COMPASS Middle School Program

COMPASS – A place for a new direction

COMPASS is designed for students in the eighth and ninth grades who are at risk in the mainstream setting. The goal of the COMPASS staff is to provide a positive environment where relationships provide the foundation for learning and personal growth. Often, students who are a part of COMPASS have difficulty comprehending the subject matter, organizing their materials, doing their homework, and asking questions when they do not understand. This program provides a small, safe, and positive environment where teachers have the opportunity to work more directly with students in all subject areas and to build relationships conducive to learning. 

What Makes Us Unique?

Our classes are small.

This program is capped at twenty-four students. As a result, the teachers are able to get to know each student on a personal level. Two core teachers are with the students most of the day to provide consistency.

The curriculum is closely integrated.

As often as possible, course content overlaps into other curricular areas. For example, Language Arts papers are often based on social studies or science topics.

Students’ progress is monitored on a daily basis.

Because of the small class size, teachers can closely monitor the progress of each student and notify parents immediately of any issue or concern. Also, the core teachers meet students individually at least once a week to discuss the students’ progress. Families receive daily communication regarding their student’s progress in academics, attendance, and social and emotional needs through a program called Class Dojo. In addition, parents can monitor their child’s progress through Infinite Campus and Schoology. 

Students have one-to-one access to technology.

Each COMPASS student will be using both a laptop computer and an iPad in classes throughout the day.

What Do Students and Parents Say About Our Program?

“COMPASS is true guidance for students’ futures. It helps students find their way.”

“COMPASS is a great option for kids who need a smaller setting and positive relationships with staff. The staff at COMPASS took the time to build relationships with our son. This ultimately was the key to his success.”

“My student has succeeded in the Compass Program. The teachers made a great different in my student’s life.”

“The reason this program works is because of the outstanding staff. They know how to teach kids that are not cut from a cookie cutter.”

“Smaller class sizes and the safe, respectful environment promote learning. Your child’s grades, attitude, and attendance will improve.”

“This is an opportunity for your son or daughter to reach their full potential. The class size is ideal for that student who feels that they are just another number in a large classroom.”

Check out the article about our COMPASS Program in the Sun ThisWeek

FAQs – Revised March, 2019

1. What time does the school day begin and end?

The school day begins at 8:10, and it ends at 2:30.

2.  When does the school open and close?

Students can arrive as early at 7:30 and stay as late as 3 pm. Students can also request extra time after school with teachers to receive additional academic support through our Stay After Days opportunity. 

3. Do you serve lunch for COMPASS students?

Yes the lunches are prepared off-site and delivered to this building. Students may also bring their own lunches, and they will have access to a freezer, a refrigerator and a microwave if needed.

4.  How do we set up a lunch account?

First, we would prefer that all students–new and returning–do this before the first day of school by dropping off a check (made out to ISD 194 Food Service) or cash at the district office. Also, an on-line system allows you to make payments with a credit card. There is a link to that system from the district website. At that site, click on LUNCH and then LUNCH ACCOUNTS. Because our lunches are being made at Lakeville North this year, you will need to identify Lakeville North as your child’s school, as that is where the money needs to be deposited. If you are a returning student or a student from another school in the Lakeville district and you want to know your current lunch balance, you can find it at that site or call Julie at 952-232-2061.

5.  What are the days off during the school year?

All of that information is on the district calendar. We are on the same schedule as the other secondary Lakeville schools.

6.  What should I do if my child will be absent?

When your child is going to be absent, please call either John (952-232-2097) or Erin (952-232-2086). If your child is gone and you have not notified us, our attendance clerk and/or the automated calling system will call you at the number you have put on file with us telling you your child is absent from school. If you receive a call in error, please call John, Erin, or the main office at 952-232-2080.

7.  What should I do if my child is late for school?

When your child arrives, please do one of the following: send a note with him/her, email either John or Erin, accompany your child into the building to excuse him/her, or call John or Erin. If none of these are done, the tardy will be considered unexcused.

8.  What should I do if my child has a doctor or dentist appointment?

Although we would prefer that these appointments are scheduled outside of the school day, we also understand that sometimes that is not possible.  If that is the case, please call ahead or send a note letting us know of the appointment and what time you plan to pick up your child. When you pick up your child, please go to the main office and sign him/her out.

9.  Will my child be able to ride the bus?

ALC students from the Lakeville district are eligible to ride the bus in the same way they would be eligible to ride the bus to their schools of origin. In the morning the bus will pick them up at their normal bus stops and drop them off at either South, North, or McGuire. Students pick up the ALC shuttle at the designated location ALC to drop off students. At the end of the day, a bus will pick them up at the ALC, take them back to their school of origin, where they will connect to the bus that will take them home. If a student misbehaves on a bus, he/she may lose the privilege of riding the bus. If your child regularly rides the bus and one day needs to walk home or leave with a friend, we need parental notification for legal reasons. If you need to contact the bus garage, the number is 952-985-7513. As you are probably aware, some students will be required to pay a fee to ride the bus. If you would be charged a fee to your child’s school of origin, then the fee would also apply to taking the bus to the ALC. If you would not be charged a fee to your child’s school of origin, then no fee would be applied for taking the bus to the ALC.

10.  Can my child walk to and from school or ride his/her bike?

Students are welcome to walk or ride their bikes to school. If students do ride their bikes, we encourage them to park them in the hall inside the ALC COMPASS entrance.

11.   How do we know if the ALC is closed for any reason? For example, what if there is a snow day?

In the even of a school emergency or cancellation of school, parents will be notified by a phone call/email from the district’s broadcast notification system, School Connects. Contact information is taken directly from the information provided in the parent portal in Infinite Campus, so please be sure all of your contact information is correct. Information will also be provided on the district website, Channel 22, and all major network news stations.

12.  Is my child eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities?

If your child attends the ALC full-time, he or she is eligible to participate in the extra-curricular activities at his/her school of origin. If your child is in eighth grade, contact the middle school activities director for more information.

13.   What is Summit Day?

Summit Day is unique to the COMPASS program. Students can earn a half day or full day release from school on the last Friday of each month (that school is in session) into the custody of adult – unless the student walks or bikes to school on a regular basis. Whether or not a student earns this time off is based on completion of all work, attendance, and appropriate behavior during that month. If a student does not earn it, he/she will use that Friday afternoon time to catch up on his/her missing work and/or to have conversations about how his/her behavior and/or work completion can be improved. At the end of each semester, an entire day can be earned (January and May) if a student earns the incentive for all the previous months. Thus, an all-day Summit Day can be earned in January if the student has earned all the half-days off every month from September through January, and another all-day Summit Day can be earned if the student has earned all the half-days off every month from February through May.

14.  What school supplies will my child need?

School supplies include loose-leaf paper, pens, pencils, a box of tissue, and a book that he/she wants to read during SQUIRT (Super-Quiet Uninterrupted Reading Time). We would prefer that students do not use spiral notebooks for their homework.

15.   Does the ALC have a dress code?

Yes, we do have a dress code. The policy is as follows:

Appropriate clothing includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Clothing that does not create a health or safety hazard
  • Clothing appropriate for the activity
  • Clothing that covers the midriff and chest
  • Clothing that covers undergarments
  • No short skirts or short shorts
  • Shoes must be worn at all times

Inappropriate clothing includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Clothing which displays lewd, profane, obscene language or symbols
  • Emblems, insignias, badges, or other symbols where the effect thereof is to distract unreasonably the attention of other students or cause disruption or interference with the operation of the school
  • Display or wearing of any gang articles, paraphernalia or clothing that can be construed as being gang-related (e.g. bandanas, sweatbands, head rags, etc.)
  • Clothing promoting alcohol, tobacco, drugs or violence or other activities illegal for minors
  • Any apparel or footwear that would damage school  property.

Students wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to change into appropriate clothing. Failure to follow this direction, or continued violation of this policy, may lead to disciplinary action and parent notification. Disciplinary consequences may include dismissal, suspension, or expulsion.

16.  Do you have the A, B, C, D, F grading system like the mainstream schools?

No, we do not. We have an A, B, C, Not Yet policy. What that means is nothing below a C- will be accepted on any assignment, quiz, or test. If a student refuses to redo work that is less than a C-, the traditional A, B, C, D, F grading system may be used. 

17.  May my child come early to school or stay after school to complete or re-do his/her work?

Certainly. In fact, it’s encouraged–and sometimes it will be required. John is at school by 7:30 each morning and both John and Erin will be available on most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 – 3:30.

18.   If I want to know about how my child is doing in school, how can I find that out?

You can do that in several ways. First, do not hesitate to contact the individual teacher via the phone or e-mail. All of us have 24/7 voicemail, so you can leave a message any time. Second, stop by and see us. We will be happy to talk to you. It’s probably best to make an appointment since we often have meetings before and after school. Finally, you can access your child’s grades through Infinite Campus. The website is: You will have to complete some paperwork, however, to access that site. You can do that in our main office at anytime. If you have accessed your child’s grades prior to this year, you can just log on as usual.

19.  What is your cell phone policy?

We certainly understand a student’s desire for a cell phone. However, we also know they can be a great distraction from classroom work. For that reason, within the first week of the school year, the students will make a proposal to John and Erin regarding what the policy will be. It will be our intention to end with a WIN/WIN policy for both students and staff. If you need to contact your child during the day, and he/she is not responding to your call/text, call John, Erin, Jodi, or the office. Someone will answer the phone. Also, phones will be turned on at 2:25, so they can get messages prior to their leaving for the school day. If students are using their phones during times other than what the policy created states, students will be asked to give up their phones for the remainder of the day. If they are unwilling to do that, the school administrator may become a part of the process.

20. What is your policy regarding electronic equipment such as iPods, shuffles, iPhones, etc.?

Again, we understand some students can focus better with music. However, some have become very distracting as some students spend a great deal of time selecting songs and some student have been found to be watching movies when they are supposed to be working. For this reason, we will allow musical devices, but those with screens will require students to create a playlist, set it to the random mode, and put it in their pocket until a break occurs. Also, permission is required each time students use this equipment. Headphones are not allowed in the ears when any adult is speaking with them.

21.  What number do I call if I want to contact John or Erin or any other teacher?

You can call John at 952-232-2097 or Erin at 952-232-2086. They have 24/7 voicemail, so don’t hesitate to leave a message. Also, you can e-mail John at or Erin at Also, all teachers can be reached at In addition, all names, numbers, and email addresses are on the contact sheet you received at Open House or when you completed the paperwork.

22.  What number do I call if I need to talk to someone in the office or the principal?

You may call the office at 952-232-2080, or call Jodi Danielson – coordinator, directly at 952-232-2090.

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