In this article, we shall be talking about schools that are within as well as close in proximity to the city of West Saint Paul, Minnesota.

BlueSky was the first charter school in Minnesota to be completely online, following on from Mindquest, which was the first online public high school. When BlueSky opened, a law was passed that made online schools must spend at least two days per week in a traditional classroom with a teacher, but BlueSky was already completely online so it could stay. The law was later repealed.

In June 2005, BlueSky had its first graduating class. Seventeen students graduated, and two graduation ceremonies were held: one in Bloomington for students from the metro area, and one in International Falls for students from the northern part of Minnesota. In January 2006, BlueSky held a mid-year graduation ceremony in Saint Paul for seven students that had finished their graduation requirements at the end of the first semester. Their headquarters is in 33 Wentworth Ave E #100, West St Paul, Minnesota 55118.

St. Croix Lutheran Academy is a private Christian school that enrolls 500 students in middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12), including local, out-of-state, and 125 international students from 15 countries around the world. About 150 students are housed in SCL’s modern on-campus dormitory.

SCL is an excellent educational value. Tuition is lower than most private schools in the Twin Cities metro, and the cost to educate is lower than most public schools. The education students receive is exceptional – spiritually, physically, and academically. They are excited to welcome you to the caring, Christian family of St. Croix Lutheran!

Students come to the school excited to roll up their sleeves and learn. As the district’s only Environmental Science magnet for grades 6-12, Humboldt specializes in hands-on learning outside the traditional classroom, where deeper meaning and connections take place. Students might grow and prepare food from their gardens one day and write and produce a video the next.

While extracurricular activities abound – music, athletics, JROTC, adapted sports, diversity clubs, and much more – Humboldt’s main focus is to graduate students who are environmentally aware and prepared for college and career. Community partners such as Ecolab, Travelers, and others work with students to ensure they excel. Strong advisory staff, along with academic programs like Advanced Placement and College-in-the-Schools, challenge and support our young adults at every step.

Open World Learning Community (formerly Open School) has been nurturing self-directed learners for more than 45 years. Since 1971, students of the small-by-design school have been celebrated and respected for their individuality and take an active role in their education. With just 450 students in Grades 6 through 12, every student is a known and valued part of their family-like community. Open World Learning Community is a member of the national network of EL Schools, which promote rigorous and engaging curriculum; active, inquiry-based pedagogy; and a school culture that demands and teaches compassion and good citizenship.

The school’s curriculum is designed around Learning Expeditions – projects that allow students to investigate issues within the school, the community, and the world. The study of big ideas enables them to weave together work in multiple subject areas. Students are given time to think about important issues, time to experiment, and time to understand what they’ve learned. The “small school” learning environment inspires students to ask questions in a culture that demands and teaches compassion and good citizenship. Their beautiful new home in West St. Paul’s was specially designed to support the collaborative learning style of EL Schools.

When the school day begins at Open World Learning Community (OWL), you’ll find students and staff from diverse cultural backgrounds sharing a common goal: the desire to discuss, explore, investigate and learn. It is a world designed for student-centered learning – a place where innovative programs and hands-on methods encourage curiosity and discovery. You will hear students and teachers having real conversations about their lives, beyond tests and homework. Each of our 450 students is known and respected, and exclusive cliques scarcely exist. This is the OWL community.

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