09-06-2019 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

September 29, 2019

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

September 6th, 2019

Queridas Familias, 

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the 2019-2020 school year, and I would like to extend a special welcome to all of the new families who are just joining our ISLA community in kindergarten and other grades. It was wonderful to see all the smiling faces of the children as they lined up on the first day, eager to meet new classmates, teachers, and see old friends.  As laughter and song again filled the classrooms and hallways,ISLA once again felt like a school, and many families mentioned that it truly felt like a homecoming---almost like a return to the nest after a summer journey.

 As we start the new year, I would like to outline for you some of the organizational changes which will take place at ISLA. With the departure of Assistant Director Ximena Rayo, I have presented to the Board of Directors a plan for restructuring our administrative organizational chart---a design which fits the curricular needs of ISLA and will help to further advance the fulfillment of our mission.  This arrangement involves the creation of a new position: Dean of Academics. I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Sarah Devers has accepted this position. As many of you know, Sarah has an MA in Teaching, extensive expertise in linguistics and assessment, and over 15 years of teaching experience both here and internationally, with the last 8 years having taught 6th grade here at ISLA. She will be overseeing state and nationally normed assessment,curricular alignment, teacher evaluation and Q-Comp, as well as other academic enhancements. 

I would like to thank Ximena Rayo for the numerous contributions to ISLA over the years; her level of dedication has helped us build much of which is coming to fruition today across the school, and she has touched the lives of numerous students, staff, and families in our community.  We wish her all the best in her new adventure.

This year, please remember the importance of reading with your child in your home language.  As you know, when you read aloud to your child you help them develop vocabulary, phonics skills, decoding, and comprehension skills. This is important at any age---even for older children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades--and even if they are already reading fluently. In fact, reading aloud at these ages helps develop vocabulary for when they have to read in other content areas, such as science and social studies. Developing a reading culture in your home will help foster skills which are essential to your child’s success.  

We are fortunate at ISLA to have such a great team of  educators who are dedicated to teaching within the International Baccalaureate curricular context, and to have such a committed community of parents and volunteers. ISLA depends on the dedication of our committed cadre of volunteers; indeed, it is one of the factors that makes our school community so strong, and is the hallmark of any successful school.  

Working together, I am confident that the 2019-2020 school year will be better than ever.   I look forward to seeing you soon at the State of the School/ Curriculum Night on September 26th.  



Jeremy Perrin
Executive Director

Hello ISLA Families!

I hope you had a wonderful summer full of learning and reading!  

If your child filled in the green Summer Bingo Reading Challenge form, please return it to me in the library by next Thursday, September 12. We will have an extra recess time for those who completed all the activities coming up soon. 

Thank you for your participation!! 

Lisa Yepes
Media Specialist

ISLA Spirit Store Open!

The ISLA PTO Spirit Store is open until Sunday,September 8th to order ISLA wear. Click here to place an order.

Shirts will be delivered to the classrooms during the last week of September.

Join the ISLA families Facebook page.  Search for ISLA Families and join the forum for ISLA families and community.

2019-20 Language Ambassadors

Great Gathering Opening! 

Were you waiting for your Fall schedules to be settled before bidding on this fantastic event?? Now's the time to bid!  

Puerto Rican Picnic - September22, 2019 

We have 4 openings for a 2019 Fiesta de la Primavera Great Gathering on September 22.  Join 5 ISLA families for an authentic Puerto Rican Picnic! Food and beverages (and adult beverages) will be provided by Ezekiel’s (4th grade) Mom and Abuelita who are from Puerto Rican descent. Candice Espinosa will be in touch to confirm event details but feel free to reach out to Candice with any questions. candicelynne217@gmail.com

For new families: Great gatherings are events donated by ISLA families and staff for the annual PTO fundraiser - Fiesta de la Primavera. The events offered this Fall were part of the 2019 Fiesta de la Primavera auction.



Wanted a Few Good Room Parents

We just need a few more volunteers to fill our room parent slots. Please sign up for your child's class and help make this school year a success. Unsure of the role? Let us know and we can provide additional details.You can have a co-room parent if you choose. Email volunteer@isla-academy.org to secure your spot or to get additional information.

Third grade - Sra. Helgerson
Sixth grade - Sra. Seehafer
Sixth grade - Sra. Ashby

Library Volunteers

We are seeking volunteers to work with Lisa Yepes, ISLA's media specialist, on a weekly or monthly basis. Please see signup below if you are interested. This volunteer position is during school hours and Spanish is not required.


Yard Cleanup & Gaga Pit 

Did you help out with ISLA Yard Cleanup & Gaga pit?Thank you! We appreciate your time and efforts. Please enter your time n the signup below. Understanding the volunteer efforts helps ISLA in planning each year. 


Marketing/Communications Committee

The ISLA Marketing/Communications Committee is looking for members interested in helping promote ISLA within the community, developing and maintaining the ISLA brand, and coordinating with the Executive Director the communication process to the ISLA community.

If you are interested in finding out more information regarding this committee, please contact Sarah Markus at smarkus@isla-academy.org.

Calendar of Events    

  • Sept. 12 Late Start (2 hours)
  • Sept. 15  Back to School Picnic, 11-3
  • Sept. 17  ISLA Board Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • Sept. 26  State of the School/CurriculumNight, 6:30 pm
  • Sept. 26  School Pictures (K, 3 and 6grades)
  • Sept. 27  School Pictures (1-2, 4-5grades)
  • Oct. 1  PTO Community Meeting, 6:30 pm
    (open to all parents, caregiver,teachers and staff)
  • Oct. 3  Late Start (2 hours)
  • Oct. 7  Picture Retakes
  • Oct. 15  ISLA Board Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • Oct. 16  Teacher Workshop, no school
  • Oct. 17-18  Education MN Workshop, no school
  • Nov. 1  Dia de los Muertos FamilyNight, 6:30 pm


When coming to ISLA, always enter the larger, east parking lot.  This lot has two areas - one to enter and one to exit.  It will be very important that we all use them in the same way to enter and exit.  

As you enter the parking lot,the bus area will be blocked off in part by cones, with areas for the buses to pass through.  Cars do not drive beyond the cones.   Parents bringing their children to school in the morning will drop–off on the east side, parallel to the building, where the striping and signs indicate so.  Please pull ahead as far as you are able, to the southern-most sign on the east side of the building.  A number of cars can all drop off at the same time, and adult supervisors will help students get out of their car and walk in the building.  Consider the striped area a sidewalk; you are not to drive on the area, as it is meant to be a walking area for students.  

You may begin drop off when staff are out to supervise at 8:45 am.  Children must stay in the striped area, and may not enter from the parking lot, as the buses will be leaving the lot once the bus has been emptied and we don’t want children crossing the path of a bus.

Please do not get out of your car when dropping off your child in the drop off line. Your student should exit your car on the passenger side. If you cannot drop off your child in 30 seconds to allow for good traffic flow,you are invited to park and walk your child into school.

When walking from the parked car area to school, please use the marked crosswalk at the North end of the parking lot. Do not run in between cars in the drop off line. Please be vigilant and follow the directions of the staff outside.  A number of people will be supervising to ensure drop-off is safe.

Please sign up to volunteer at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a9d4fa4a62aa1ff2-isla7

Curriculum Night/State of the School Event

Thursday, September 26th, 6:30-8:30 pm is curriculum night and our State of the School Event.  This is an event for PARENTS/GUARDIANS only.  You will learn about the themes your child will explore this year, teacher expectations,homework, routines and more.   Each grade level will conduct two identical presentations, allowing those with children in more than one grade level to attend both presentations. We will begin with an all-school presentation in the multi-purpose room at 6:30 pm.  This will be a time to introduce all ISLA staff.  
Presentations will take place in the classroom. We hope to see you then!

Transportation Changes

When transportation changes are necessary, please e-mail your child’s teacher and Emily in the ISLA office.  If the change happens at the last minute, please call the ISLA office at 952-746-6020 by 2:45 pm.  If you need to pick your child up early for an appointment, plan on arriving at ISLA no later than 3:15 pm.  Come to the office to sign your child out.  Office staff will call to the classroom to have your child sent to the office.  


Looking for more easy ways to help support the great work that the PTO does for our kids and their school?  Here are two great options!

:  You can find your child’s things easily in the lost and found by marking them with bright, durable, Mabel’s Labels. Go to https://campaigns.mabelslabels.com/ and click on ‘Select your School/Organization and choose International Spanish Language Academy.  A portion of your purchase will support the PTO.

: Shop at Amazon?  You can have a portion of your purchase donated to the PTO!  Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and search for International Spanish Language Academy. Then just make sure to bookmark AmazonSmile and use it for all your Amazon shopping needs.