The Academy would like to remind everyone to check their spam/junk/promotions folders to avoid missing important updates. If our emails are found in any of those locations, you can mark them as important to have them show up in your inbox instead. All important updates will be posted to this page and we encourage you to check it frequently.

Please be aware that SJN broadcast voicemails come from the number 262-646-3311. That number should be added to your phone contacts list.

The following plan is designed to facilitate the safe reopening and continuous operation of St. John’s Northwestern Academies under the current COVID-19 conditions.
Please download the plan (PDF).

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control approved a plan for fall athletics. SJNA will follow the WIAA plan, delaying the start of soccer and football season to September 7. Cross Country will begin as originally planned.

Therefore, the registration dates for students to report to campus are as follows:

  • August 18 – Leadership Cadre Registration
  • August 24 – Cross Country Registration (for those students not already on campus for Cadre)
  • August 26 – New and Returning Student Registration (for those students not already on Campus for Cadre or Cross Country)

As we continue to navigate through this fluid situation, registration dates may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. As always, thank you for your continued patience and support. If you have any questions, contact Mike Fink, Athletic Director, or Paul Borens, Dean of Admissions.

St. John’s Northwestern Academies is preparing to open for the 2020-2021 school year with face-to-face instruction. Precautions will be in place to minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus and maintain a low-risk environment. The health and safety of our students and staff continue to be our highest priority. It is also important that students get back to school in-person and SJNA is planning to support this in the safest manner possible.

Our leadership team has been working closely with the school’s health care provider and we have been following the guidance from various associations including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Wisconsin Department of Health, the Waukesha County Health Department, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. We have also been in close communication with other boarding schools in Wisconsin and other states to coordinate our planning with schools facing similar challenges.

Detailed planning is underway and will be finalized by July 31. Some of the essential points of the plan include:

  • Single room occupancy for boarding students
  • Face mask policy for all students and staff
  • Daily health screening and monitoring (temperature and symptom checks twice a day)
  • On-site virus testing through the SJNA infirmary
  • Staff trained in the proper use of PPE
  • Minimized class sizes, classrooms and events configured for social distancing
  • Meal schedules and dining hall policies designed to reduce the potential spread of illness
  • Isolation and quarantine areas in residence halls
  • Intensive cleaning and disinfection protocols across campus (including wipe down of classrooms between each class period)
  • Strict enforcement of hygiene, hand washing/sanitizing, and social distancing policies
  • Restricted access to campus by outsiders; all visitors restricted to designated safety zones, temperature and symptom checks, face masks mandatory
  • Following WIAA guidelines pertaining to athletic schedules and contests (final policy pending)

These examples and, ultimately, our comprehensive plan are designed to create and maintain an isolated and low-risk environment. It is important to note that maintaining a safe environment is a responsibility shared by the entire SJNA community – students and staff alike. As everyone is well aware, the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving; therefore, our planning must remain fluid and responsive to new information. Details of the plan are subject to change based on the latest news and updated guidance from health and government authorities.

The detailed plan will be communicated on or before July 31, and any important updates on athletic camps, leadership cadre school, travel arrangements, and other preparations for the start of the school year.

END OF SCHOOL DATE / EXAMS / REPORT CARDS

The official end of the 2019-2020 school year is Friday, May 22. All final, outstanding student work must be completed by 3:00 p.m. on May 22. Report cards will be sent the week of June 1.

TRANSCRIPTS / APOSTILLE / COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS

Final transcripts will be available in early June. Seniors need to communicate with Mrs. Beck Curtes at hbeck@sjnma.org so she may send official final transcripts to the schools that they will attend in the fall. Please send all other transcript requests to lahlgren@sjnma.org.  All financial obligations to the academy must be met before transcripts are sent.

If Mexican students require a transcript with Apostille (certification from the State of Wisconsin), please send a request to lahlgren@sjnma.org. This year apostilles will take longer to process, probably 4-6 weeks. We will automatically process senior transcripts and diplomas with the Apostille.

If a student took college courses while here and wants to transfer those college credits to his/her new college, you must order transcripts through UWM. Use this link to order transcripts https://www.credentials-inc.com/tplus/?ALUMTRO003896

SUMMER ACADEMIC OPS (cancelled)

Summer Academic OPS has been cancelled for the summer of 2020.

LEADERSHIP CADRE INVITATION 

Leadership Cadre School is for those students interested in a leadership position in either the Military or Leadership Academy. Cadre will run from August 18 through August 25 and follow a different format to provide a more comprehensive leadership training experience.

RSVPs to attend Cadre must be received by the end of the day on July 10.  Please remember the invitation to Cadre is not a promise of a Leadership Position. 

END OF YEAR AWARDS / VIRTUAL GRADUATION

The Virtual Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be posted to YouTube on Saturday, May 23, at 4:00 p.m. Central Time. This event will feature the acknowledgment of diplomas, the announcement of Senior Awards and messages from President Tom Stocks, Headmaster Eric Wozniak, and more.

To watch the presentation, tune into the St. John’s Northwestern YouTube page at www.youtube.com/SJNMAvideos any time after 4:00 p.m. Central Time on Saturday, May 23.

UNDERCLASS AWARDS 

We recognize our middle school and underclass cadets who have worked hard this year and earned awards. This presentation will be made available on May 27. More details will be shared shortly.

SENIOR EMAIL ACCOUNTS

The sjnma.org email accounts for seniors will be disabled in mid to late June. Seniors should provide a personal email address to the academic office at academicoffice@sjnma.org so we can continue to communicate critical information. Be sure to forward to another email any vital information you have in your SJNMA email, such as college account information, etc. 

International senior students requiring their I90s to transfer to their future schools must contact either or both Mrs. Beck Curtes, hbeck@sjnma.org, and Mrs. Rutherford, jrutherford@sjnma.org

2020-2021 CALENDAR 

The Academy calendar is located on the SJN website. All dates/activities are subject to change. Anticipated fall start dates:

  • ESL Enrichment – Wednesday, August 12
  • Football players report August 3
  • Raider School August 10-18
  • Soccer players report August 17
  • Cross Country participants report August 17
  • Leadership Cadre Training report August 18
  • Final Registration – all students report August 26

RETRIEVAL OF CADET BELONGINGS IN BARRACKS

Please contact the Resident Life department to schedule an appointment to clean out personal belongings in the Barracks. The first day actual cleanouts will take place is Tuesday, May 26. 

Due to the limited number of Resident Life Staff personnel currently on duty and to ensure proper social distancing protocols, we will abide by a STRICT APPOINTMENT SCHEDULE. Cadets and families who fail to make an appointment will not be allowed to enter the barracks.

A Resident Life staff member must confirm your appointment request via email or phone call. Please do not assume that a request assures you of an appointment time until you receive confirmation from the Resident Life Department.

If you are unable to visit the campus physically, please contact Resident Life to make alternative arrangements. We will provide more information on these options as we work with each family to determine particular items that need to be stored or returned. 

To make an appointment, please email residentlife@sjnma.org, or call 262-646-7113 or 262-719-0549. 

YEARBOOK

Yearbook orders are due by May 29. The yearbook is a 140 page, full-color book for only $95.00. No extra copies will be available for purchase later! To confirm if you previously placed an order, email yearbook@sjnma.org.

Timeline Pertaining to 2019/2020 Year-End and 2020/2021 School Year Events

The end of the school year is fast approaching! It is hard to believe that the school year unlike no other will conclude in a mere three week’s time. In this announcement, you will find details on all of our year-end activities, and 2020/2021 school year opening events.

END OF SCHOOL DATE / EXAMS / REPORT CARDS

The official end of the 2019-2020 school year is Friday, May 22. At this time, all final, outstanding student work must be completed by 3:00 p.m. Teachers will communicate all final projects, tests, or assignments no later than Monday, May 11. Report cards will be sent the week of June 1.

SUMMER ACADEMIC OPS/RAIDER SCHOOL

At this time, Summer Academic OPS is scheduled for June 28 to August 1; however, as the COVID-19 situation evolves, this may be adjusted. Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements.

Raider School is scheduled to take place August 10-18, 2020. Previously it was scheduled to end on August 19.

MILITARY ACADEMY / LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

We are in the planning stages for next year’s Military and Leadership Academies. Both academies will have leadership opportunities for your students. See the Cadre information below.

As you make class selections for next year, please include the student’s preference. All high school Leadership Academy students must take Foundations of Leadership sometime next year.

LEADERSHIP CADRE INVITATION 

Leadership Cadre School is for those students interested in a leadership position in either the Military or Leadership Academy. Cadre will run from August 18 through August 25 and follow a different format to provide a better, more comprehensive leadership training experience.

Invitations to Cadre will be sent by May 18. This year, all current 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th-grade cadets in good standing are invited to attend Cadre. Check-in for all participants will occur on Sunday, August 18, with a completion date of Tuesday, August 25.  

RSVPs to attend Cadre must be submitted by the end of the day on July 10 to reserve your spot.  Please remember the invitation to Cadre is not a promise of a Leadership Position. The awarding of an actual Leadership Position for the school year in either the Military or Leadership Academy is only through proving oneself and merit during the course. 

COLLEGE COUNSELING 

Heidi Beck Curtes, College Counselor, will offer a Google Meet meeting for students, parents, and guardians for all grade levels. The schedule is (Central Standard TIme):

  • 5/11 @2:30-3:00 pm 7th and 8th grade 
  • 5/12 @2:30-3:00 pm 9th grade
  • 5/13 @2:30-3:00 pm 10th grade
  • 5/14 @2:30-3:00 pm 11th grade

Please watch your email for the Google Meet invitations. If you prefer an individual conference with Mrs. Beck Curtes to discuss your child’s direction and changes in higher education, please email Heidi, and she will be more than happy to meet with you via phone call, FaceTime, or Google Meet. Her contact information is hbeck@sjnma.org.

END OF YEAR AWARDS / GRADUATION

On May 23, we will recognize the Class of 2020 graduates through a virtual graduation ceremony. The tentative summer date for on-campus commencement activities is July 25. We will send an invitation with details in the next few weeks. 

We will also recognize our middle school and underclass cadets who have worked hard this year and earned awards. More details on all these events will be forthcoming.

SENIOR INFORMATION

All seniors must send their final college selection to Mrs. Beck Curtes so we can send final transcripts. Regarding transcripts, please see the section below.

The sjnma.org email accounts for seniors will be disabled in mid to late June. Seniors should provide a personal email account to the academic office so we can relay important information that comes up. Send to academicoffice@sjnma.org. Be sure to forward to another email any vital information you have in your SJNMA email, such as college account information, etc. 

International senior students requiring their I90s to transfer to their future schools must contact either or both Mrs. Beck Curtes, hbeck@sjnma.org, and Mrs. Rutherford, jrutherford@sjnma.org

TRANSCRIPTS / APOSTILLE / COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS

Final transcripts will be available in early June. Seniors need to communicate with Mrs. Beck Curtes hbeck@sjnma.org for her to send your official final transcript to the school that you will be attending in fall. Please send all other transcript requests to lahlgren@sjnma.org.  

If Mexican students require a transcript with Apostille (certification from the State of Wisconsin), please send a request to lahlgren@sjnma.org. This year apostilles will take longer to process, probably 4-6 weeks. We will automatically process senior transcripts and diplomas with the Apostille.

If a student took college courses here and wants to transfer those college credits to his/her new college, you must order transcripts through UWM. Use this link to order transcripts https://www.credentials-inc.com/tplus/?ALUMTRO003896

2020-2021 CALENDAR 

The Academy calendar is on the Academy’s website. All dates/activities are subject to change. Anticipated fall start dates:

  • ESL Enrichment – Wednesday, August 12
  • Football players report August 3
  • Raider School participants report August 10
  • Soccer players report August 17
  • Cross Country participants report August 17
  • Leadership Cadre Training report August 18
  • Final Registration – all students report August 25

BELONGINGS IN THE BARRACKS-PLAN FOR PICKUP

At present, the Academy is still closed for general purposes due to COVID-19 restrictions placed on all businesses and schools under the State of Wisconsin Safer at Home Order. Therefore, until that is lifted or modified, we are unable to have cadets and their families return to campus for personal belongings retrieval. Once that order is changed or no longer applies, we will allow cadets and families to return on an appointment basis. The Resident Life Department will arrange the appointments. Exact instructions on how to make these appointments will be issued once the State of WI allows the resumption of business. 

YEARBOOK

The Yearbook Committee is looking for “at home” pictures of cadets studying, hanging with family, or doing something fun. Send photos to yearbook@sjnma.org or upload them to the Jostens RePlayIt app by May 17.

All yearbook orders are due by May 29. No extra copies will be available for purchase later! The yearbook is a 140 page, full-color book for only $95.00. To confirm if you previously placed an order, email yearbook@sjnma.org.

Thank you so much for your support during this unprecedented time!

On April 16, the Governor of Wisconsin extended the state’s Safer at Home order through May 26. Even though a phased reopening plan has been announced, no one can predict when or how the state will reopen.

Therefore, the Academy’s previously scheduled in-person events must be rescheduled or canceled. It pains us because we love to see campus bustling with activity over the spring and summer months. Below are our plans concerning upcoming events, keeping in mind that we must remain fluid with the arrangements.

Spring Families Weekend
As previously announced, Spring Families Weekend that was to take place beginning on April 24 is canceled. As Parent/Teacher conferences are an important piece of Families Weekend, the Academic Office is offering phone or video conferences with teachers. Details were communicated directly by the Academic Office earlier this week. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly at academicoffice@sjnma.org.

The Excalibur Dinner and Auction Fundraiser
For the first time since its advent in 1984, The Excalibur scheduled for April 25 is canceled. If you purchased tickets for The Excalibur, please contact the advancement office to discuss your options for a refund, or gifting the cost as a donation, at ctrione@sjnma.org. As an alternative, the Academy will host a Special Day of Giving on Thursday, May 21, to meet the needs of the Academy created by this pandemic. We encourage all who were going to participate in The Excalibur to consider supporting the Academy during the Special Day of Giving.

Armed Forces Day Parade
The Armed Forces Day Parade scheduled for May 15, is canceled.

Final Exams
Traditional final exams scheduled for the week of May 18 are canceled due to the continuation of online learning through the end of the year. Instead, final course assessments will be embedded into fourth quarter grades. Additionally, third and fourth quarter grades will each count as 50% towards the final semester grade. Details regarding the end of the semester assessments and final grades will be communicated by the Academic Office at a later date.

SJN Athletics Golf Outing at the Grand Geneva Resort
This inaugural event, originally scheduled for May 21, is rescheduled for Friday, October 2, as part of the plan to combine Reunion Weekend with Homecoming festivities. Details will follow as we solidify times and activities.

Reunion Weekend
Reunion Weekend originally scheduled to begin May 22 is rescheduled for October 1-4, combining the Reunion activities with Homecoming. The classes that would have been celebrated will move to the October weekend. Additionally, events like the OBAA Reception, Honored Athlete, and Alumni Awards are rescheduled to the October weekend as well. After the October celebration, Reunion Weekend will resume as normally scheduled in May 2021.

Leaders Circle Reception
The Leaders Circle Reception, originally scheduled for May 22 will take place during The Heritage Society Dinner on Thursday, October 1. More details to follow as plans develop.

Graduation and Commencement Exercises
The Class of 2020 Graduation ceremony will be held as an online event occurring as scheduled on May 23. Details of the event are being coordinated with the cooperation of the senior class officers and advisors. We will communicate plans as soon as they are finalized. Any orders for graduation invitations/announcements have been canceled and your accounts will not be charged. We plan to celebrate the Class of 2020 in person, on campus, when the circumstances allow.

Athletic Events
Spring athletic activities, competitions, and state tournaments are canceled. At this time, fall and winter sports will take place, provided restrictions on assembling in groups are lifted.

Summer Academy Programs
Due to crowd restrictions, we are canceling our Summer Academy Lancers Day Camp and Adventure Camp programs. We are hoping to offer the Academic OPS program as scheduled; however, we are considering contingency plans such as a shorter length, online classes, and/or limited course offerings. We will update you in the coming weeks.

Raider school will be from August 10-18, 2020, while cadre will be August 18-25, 2020.

A Special Day of Giving
This has undoubtedly been an unprecedented time for the nation, and St. John’s Northwestern has not been immune. On Thursday, May 21, St. John’s Northwestern will host a Special Day of Giving in support of the Academy and families impacted by this pandemic. In many ways, this event acts as an alternative to the two major fundraising events canceled in April and May. Your support on this day will help to usher our young people through the current crisis and strengthen the Academy’s position to serve its mission. More information on this event and how to participate will follow shortly.

Although COVID-19 has disrupted the schedule of events that we were all eagerly anticipating, we are looking forward to reopening the Academy for the 2020/2021 school year, and all of the events we will be certain to enjoy.

Thank you for your continued patience and support in these uncertain times. We hope you stay healthy, and we look forward to your support on the Special Day of Giving on May 21!

As a result of the Academy’s revised academic plans due to Wisconsin’s Safer-at-Home order, in effect until at least April 24, we’ve received questions regarding the pick-up of personal items from campus and the return of rental items.

As the order restricts all “non-essential” travel, the Academy cannot accommodate any requests to retrieve items from campus at this time. Also, we must account for the safety of our employees while interacting with others. However, since a revised or extended stay-at-home policy is likely, the Academy is determining a plan for cadets and their families to retrieve personal items, and return rental items, in the safest way possible. As this planning must take into account the rules issued for travel and person-to-person interaction, it is likely that we will issue an appointment schedule for trips to campus. If the Safer-at-Home order is extended, we will adjust accordingly to postpone travel, as well as person-to-person interaction, until restrictions are lifted. In cases where trips to campus are not possible, we will provide options for shipping items home or storing them on campus. Some of these options may be at an extra cost. These options also depend on the capacity of Academy personnel to support such efforts, and the availability of secure storage space on campus.

In short, any planning will need to remain fluid in order to respond to government and health organization guidelines. As soon as we have clarification on what restrictions will be in place after April 24, we will provide an update.

Thank you for your continued patience and support in these uncertain times. We are getting through this together!

Eric Wozniak, Headmaster

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Cadets,

Our partnership and commitment to our cadets’ education will resume when classes begin again on Tuesday, April 14. We will continue to teach and learn in an online format presumably through the end of the school year. While our local communities, our country, and the world all work together to slow or eradicate this health crisis by staying at home and physically distancing ourselves, so must we work together and do our very best to preserve the integrity of teaching and learning by remaining “in school.” This important partnership between school and home, and teachers and students, will continue to be the foundation of success and stability for the remainder of the school year. Please carefully review the following new information and renewed commitments to our online learning learning environment:

  1. Online learning will resume Tuesday, April 14, and will continue under the assumption it will remain in effect through the end of the school year, or Friday, May 22.

  2. The school week will shift to the following pattern of instruction and learning:
    • Monday – Thursday: new instruction, assignments, class meetings, support, and assessments will continue as before
    • Friday: designated teacher and student “work day”
      • intentional time for teachers to grade, assess, and plan
      • intentional time for students to complete classwork
      • intentional time for students to “check in” with their teachers for questions, clarification, or concerns via open office hours
      • no new instruction or assessments will be given

  3. Teacher-Student communication remains at the core of successful online learning.
    • Teachers will:
      • Post assignments consistently so students know how and when they will receive their assignments.
      • Set very clear and reasonable due dates depending on the length and depth of the assignment.
      • Determine a fair and reasonable late/missing assignment policy
      • Be available for questions, support, instruction, clarification or content explanation by phone, email, video instruction, class meetings, or one-on-one meetings during the traditional school hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Emails or calls received after hours will be returned the next school day.
      • Hold open office hours via Google Meet (phone or video) every Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST for any necessary check-ins between the student and teacher.
      • Maintain an updated gradebook every Friday by 3:00 p.m. CST
    • Students will:
      • Dedicate themselves to their academics as they would during a typical school day, i.e. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Working outside of these hours is acceptable, of course, but class meetings and opportunities to speak/video meet with teachers will be held during the school day, so students should be available. Speaking or meeting with teachers outside of school hours is not a guarantee.
      • Check email daily to track assignments and due dates.
      • Understand the late or missing assignment policy of every teacher.
      • Be accountable for due dates and turn assignments in on-time.
      • Self-advocate for themselves by emailing or calling their teachers to communicate problems, issues, or concerns.
      • Participate in all scheduled, planned classes or open office hours by the teachers during school hours.
      • Ask for help – there are so many sources of support and assistance: teachers, parents, the TLC faculty, the Academic Office.
      • Take advantage of Friday’s Open Office Hours to check in, ask for help or explanations, clarify, or just catch up.
      • Take pride in your work by putting in your very best effort – always!

  4. Student Work and Accountability – Online learning requires everyone to be flexible and to work together. However, the accountability and integrity of a student’s own work remain just as if we are in the classroom together. Students will continue to be held to the Standard and the Cadet Honor Code. Any reports of cheating, copying another student’s work, or plagiarizing will be subject to consequences, such as a failing grade or an Honor Board.

  5. Technology challenges have hopefully been resolved during the last few weeks. However, please continue to check your SPAM folders regularly. Contact the Academic Office at academicoffice@sjnma.org or the IT Department at it@sjnma.org if you feel you are not receiving any communication from the teachers or the academy.

  6. Alternative final exams and graduation plans are being taken into consideration and subsequent information will be forthcoming.

If we all reflect on what has transpired since we began online learning on March 19, it is remarkable what we have accomplished together. There have been challenges for sure, and there will be in this next phase as well. As we continue to learn what works well and what doesn’t in this format, we adapt, we learn, we try, we grow, and we remain committed to doing our best each and every day. When I compare stories with my colleagues and friends in other districts, or even states, I am incredibly proud of our academy, our teachers, and our families for doing what we do best – support our cadets to the greatest extent possible.

Please reach out if you have any specific concerns about your cadet or the outline above. Above all, I wish you and your families continued good health and safety. When we do come to the other side of all of this, we will be stronger because of it.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Ihler
Academic Dean
sihler@sjnma.org
262-646-7188

On March 24, 2020, the Governor of Wisconsin directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to issue a “safer at home order” beginning at 8 a.m. today through April 24 at 8 a.m., or until a superseding order is issued. Please find the full order here: WI Safer at Home Order.

Due to this directive, the Academy’s previously anticipated on-campus return date of April 14 is no longer possible. Therefore, currently the following timeline is in effect:

  1. The online learning period of March 19 through April 2 will remain in place as previously outlined.

  2. The spring break period of April 3 through April 13 will remain in place, as previously announced.

  3. Virtual Learning will resume on Tuesday, April 14 through April 24. If a superseding order is issued, this timeline may change. Please do not make any permanent travel arrangements to return to campus until further notice. Information concerning international students, at home and abroad, is forthcoming.

  4. Spring Families Weekend, scheduled for the weekend of April 24, is canceled. As Parent/Teacher conferences are an important piece of Families Weekend, the Academic Office will offer phone or video conferences with teachers. We will communicate more information soon.

  5. The Excalibur social event and auction, initially scheduled for April 25, is postponed. We will communicate a new date shortly.

  6. As of this writing, there are no changes to Commencement and Reunion exercises scheduled for the weekend of May 22. This date may be subject to change as events warrant.

Although this presents a significant degree of uncertainty, we must remain flexible in this rapidly evolving situation. We ask for your patience and support as we all navigate these challenges. We are making every effort to provide meaningful solutions for cadets, families, and our institution. Your cooperation and understanding are sincerely appreciated.

Most importantly, please remain safe and healthy during this time. We encourage everyone to follow the advice and guidelines provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local authorities. Please continue to visit www.sjnma.org/covid-19 for future updates. There will be an “after” to all of this, and we will get through this together.

Eric Wozniak, Headmaster
Tom Stocks, President
Stephanie Ihler, Academic Dean
Steve Schweiss, Commandant of Cadets

Dear Friends of St. John’s Northwestern,

We hope this message finds you healthy as COVID-19 impacts our country and our way of life.

We are in the middle of the most significant public health crisis most of us have experienced. It is a challenging time for all of us, including our beloved Academy.

In response to the Governor of Wisconsin’s direction to close all schools, our Academy staff and faculty took decisive action to return our cadets safely home. Working with the Parents Club, homestay options were secured for the international cadets where returning home was not feasible. The infirmary acted quickly to package medications for students in time for their departures. The Academic department took immediate steps to convert our in-person classrooms to virtual learning formats. These swift actions, and countless more, showed the resiliency of this Academy staff, and I am profoundly grateful for their efforts.

However, more decisive action is needed in order for St. John’s Northwestern to weather these challenging times, and thrive when we reopen. In light of today’s circumstances, my senior staff and I have carefully examined the Academy’s processes and how best to operate in today’s “new normal.” As a result, we made the difficult decision to lay off some employees in Resident Life, Campus Services, Professional Development, and Marketing. When we reopen, we plan to bring some of these employees back as needed.

Taking action now allows our institution to be agile and resilient, regardless of the circumstances we face now and in the future. Life in the face of COVID-19 is challenging. St. John’s Northwestern will prevail. Change is hard and difficult to accept sometimes, but it is also constant. We want to assure you that the Academy is willing and able to bring its cadets back on campus when it is safe to do so, and we look forward to that day. Until then, I thank you for your support and understanding. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Headmaster Eric Wozniak, or any member of our senior administration team.

Together, we will persevere.

Respectfully Yours,

Tom Stocks, S69
President

On Thursday, March 19, St. John’s Northwestern will transition its classroom learning to a virtual format. We are proud of the individualized learning and support systems we have in place for our students. However, this unprecedented and highly fluid situation calls on us to temporarily alter many aspects of our daily lives, including education.

For now, our virtual learning focus is on the two weeks of March 19 – April 2, followed by spring break. The scheduled date to resume in-person classes is Tuesday, April 14. As a faculty, we have discussed the most effective and meaningful ways to deliver educational content while maintaining contact with our students for instruction, explanation, and additional support. Many teachers will use Google Classroom, and many will use video explanations, video chats, or online conferencing. We will hold working sessions on how to utilize these tools, as well as to provide a variety of different resources available to teachers and students.

Communication and shared expectations between teachers, students, and parents will be of the utmost importance during this time. Even though virtual learning begins on Thursday, it is also a teacher in-service day for the preparation of virtual materials and activities. You and your cadet(s) should expect to receive instruction from all of your teachers explaining how they will conduct their courses virtually, their expectations, tips for being successful, and how they will communicate with their students.

We ask for your support in reiterating to your sons and daughters that these next two weeks is not a vacation or extended free time. Begin with a sit-down discussion about the importance of continuing classwork. Create a designated workspace giving them adequate room for books, supplies, and a computer. Set the firm expectation that they are to be meaningfully engaged in learning during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CST. The class day will proceed as follows:

  • Period 1: 8:00 – 8:40
  • Period 2: 8:50 – 9:30
  • Period 3: 9:40 – 10:20
  • Period 4: 10:30- 11:10
  • Period 5: 11:20 – 12:00
  • BREAK 12:00 – 1:00
  • Period 6: 1:00 – 1:40
  • Period 7: 1:50 – 2:30

Students will need to check their email several times a day or at the beginning of the “period,” ask for help, clarification, or questions, and turn in all assignments on-time to avoid being penalized for late work. Teachers will update their grade books daily to keep track. Our TLC staff will reach out in a separate communication with helpful study tips and ways they can support cadets who need extra help during this time.

This is an unprecedented and highly fluid situation, where updates and changes seem to come by the hour. The best way to get through this is to stay positive, healthy, and engaged with a common goal: our cadets.

I will be available during these next two weeks by phone and email, as will all teachers, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns that you may have. Please take care and we look forward to seeing your children back on campus soon.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Ihler
Academic Dean
St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies
sihler@sjnma.org
262-646-7188

March 16, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are writing today with more information on how course instruction will proceed in light of the decision made by the Governor of Wisconsin to close schools at the end of the day this Wednesday, March 18.

  1. On-site classes will continue as usual through the end of the academic day (3:00 PM) on Wednesday, March 18. Cadets should bring home all class materials and supplies (textbooks, computers, protractors, calculators, etc.) so they may complete assignments from home. Cadets should check out with their RFO’s as usual. If you need medications from the Infirmary during this time, please email them as soon as possible at infirmary@sjnma.org. Please remember that only a parent or adult 18 years of age or older can pick up medications. If you would like them mailed to your home, please include your mailing address in the email requesting medication.
  2. From Thursday, March 19 through Thursday, April 2, remote instruction of classes will begin. Teachers will communicate instructions on how to access the instruction plan for their particular courses. Teachers will make every effort to convert as many courses as possible to an online format. In cases where this is not possible, teachers will send specifics on how that course will proceed.
  3. The spring break period will remain intact between April 3 and April 13. This time can be used as a buffer if the state does not reopen schools as anticipated on April 6. It can also serve as a buffer for students who have gotten behind or have had difficulty with online learning over the preceding weeks. (No new work will be assigned during the spring break period, but students who need that time to catch up may submit work during the spring break period without penalty. All online work is due before the end of spring break, April 13.)
  4. At this time, the anticipated date for on-campus classes to resume is Tuesday, April 14. All boarding cadets should plan to return to campus by 7:00 PM on Monday, April 13. All day-cadets should expect to be on campus for classes on the morning of Tuesday, April 14. At this time, all online courses will cease. No distance learning will be supported after the Academy resumes on-campus classes.
  5. During the time of closure and over spring break, the situation will be under continuous assessment. Regular updates will be provided on the Academy website, though the parent portal, and via email. As new information becomes available and as the situation unfolds, the Academy will communicate any changes to the above plan with as much advance notice as possible, given the conditions at the time.

**A special message to our international cadets and families:

SJNMA acknowledges that the decision to have your cadet come home during this extended period is a difficult one. We are working with our home-stay volunteers to secure extended housing for cadets from March 18-April 13, so they may be able to return to class as planned on April 14.

While we respect your right to make the decision that you feel is best for your child, please consider the following:

  1. Cadets attempting to return to campus from a Level 3 Travel Health Notice country will not be allowed to do so until it is deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  2. When we reopen campus for in-person class instruction, there is no guarantee that we will be able to accommodate online learning for cadets who are unable to return to school.

SJNMA understands this is a challenging time for all families, and we will continue to update you as this situation progresses. If you have any questions regarding your cadet’s academic classes, please contact the Academic office. If you have any questions regarding your cadet’s departure from campus, please contact your RFO.

As always, thank you for your support and your patience as we navigate through this difficult time.

Eric Wozniak – Headmaster
Tom Stocks – President
Stephanie Ihler – Academic Dean
Steve Schweiss – Commandant of Cadets

3/14/2020

*Regarding international cadets and families – We will work with international to make specific arrangements to best support and accommodate each family’s situation. We will seek extended home-stay options as well as the ability for the Academy to continue to board international students during this period. More information will be communicated with these families in the coming hours and days. For now it is important to focus on using the time we have been given to work out the best solutions for each of our families and allow the people we have in place to coordinate these efforts, gather necessary information, and make appropriate arrangements.

Late Friday afternoon, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services to order the closure of all public and private schools beginning at 5:00 PM Central Time on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. A copy of the official notice is here: School Closure Order

This is an unprecedented event for the Academy as an independent boarding school. According to the official press release, “The mandated closure will begin on Wednesday, March 18th, in order to give school districts ample time to make plans for kids, families, educators, and staff.” This is especially important for schools like SJN so we can efficiently plan for the closure and help get students safely home. Although we generally do not agree that this is the best course of action at this time for schools like SJN, we are compelled to follow the directive.

Due to this extreme declaration, the following steps are being enacted:

  1. Classes will continue on campus through the end of the regular class day on Wednesday, March 18. This time will be vital for teachers to prepare and instruct students in how their classes will continue remotely. Teachers will develop contingency plans to deliver content online via Google Classroom and/or Academy email and explain this to students.

  2. Families should make arrangements for their cadets to travel home beginning at the end of the school day Wednesday, March 18. We will provide further information on Monday regarding travel planning and academic arrangements.

  3. Further information about how this event will affect the timing of our spring break period and the remainder of the school calendar will be provided as we make those decisions based on the conditions and progress of the situation.

Today, we are asking families to approach these events calmly and prudently. Although this is an extreme time for all of us, we must remain in control of the situation and not allow panic or hysteria to set in. Right now, everyone in our SJN community is safe and healthy and we need to work carefully to keep it that way. I ask for your cooperation and support as we work to comply with the governor’s mandate in ways that make sense for our cadets and our Academy—our family. As always, we will weather this storm together as long as we stay united in thought and action.

Thank you so much,

Eric Wozniak – Headmaster
Tom Stocks – President
Stephanie Ihler – Academic Dean
Steve Schweiss – Commandant of Cadets

March 13, 2020

St. John’s Northwestern in cooperation with the SJN Infirmary (ProHealth Care) continues to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local government agencies, and the Waukesha County Health Department regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As of this writing, there is no evidence of COVID-19 on campus. We believe that the relatively isolated nature of the campus allows for a considerable amount of control to insulate cadets from potential exposure to the virus. The Academy’s focus for the next three weeks prior to spring break is to minimize the risk of exposure for the welfare of our cadets, faculty, and staff. To that end, we are taking the following steps.

  1. Vetting every cadet event, on and off-campus, eliminating exposure to large groups. We have canceled a number of off-campus events and suspended any large groups from coming on campus.
  2. Reinforcing good hygiene habits with cadets and staff, reminding them of the importance of handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, practicing good hygiene habits, covering one’s cough or sneeze into a tissue or one’s own elbow, and to avoid touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Increasing the frequency of cleaning cadet rooms, classrooms, common areas, and the dining hall. In this last regard, our food service provider has increased their already high safety standards for the handling and serving of food.
  4. During Eucharistic services, communion will be administered in “one-kind” only (bread) and will not offer the “common cup” (wine) until further notice.
  5. Evaluating all travel, both domestic and abroad, to eliminate all non-essential travel outside of the immediate area. All business air travel for staff has been suspended until further notice.
  6. Working within our current crisis plan and adapting strategies to address potential health emergencies, including the screening of cadets, quarantine measures, and transporting cadets for proper medical care. We are working closely with our local and regional health professionals in this regard.
  7. Developing contingency plans for alternative modes of instruction in the case of the remote possibility that teaching and learning would need to continue online.

As always, our paramount concern is the well-being of our cadets, faculty, and staff. At this time, we are moving forward with classes and the Academy schedule as normal. We are not closing the school. We are considering a variety of contingency plans regarding the possible need to extend the spring break period or adjust the timing and nature of events beyond the spring break period. This is an unprecedented event and the situation is fluid. The Academy’s senior administration is following COVID-19 closely, assessing the progress of the situation on a daily basis, and adjusting our responses accordingly. We will continue to communicate updates as new information becomes available.

We are working diligently to maintain the SJN campus as a safe and secure environment. We believe that, for most of our cadets, the campus is the safest place to be right now. Therefore, we ask that you reconsider any plans to request off-campus travel for your residential cadet between now and spring break. This will help us limit potential exposure. We respect your right to make decisions for your family and want to partner with you in those decisions. Please reach out to your cadet’s RFO to communicate any travel requests.

We recommend that families follow the advice and guidelines presented by the CDC and the World Health Organization when considering and planning travel:

For more information on COVID-19, below are some other helpful resources:

 

Thank you so much for your continued support and partnership in these challenging times. We will all get through this together.

Eric Wozniak, Ph.D.
Headmaster

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