July 24th, 2020
At this time, I wanted to give you an update on teaching assignments and hiring for the 2020-2021 school year. Every year, there are some changes in teaching assignments and the faculty, and it can fluctuate even more so within immersion language and International Baccalaureate programming. As always, we are sad to see these teachers go, but we understand that there are often familial ties and other factors out of their control which have pulled them away.
As most of you know, Jose Allueva in fourth grade was required to return to Spain because of the tenure system in the Spanish Department of Education. In Kindergarten, Guiomar Fages is making a change in her career path and will not be returning to ISLA. Lastly, in first grade, Estela Alfaro retired after teaching at ISLA for eight years and more than 30 years of teaching overall.
This year, the hiring season was complicated even further by the White House proclamation suspending the issuance of J-1 visas effective through December 31, 2020. As you know, this will negatively impact our programming and prevent us from getting Language Ambassadors until mid-year, and we most likely will only be able to get a portion of our normal LA cadre. In addition, this proclamation also affected our hiring of foreign teachers who rely on this visa as well; in particular, we lost the opportunity to hire a talented teacher with whom I had been in discussions for over a year, and had signed on to ISLA over 7 months ago. As a result, suddenly it was July, and we were interviewing/recruiting again.
Fortunately, we have been able to find an excellent group of well qualified immersion teachers to fill our teaching positions for the 2020-2021 school year. In Kindergarten we welcome Srta. Maryann Stillwell, originally from Mexico, who comes to us from the Prior Lake District, where she excelled at bringing out the best in her students and developed skills in Responsive Classroom, early literacy, and technology. In first grade, we welcome Sra Marjorie Barraza Cordova, originally from Chile, who comes to us from the Eden Prairie District. Sra. Barraza Cordova holds a MA in dual language and immersion, and is passionate about developing a caring community, engaging students through immersion methodology, and developing the unique talents of each student. In fourth grade, we welcome Roberto Izquierdo, originally from Spain, who comes to us from Lakes International Language Academy (LILA), where he taught in their International Baccalaureate and Immersion system. Sr. Izquierdo holds a Phd from the University of Valencia, and is skilled at collaboration through PLC leadership, Responsive Classroom, and engaging students through mathematical inquiry and games.
All of these educators come highly recommended, and are excited to become part of this incredible ISLA family. We look forward to welcoming them to our team. As has been the custom, postcards with teacher assignments per grade will go out in mid August. Because of Covid 19, we will be changing the format for our annual Meet the Teacher event. In order to comply with social distancing, we will be sending out a sign up genius and families will have the option of coming in over the course of two days: August 26th and August 27th.
Along with everyone else, we are anxiously looking forward to the announcement on July 30th from Governor Walz about the extent to which schools will open or not, and have been busy making plans to comply with all three scenarios: a full return to classes, distance learning, or a hybrid of the two.
Whatever happens, I know that our talented teaching faculty and staff will infuse their work with passion and diligence, and will utilize best practice to provide the best possible learning experience for our students.
The yearbooks are finally ready for pick-up. Kris Bilardi will be hosting a drive thru no contact yearbook pick-up. She will be at ISLA on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28 from 8:15-10:15 am and on Thursday, July 30 from 3:30-5:30 pm. Please sign-up here for a pick-up time. If you have any questions, please email Kris at email@example.com.
ISLA Spirit Store is now open through August 3rd! Order now for late August school delivery. Click here to order! https://isla-pto.square.site/
Style your kid in their grade-level color, or pick the all-school color of black! Either way, it's less to worry about when picking out clothes in the morning.
Did you know that the Spirit Store is a fundraiser for the PTO? Your purchase of uniform approved shirts and sweatshirts will help support PTO sponsored events such as the back to school picnic and roller skating, provide funds for classroom supplies and extra-curricular scholarships, and also supports the LA program.
Please note that while the fall school schedule is uncertain, we cannot process returns. Our vendor needs additional lead time to process our order due to shipping delays.
Questions? Contact Sarah or Kelly at ISLAPTOSpiritStore@gmail.comm
Part of the ISLA tradition is for kindergarten round-up and kindergarten play dates over the summer for incoming kindergarten families. Due to CoVid 19, the ISLA PTO will not be holding the play dates as normal. They are working on a strategy to have a current family mentor new families. If you are a current ISLA family and are interested in mentoring a new family, please contact Casie Budolfson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The PTO is hoping to get families connected by the end of July.
Each year families need to request busing from Hopkins Transportation Department. The transportation department does not automatically assume that if you requested busing last year, you will need it again in the fall. It is very important for families to request busing if they need it. Here is the link to make an online request: https://www.hopkinsschools.org/servicesdepartments/transportation/forms/online-student-transportation-information-form-grades-k-12
Here is the link for a printable 2020-2021 school calendar
For those of you who did not participate in the PTO's classroom supply purchase service, you will be able to find the classroom supply list for each grade level on the website. Go to the families tab and then click on classroom supplies tab.