to make things go as smoothly as possible. The referring districts transportation departments have been working hard to follow the schedule for students attending our In Person sessions. We appreciate all everyone’s efforts!

When we sent out the information regarding the switch to the Hybrid Model, we were hopeful that we could return to the In Person Model for all students after the Thanksgiving break. We are sad to report that after reviewing current Covid-19 data and our school situation, we are unable to return to the In Person model at this time. Everyone wishes we were able to, but the continued rise in Covid-19 cases and more staff illness and quarantine require NLA to use the Hybrid Model after we return from this weekend’s 4 day break.

The good news is that we can still use the Hybrid Model at this time when many schools are having to move to only Distance Learning. We do, however, need to encourage each family to have a back up plan in case there is an outbreak of Covid-19 at school and we need to shift to the Distance Learning model. We will communicate with you as soon as possible if a change is needed.  

During the review of the Covid-19 case data in the region and the NLA staff information, the NLA administration determined that Hybrid Learning will continue through January 8th, 2021. When we return from the Winter break on January 4th, the NLA administration will review the updated case data and make a decision on the model to use starting January 11th. We would like to communicate with you that we can return to an In Person for all In Person model, but we will need to use data to make that decision.

Thank you again for your understanding and patience as we move forward to provide education during this unpredictable and unprecedented time. We appreciate the cooperation and support each of you is providing to the NLA students and staff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the NLA office or at my email address or google voice number (218-451-2134)

We wish you a safe and healthy week!


Barb Mackey

302 14th Street
Cloquet, MN 55720
fax: 218-878-3061

Barb Mackey x8000, Assistant Special Education Director (
Emily Brown x8004, Special Education Teacher (
Amelia Calverley x8006, Direct 878-3062, Special Education Teacher (
Morgan Warbalow x8005, Special Education Teacher (
Lisa Dalbec x8004, Social Worker (
Kristie Petersen x8001, Administrative Assistant (
Caleb Komarek x8003, EBD Teacher (

Mission Statement

The Northern Lights Academy (NLA) mission is to support children and youth with significant emotional and behavioral needs, as well as those with low incidence disabilities. We provide academic, social and functional skill development, and mental health services to students from the member school districts of The Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative.

Our goal is to foster learning, promote independence, cultivate social and behavior skills, work in partnerships with families, and support students to become successful learners in their least restrictive environment, as well as active, productive members of our communities.

2020-21 School Year Information

For the 2020-21 school year, the NLA will offer Setting 4 Special Education programs for up to 34 students in grades K-8, who need an alternative educational placement. Contact your school's principal for more information.

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