WAPS Safe Learning Plan

Winhawk Proud Masks


UPDATE (4/20): Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and quarantines in the eighth-grade class, all Grade 8 students at Winona Middle School were moved into distance learning until May 3.

Winona Area Public Schools is proud to announce the WAPS Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 school year. This is our version of the state's Safe Learning Plan, which was unveiled by Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday, July 30, 2020, to help school districts plan for a rather unusual school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WAPS Safe Learning Plan closely follows guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health, and includes input from staff, students and district families.

The plan prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff, recognizes the importance of in-person learning opportunities — especially for our younger learners — and emphasizes stability of instruction delivery no matter the learning model in use. 

School districts and charter schools in Minnesota will use one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model. WAPS will work closely with experts from MDE, MDH, the Southeast Service Cooperative and local public health officials to decide if and when we need to shift between models depending on the progression of the virus in the Winona community.

Families will be allowed to choose distance learning for their student(s) at any time for any reason throughout the school year. 

In December 2020, we made substantial changes to our WAPS Safe Learning plan, following updates to the Minnesota Department of Education Safe Learning Plan, as well as Executive Order 20-103. The changes were outlined in our Return To Campus Timeline and shared with our staff, families and the Winona community.

In early March 2021, we announced that students in Grades 6-8 at Winona Middle School and students in Grades 9-12 at Winona Senior High School will return to a full in-person learning model to begin the fourth quarter. 

We will continue to update the WAPS Safe Learning Plan based on guidance from the state, advice from local public health officials and feedback from our staff and families.

Learning models currently in use

Early Childhood In-Person/Hybrid
Elementary Schools (Grades K-4) In-Person
Winona Middle School (Grades 5-8) In-Person
Winona Senior High School (Grades 9-12)


Winona Area Learning Center (Grades 9-12) Hybrid

Click on the orange hyperlink to read more about the specific building-level plan. Plans will be updated as the school year progresses, so check back often. The learning models may need to change in less than 24 hours. In case of a learning model change, students, families and staff will be notified through our emergency messenger in addition to posts on social media, updates on our website, and press releases sent to local media. Updated 4/20/2021.

Other important updates and notes

EIGHTH GRADES MOVES TO DISTANCE LEARNING: Due to a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in the 8th grade class at the Winona Middle School, and a sharp, sudden increase in the number of students who need to quarantine, all students in Grade 8 at the middle school will shift into distance learning immediately (April 20) until at least Monday, May 3. 

RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING: Students in Grades 6-8 at Winona Middle School and students in Grades 9-12 at Winona Senior High School will return to a full in-person learning model to begin the fourth quarter. The third quarter ends Thursday, April 1. There is a teacher workshop day on Monday, April 5, then two instructional planning days on Tuesday, April 6 and Wednesday, April 7. In-person learning for Grades 6-8 at Winona Middle School and Grades 9-12 at Winona Senior High School will begin Thursday, April 8.

Click here for a letter from Dr. Freiheit, as well as a timeline for the transition.

COVID 19 Dashboard Link


Winhawk Learning Models


Health and safety protocols

Key Kids Child Care

Winhawk Learning Models


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Frequently Asked Questions

District Calendar

Special Education

Technical Support Request Form

Mental Health and Wellness