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

January 6, 2021 Update for Families and Staff From Assistant Special Education Director, Barb Mackey:

Dear NLA Families,

Happy New Year! May 2021 bring all the blessings you and your family need this year. At NLA, we are looking forward to getting our students back to in person learning full time soon. This message is to share with you the plans for the next week and the learning model change happening on January 19th. 

The NLA administration has reviewed the overall health of our students and staff and  has been in contact with the regional team to discuss changing our learning model. We found out that we need to use hybrid learning for one additional week so students will attend school during the week of January 11-15th using the same hybrid model we are using this week. There is a regularly scheduled no student day on January 18th which is on the NLA calendar. Then, starting January 19th, students will attend school using the in person model. We are very excited to have a return to in person learning date!

There are a couple of additional ways we are working to continue lowering the risk of transmission of covid-19. All staff are required to wear a face mask as well as a face shield throughout the day. All students continue to be required to wear a mask. A new requirement of returning to in person learning is that students will also now be required to wear the mask during gym time. We will work with students to make this adjustment. 

NLA also continues to offer distance learning to families who make the request of distance learning. This is a good time to review the needs and health of your family. An NLA staff member will be calling you tomorrow to check in and find out what your plan is for your child. Is he/she planning to return to in person learning full time? Are you still requesting distance learning for your child? Did an IEP team make a decision for the use of a hybrid model? If so, is the hybrid model still the best fit or should we have another meeting to make that determination? The answers to these questions will help us to plan for who is returning and using what schedule. We would like each one of our students back in our buildings, but support the choice of the family. We look forward to hearing what you plan to do.

Unfortunately, I also need to pass on a quick reminder that we are still monitoring the health of all of our students and staff closely along with the local data. If we have in school exposures or  transmission or if we have staffing issues due to staff illness or quarantine, we may need to return to the use of the hybrid model or even possibly the distance learning model. We are hopeful that we will be able to use the in person model for the remainder of the school year, but unfortunately, Covid-19 is unpredictable and that may not be possible. As always, we will communicate with you as soon as we have updated information.

Thank you very much for your support and understanding as we forge our way through this pandemic and school year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the office or by email. 

Have a great day!
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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