Introducing Spud Academy

August 13, 2020

Moorhead Area Public Schools is launching a virtual program called Spud Academy for the 2020-21 school year designed for students who are seeking a fully distance learning experience. 

In alignment with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) guidelines, Spud Academy programming will provide students learning in all required Minnesota State Standards, English Learner (EL) and Special Education services, differentiation opportunities and more. Any existing IEPs and 504s may need to be revised prior to beginning in the beginning of enrollment in Spud Academy if specific language and/or services are not appropriate due to online learning.

Program Design

To design the best program possible, the district is gathering registration information to determine families and students who are unable to, or elect not to, return to face to face learning in the district designated plan, which may include in-person, hybrid or distance learning. 

Once the district has determined the students, families and educators who will not be returning first trimester for the 2020-21 school year, Spud Academy students with highly qualified staff. 

Students who choose this option will participate in online: 

  • Synchronous (scheduled) video conference sessions. Synchronous instruction is two-way, real-time or live. 
  • Asynchronous (unscheduled) activities (e.g., email or learning management systems that deliver, track, and manage classes or projects) Asynchronous instruction does not require having the instructor and student engaged at the same time. 

Any student on an IEP or 504 that is enrolled in Spud Academy will continue to be assigned to a case manager that will be responsible for ensuring their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 is being followed. The IEPs and 504s may need to be revised prior to enrollment in Spud Academy if specific language and/or services are not appropriate due to online learning. 

Program Features

As part of the Spud Academy, participating students will: 

  • Commit to a semester long enrollment. Students will remain enrolled in Spud Academy regardless of the district designated learning model.
  • Commit to daily attendance and participation in each course.
  • Have a dedicated teacher and consistent learning groups for synchronous classes. 
  • Have daily interaction with teachers and peers.
  • Have a structured daily class schedule.
  • Participate in academic learning that is equally rigorous to in-person learning.
  • Meet all grade level standards and Minnesota graduation standards.
  • Earn a grade based on the completion of content mastery. Progress grades will be communicated at the regularly scheduled grading periods. 
  • Receive support services such as special education and English Language services in a distance learning environment. 
  • Need appropriate family attention and support regarding their academic work, depending on the age of the student.

How to Register

Families may register their child into Spud Academy for the fall 2020 semester by logging into PowerSchool and completing registration. Parents should contact their child’s school with any PowerSchool Parent Platform access issues.

Students who elect to begin the school year at Spud Academy will be asked to stay with the program through the first semester. They may elect to return to the in-person, hybrid instruction, or distance learning model at the end of the first semester or continue through the end of the school year. 

More Information

For more information, please contact or 218-284-3730.

Spud Academy FAQ

Spud Academy PDF