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School Time

  • Building opens at 6:30, but students should not be dropped off prior to 6:45
  • Breakfast Begins at 7:00 AM
  • Classes Start at 7:25
  • School Ends at 2:25 PM Mondays-Thursday
  • School ends at 12:25 on Fridays

Compulsory Instruction and Truancy
Parents are responsible for making sure that their children attend school every day. In accordance with the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, M.S. 120A.22, the students of the school district are REQUIRED to attend all assigned classes every day school is in session. Parents are obligated to compel the attendance of the child at school and those who fail this obligation to provide for instruction of a child may be subject to prosecution. Minnesota law defines a student as a “truant” if he/she is absent from instruction in a school without valid excuse within a single school year for seven days.

Legitimate excuses (Excused Absences) for absences from school, are illness, family emergency, and religious holidays. Unacceptable excuses (Unexcused Absences) include: child missed the bus, family has no clean clothes, and child overslept.

Guidelines for school attendance issues are:

  1. A phone call will be made to home when a child has been absent or tardy from school an excessive number of days (2 days) without a reasonable excuse
  2. If a child continues to be absent or tardy without a reasonable excuse, totaling 7 days, a letter will be sent to parents or guardians indicating the school is taking steps to work with the county attorney involving court action if parent involvement does not lead to improved school attendance. Legal action for truancy and educational neglect takes place in the county where the family resides.

Should your child need to be absent or late, please call the STEP Academy Office at (651) 289-6120 by 7:00 AM. You may choose to call before 6:30 AM and leave a voice mail message with your child’s name, teacher’s name and reason for absence. Parent/guardian bringing a child to school after 7:26 AM must report to the office and sign-in the child before reporting to the classroom. Please send medical verification if your child was absent for more than three days due to illness. If your child is arriving at school late, an adult must come into the office and sign them in.

  • Students coming to school after 7:26 will be marked as tardy.
  • Students coming to school after 9:00 but before 11:07 will be marked as absent for the morning
  • Students leaving the school after 11:07 but before 1:27 will be marked as absent for the afternoon.
  • Students not showing up to school and without a legitimate excuse will be marked Absent Unexcused.
  • Students absent with a legitimate excuse will be marked Absent Excused.

After 15 consecutive days of absences [whether excused or unexcused], the law requires us to drop the child.

Early Arrivals
Safety is our number one concern here at STEP Academy. Supervision for students begins at 6:45 AM.


If a teacher has requested that your child come early, he or she will bring home a written notice and will be admitted to the classroom.

Student Departure
If you are picking up your child you should wait for him or her at the school office and not at the parking lot.

Parents picking up their children during the school day must do so from the office. A parent or guardian must sign out all children leaving school before 2:25 PM. Picking up children before 2:25 PM, except with a valid excuse, is strongly discouraged.

Safety is our number one concern at STEP Academy. All visitors, other than employees of the school, will be required to sign-in with their first and last name at the main office. Visitors to the school will be given a “Visitor” label to wear while in the building or on the property. Persons found without the “Visitor” label will be stopped, questioned and escorted to the office to register. Visitors may only enter through the main entrance of the building. Parents and guests are considered visitors during the school day. Siblings, relatives and friends are to be discouraged from visiting school. Former students, who return for a visit, must have this pre-approved by the administration at least 1 day prior to visit.

Students new to STEP Academy will not be allowed to start classes until we have received all necessary enrollment materials. This includes transcripts, assessment information and other school records. We will make every attempt to obtain these documents, but in order to expedite this process, it is helpful if you bring them to the office at time of enrollment.

Riding the Bus
Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. School bus safety is of primary importance. Children are expected to behave properly on the bus and at the bus stop. Students are to remain in their seats. Shouting, swearing, fighting, obscene gestures or throwing objects will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Drivers will issue a report for student misbehavior. Depending upon the seriousness or repetition of the offense, students may be suspended from riding the bus.

Bus Rules
All school behavior rules apply in the bus. In addition, students must adhere to the following rules:

  1. Be on time and follow all directions given.
  2. Keep all parts of your body and objects inside the bus.
  3. Stay in your seat with your feet on the floor while the bus is in motion.
  4. No swearing, loud talking, shoving, fighting or teasing.
  5. Sit in your assigned seats. (If any)
  6. Do not eat or drink on the bus, and do not litter or damage the bus.
  7. Do not use or possess drugs, tobacco, alcohol or weapons.

When a student exhibits behavior which the bus driver considers as inconsistent with the rules of bus conduct appropriate action will be taken including suspension or loss of bus privileges.

During all suspensions from riding the bus, the student will be required to attend school and the student’s parents or guardians are responsible for seeing that their child gets to and from school safely. Failure to comply will result in the student being marked as absent. Only scheduled bus students are to ride school buses.

Bus Safety
School buses shall be operated in accordance with state traffic and school bus safety laws and the procedures contained in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Model School Bus Driver Training Manual. Only students assigned to the school bus by the school district shall be transported. The number of students or other authorized passengers transported in a school bus shall not be more than the legal capacity for the bus. No person shall be allowed to stand when the bus is in motion.

STEP Academy provides students with age-appropriate school bus safety training as described under section 123B.90. STEP Academy bus and bus stop rules will be provided to each family. Parents and guardians are asked to review the rules with their children.

Using a Different Bus Stop:

Students are to take their assigned bus to and from school. Children wishing to ride a different bus, or get off at a different stop, are required to have a dated and signed note from a parent or guardian.

The note should be:

  • Brought to the office for a bus pass
  • Bus pass must be given to the driver as the child boards the bus
  • Bus students will not be allowed to go home by a different method unless we have written permission from the parent/guardian.

Requesting A New Bus Stop or Modifying a Bus Stop:
Bus routes are designed to maximize the number of students served and minimize the transportation costs. We are not able to offer door step services to most parents. We recognize that many parents would greatly benefit from a more convenient bus stop location.

Many parents urgently request changes in the bus schedule. We are unable to accommodate more than 75% of the requests. Here are some of the more common reasons why requests are rejected.

  1. When a proposed change would increase the bus schedule by more than 1 minute, we are not able to accept the change request.
  2. When the proposed change negatively affects other students we are unable to accept the change request.
  3. When the proposed change benefits less than 5 students we are unable to accept the change request.

Parents who still wish to request a new bus stop should fill out the bus stop modification form at the end of this handbook. It takes 2-3 weeks to accept or reject the change request.