Queridas Familias: ¡Feliz Día de la Amistad!
Greetings on this brisk winter day, and I wish you all a pleasant long weekend with your precious ISLA students. This time of year is an introspective, reflective time for all of us, and perhaps even more so for those of us who work in education. According to the scope and sequence of our curricular structure, we are about halfway through the school year, and teachers are looking carefully at the Minnesota State Standards for the year, considering how outcomes within the IB units of inquiry have fallen into place, and deciding which areas require more attention, reinforcement, or re-assessment.
This is also a good moment to reflect on the state of our school, especially within the context of the changing face of educational options in our community. As some of you might have heard, the Hopkins School District will be opening a Spanish Immersion program at their Eisenhower site next year, beginning with Kindergarten and then adding grades over time. This is good news for the immersion movement and for the community at large; indeed, we congratulate them on this endeavour, and look forward to continuing our collaboration with them on this and in many other areas. Hopkins joins Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Robbinsdale districts as “neighboring” districts which offer Spanish Immersion---and have offered this programming for years.
ISLA enjoys a unique position and specialized niche within this list of immersion options; our position is strong, and getting more robust every year. As one of the few International Baccalaureate immersion schools in Minnesota, our students learn through the process of inquiry, through transdisciplinary units of study intended to build global citizenship. The IB looks at this citizenship outcome as manifesting itself in International Mindedness--and this is done by developing curiosity for all things, and a deep appreciation of the intricacy of our world and our relationships to each other. Essential to this conversation is an understanding and celebration of the value of diversity, encouraging empathy, and nurturing the skills to develop a better and more peaceful world.
Of course, ISLA is also a leader in immersion education. Yesterday, we conducted our largest lottery ever, with over 177 total participants, including 143 children competing for just 50 Kindergarten spots. The secret is out--immersion education works, and works extremely well: immersion students not only have the obvious advantage of becoming bilingual, but have higher levels of divergent and critical thinking, pattern recognition, and problem solving skills. There is even evidence that immersion students are better at picking up on verbal and non-verbal cues, and are more empathetic to their listener’s needs during conversation--a skill which is highly prized in many different vocational fields (Fortune, 2012). At ISLA, we are proud to be able to foster all of these skills, and many more. We are the only immersion school that has 100% of our specialist classes in Spanish, including Music, Art, Physical Education, Media Specialist, and Special Education; we have 75% native speakers on our faculty; we are also fortunate to have nearly all of our after school and extracurricular programming in Spanish and a great group of language ambassadors every year.
Undoubtedly, a big part of our success--an enormous part of our story so far, is you. As you know, one hallmark of any successful school is the level of parental involvement, and we certainly have that. Our families help in so many ways--by being involved in the numerous volunteer opportunities, by joining the Board of Directors or other steering committees, by helping us build the close knit community that we enjoy every day, and by helping us to tell our story.
Thank you for all you do for ISLA, and thank you for accompanying us on this journey,
We are excited to announce our Summer Camps for the 2020 summer. We are currently only accepting registrations for current ISLA Families until March 2, 2020. The link for registration is not posted on the website and can only be found below. Please do not share the link with families outside of ISLA.
Summer Camp Registration Link: sent separately
Summer Camp Hours & Rates:
Descriptions & Dates:
Camp Sustain-ABILITIES - Sosten-HABILIDADES – Incoming 1 –6 grades
Do you want to change the world? Wondering where to start? Sustain-ABILITIES Camp at ISLA will inspire and guide campers on how to improve their own lives as well as the world around them. We will discover the amazing technology of the green movement and how to make treasures from “trash.” Lovers of plants and animals will transform into champions for nature. Campers will explore the ideas of conservation, preservation and appreciation for our natural resources.We will even leave campus to explore these concepts in action in our local community. This unique Spanish immersion camp will give you the(sustain)-ABILITIES to make our world a better place!
Amazing Animals / Animalísimo – Incoming Kinder Only
Do you know what a rooster sounds like in Spanish? Did you know that crickets say:"cri, cri" and dogs say "guau guau?" Come join us for the Kinder Animalísimo camp this summer and discover everything about animales en español! We will be equipped with tons of fun activities around the theme of animals while immersing campers in the Spanish language. Some of the activities include crafts, animal masks, face painting, making fun summer snacks, singing Spanish songs & much, much more! This will also be a time to experience some fun Hispanic outdoor games and to enjoy the summery air together!
Camp Eco-Venture - Eco-Aventura – Incoming 1 – 6 grades
Do you love spending time outdoors? Ever wonder what plants and creatures surround you at your local park? Become an eco-adventurer at ISLA’s Eco-Venture Camp. This camp will engage all of our senses and the ways we interact with nature. We will spend most days at our local park and discover its natural treasures.Campers will have a special visit from local naturalists from Dodge Nature Center who will bring surprise wildlife creatures and natural artifacts. Whether it’s art, science, exploration or games, nature will lead the way on our great Spanish immersion Eco-aventura.
Camp Experi-Mentality - Experi-Mentalidad –Incoming 1 – 6 grades
Are you ready for a challenge? Do you love to tinker and create new things? In this Spanish immersion STEAM camp, we will activate our noggins to build just about anything you can imagine. With an experi-MENTALITY,anything is possible! Campers will jump into the exciting world of MinecraftEdu, robotics, coding, engineering and all things construction. Expert Bakken Museum Educators will visit ISLA to provide the latest coding and nanotechnology tools for some exciting STEAM workshops. We will use our own two hands and lots of creativity to develop our own Maker Space at ISLA. Get ready to boost your experi-MENTALITY at this camp full of discovery and challenge.
The Spirit Store will be open starting Monday, February 17th. Get your ISLA gear now! This is the final opening of the school year so place your orders for the rest of the year and if you need a shirt for spring concerts now! The store will close on March 1st & deliveries can be expected the week of March 17th. Follow this link to place your order: https://mkt.com/isla-pto
Are you interested in hosting, but have a few questions about what it entails? Wondering if now is the best time for your family to host a Language Ambassador through the Amity program? Come learn what is required of host families (not a lot), and what you can expect if you decide to host (an abundance of opportunities)! This brief meeting will be in the ISLA library on Tuesday, March 10 at 7 pm. If you are unable to make it, but would like more information about the LA program, please contact Karen Heuiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!
ONE WEEK LEFT! We are about to reach a critical milestone in the Fiesta de la Primavera planning! This is our last donation and sponsorship ask before we move into our final preparations for the big event! If you’ve thought about donating but just haven’t found the time or had the inspiration – NOW IS THE TIME AND BELOW IS THE INSPIRATION!
Donate a Great Gathering event
Great Gatherings are one of the most popular auction items at Fiesta because our ISLA community always thinks of the most fun and creative events. These group gatherings can be open to all grade levels or specific grades and can include kids, families or adults only.
How can I submit a Great Gathering? Complete this short Parent Donation Request Form
We’ve heard you loud and clear – you want more baskets as auction items! We’ve come up with the ideas and now we just need individuals or groups to help us make that happen. How can I sign up to coordinate a basket? Sign up here.
Questions? Contact Betsey Palmgren at Betseypalmgren@gmail.com or MerrieSjogren at Merriesjogren@gmail.com.
Ticket prices will increase in TWO WEEKS! In one week we will star individually reaching out to our families to ensure you have the opportunity to get the special ticket price.
Buy Your Tickets by February 29 to receive the special ticket price of $55/person. Starting March 1, ticket prices increase to$65/person. Three weeks remaining to get your tickets at the special price.
If you’re unable to attend, you can Send Your Regrets here. Starting mid-February, we will check in with all families we haven’t heard from so send your RSVP soon!
Date:Saturday, February 22
Time:9:00-200 pm (come for the entire time or a portion of the time)
Projects: Put finishing touches on the classroom art projects -and- RSVP Calling Tree
The Fiesta Committee will be there to provide all directions so no prior experience necessary. Also, it’s preferable that children do not attend the work day as we will not have anyone available to monitor their activities.
Immediate Need for Lunch Volunteers: Open spots in February
See all of ISLA’s current volunteer sign-ups here:
Are you interested in getting more involved at ISLA? Do you like spending time with a smart, kind, funny group of ISLA parents? If so, the PTO Board may be a great opportunity for you. See below for more details on the roles that need your enthusiasm and commitment. To express interest or learn more,please email email@example.com