Breaking News: Governor mandates school closures amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Glenn Morehouse Olson, Adviser

Amid closures in every area of public life, from professional sports to Disney to Broadway because of the Coronavirus  (COVID-19) pandemic, Governor Tim Waltz has closed public schools in Minnesota at least through March 27.

St. Francis Area Schools had already announced closure for the two days following its Spring Break on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, but now has extended the closure to adhere to the State mandate.

Updated communication was sent to parents, staff and community at about 5 pm on March 16 to clarify some of the procedures the district is putting in place.

“Although this update does not bring a great deal of changes,” it stated, “here are updates on a few items that we have been working on at St. Francis Area Schools.”

Below see some of the details included in the latest communication:

These services will begin Monday, March 23.

Meals will be available to all St. Francis Area Schools students free of charge. Each Grab-and-Go bag contains a breakfast and a lunch; milk is included. Sign up on the Emergency Services Request Form at or call the St. Francis Area Schools Hotline at 763-753-7157. Meals will be distributed at the following locations (look for the school bus) during the times shown:

  • St. Francis High School, front door
    6:30-9:00 am
  • Cedar Creek Elementary School/East Bethel Elementary School, parking lot between the two schools
    6:30-9:00 am
    11:00 am-2:00 pm
  • St. Francis Middle School, front door
    11:00 am-2:00 pm
  • St. Francis Elementary School, front door
    6:30-9:00 am
  • Emagine Movie Theater in East Bethel, parking lot
    6:30-9:00 am
  • County Market in St. Francis, parking lot
    11:00 am-2:00 pm
  • Greystone Playground (24355 MN-65 in Bethel), entrance by open field
    11:00 am-2:00 pm


If you are in the medical or emergency field working with the COVID-19 situation, you may utilize childcare (at no cost) provided by St. Francis Area Schools. Please fill out the Emergency Services Request Form at or call the Hotline at 763-753-7157. Childcare and/or transportation will be provided free of charge during normal school hours (9:10 am-3:40 pm) for families of emergency workers. Transportation will be offered for the children of medical or emergency providers to/from childcare.


A Distance Learning Plan is being developed during the March 18-27 shutdown. More information will be emailed to families on March 27.

While schools are closed, we strongly urge families to follow guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) for social distancing and other precautions in an effort to slow the spread of this virus. I know many of you want to come into the schools and gather your belongings, but we ask that you hold off until the next update from the Governor’s Office.

Stay up to date with the district announcements here:

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