Upper School

Students smiling at a pep rally.

Last updated: Aug 21
Note: New content in bold

Upper School Principal Dr. Mike DiNardo

The first day of school has been moved to Monday, August 31. Please read through our orientation information prior to our first day together.

Minnehaha Academy is implementing a revised plan for our return back to campus. Check this website frequently for updated information. 

A Letter from PrincipaL DiNardo 


We are offering our students in-person learning in small cohorts. Because of our ability to maximize our facility and faculty, we can accomplish small class sizes with an in-person model; class sizes that are more traditionally achieved in a hybrid model.


In order to support social distancing in the Upper School classrooms and minimize student transitions, the Upper School will alternate between an Odd Block Day and an Even Block Day with a 30 minute daily period for advisory, club meetings, assembly, and Chapel.

Students will now have a free period in their schedules, giving them time to complete homework assignments, get help from teachers, see their counselors, complete music lessons, or attend appointments.

Upper School students will receive their schedules by Monday, August 10 and will be able to have a Zoom or Google Meet with the Upper School Academic Dean, Ms. Libby Burton, if they want to discuss their schedule or make any changes. Learn the details →

Arrival & Dismissal

Students will still be dropped off at the main entrance in the east lot by parents or other transportation and park in the west lot to enter through the amphitheater if they drive themselves to school. Arrival times at the Upper School are staggered already with many students arriving for music rehearsals, zero hour classes, and leadership meetings beginning at around 7:45 am. Students must remain socially distant from their friends when they arrive at school as they wait for class to begin. Learn all about our school procedures →


Lunch will be served at the Upper School. Taher, Minnehaha’s food service provider, is developing a safe lunch process. Students will eat in the larger Campus Room and Commons areas on the first floor of the building.

Performing Arts

The Upper School performing groups are being rearranged to allow for smaller sections. Only one performing group will be scheduled at a time. There will be opportunities for large group outdoor rehearsals in the amphitheater and Guido Kauls Field. The Hognander Chapel will be available for socially distant performing. We are still gathering information and working out the details of how to safely produce concerts, plays, and other performances, but know that our students will be able to showcase their wonderful musical and acting talents either in person with limited audiences or pre-recorded and sent out in a YouTube link as we were able to do in the spring semester.


Corporate worship remains essential to our identity and we’ll have weekly chapel for the Upper School. In order to adhere to safety guidelines, the Upper School will worship by grade level either in person or through a live feed. Advisory time will be dedicated to discussing and deepening our chapel experience at every level. There will be no large group, corporate singing in Chapel this year.

Social-Emotional Support/Advisory

Social and emotional connections are more important than ever, and fostering these connections are what makes Minnehaha’s caring community so distinctive. The advisory program at the Upper School connects students with one another, and with an adult, to receive guidance and support in academic, spiritual, and personal growth. Advisory groups meet every other day at the Upper School.


Transportation will be available in Minneapolis and the suburbs in traditional school buses at 50% capacity or less. (Due to social distancing guidelines, no van service will be available.) Riders will be required to wear masks and follow hand sanitizing protocols. Registration for transportation will be available in Skyward.

Additional Information

Get all the extra information you need. From face masks and supply lists to visitor rules and technology implementations. Learn more →

Action Items for Parents

Sign up forms for Skyward, Extended Day, Athletics, and more. We have a few things we need you to look at.

Get Started

Additional Details & Dates
  • Tuesday, August 4: Additional details will be released about Upper School plans. Read the detailed plans.
  • Friday, August 7: Schedules will be mailed to families. They will become available on Skyward and Schoology at a later date.
  • Monday, August 10, 8 a.m.: Distance learning commitment required from families (if desired).

Lower School is IN-PERSON ✅

Middle School is IN-PERSON ✅

Upper School is IN-PERSON ✅

When to Stay Home

Students and faculty must not come to school if they display any symptoms or come into close contact with COVID-19. Please use our decision tree when determining whether or not to come to school.*

*MA follows guidelines from the MN Health Department for reporting contagious illnesses, please let the school know if your child has a contagious illness or if your family has had close-contact exposure to COVID-19.

[T]he partnership between home and school ... elevates our trusted relationship to a higher level.

Rev. Dr. Donna Harris, PresidentLetters from the President