Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization. Mahatma Gandhi
Building/Relocation News!! We are very pleased to announce that the purchase agreements have been signed for the new property! This is great news, as this new site will offer many new curricular opportunities for our ISLA students and allow us to extend and expand our mission, as well as allow us to sustain our programming into the future! The address is: 5350 W 78th Street Edina, MN 55439
We look forward to discussing the building and expansion further at the listening session on Monday, October 12th, at 6:00.
ISLA Learning Plans: As you know, we have been looking at getting as many students back to ISLA as soon as it is safely and logistically possible. We are ready to present ISLA Safe Learning Plan Phase 2 and Phase 3, along with the timeline for both phases to the board next week on Tuesday, September 29th.
Social Emotional Support: (Video # 3 out now) We know this is a difficult time, and managing your own professional responsibilities, family dynamics, AND a distance learner has enormous challenges. Therefore, we have contracted with Amy Vogel, our Occupational Therapist, to produce some helpful videos-- chock full of coping skills and ideas for establishing routines, and other strategies for helping our distance learners succeed. She produced these resources especially for ISLA, with our young immersion learners in mind. This week the focus is on attention and learning. The THIRD video in this series is here: ISLA Support Video #3 (Attention and Learning)In addition, here is a resource/reference sheet that goes along with this video: ISLA Support # 3 (Attention and Learning)
International Day of Peace: We had a great time joining International Baccalaureate Schools around the world in our celebration of the International Day of Peace this week. Students discussed peacemaking tips both in the classroom and at home, inquired in age appropriate lessons of into parts of the country and world which require more peaceful resolutions, and gathered on the playground for our yearly photograph. Please check out the video here: ISLA Dia de la Paz 2020
Thank you for everything you are doing to help us on this journey.
Reporting student/staff absence: It will be very important this school year, to report the reason for any student/staff absence when you email, call or leave a voicemail. We specifically will need to know about any symptoms present that are included on the MDH Decision Tree. If the student/staff member is “not feeling well”, we will want to verify what specific symptoms are making them not feel well. If you answered “Yes” to any questions on the Home Screening Tool, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to report symptoms or an exposure to someone with COVID.
The School Nurse will be following up, as needed, to clarify any information and to help with understanding and following through on the guidelines established by the MDH.
Providing Documentation: If a student/staff member has symptom(s) that require them to be excluded, they need to stay home for 10+ days OR seek medical evaluation. If they receive an alternate diagnosis or have a COVID-19 test done, we will ask that you provide documentation from the physician of the test results or the alternate diagnosis. ISLA will need this paperwork in order for that person to return to school prior to the 10 day exclusion date. If the person has a pre-existing condition, we still want them to check with their physician to rule out that the condition is not being exacerbated by COVID-19. Sometimes, we can assume that it’s just allergies. But if their regular allergy medication is not taking care of symptoms, they could have something else going on. Same with an asthma diagnosis, if asthma symptoms are suddenly worse than normal, it’s a good idea to check with the physician. It could be COVID, or it could mean that they need to adjust their asthma medication. The same goes for every other pre-existing condition. Only their health care provider can make that determination. We encourage you to seek a medical evaluation if you have a pre-existing condition, especially when the symptoms could potentially be COVID-19.
Resources: Check out the COVID-19 Updates button/link on the ISLA website, and visit the Resources page. Some new resources were added that may be of interest to you, and a few of the resources were translated to Spanish.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and for doing your part to keep everyone at ISLA safe and healthy!
JOIN US! The first community PTO meeting will be held October 13th at 6:30 by Zoom. Everyone is welcome to attend and we will be having a speaker, topic TBD. The PTO board is looking forward to a great year ahead, even if it is an unusual one! More details to follow in the coming weeks.
In response to increased levels of community spread of COVID-19 statewide, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will launch a four-week effort to provide increased access to “no barrier” COVID-19 testing in communities across the state beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Increasing testing allows us to ensure those who test positive are cared for and prevents the virus from spreading in our communities.
State health officials will work with local health officials and other community partners to offer free COVID-19 testing at four to six separate community testing events spread throughout the state each week. Testing will be:
Please share this information with your students, staff and the broader school community about the upcoming opportunities to participate in a testing event. We recognize there may be some community concern that a testing event would automatically result in a recommended learning model shift. That will not necessarily be the case. Widespread access to testing followed by isolating those who are positive, and quarantining close contacts is a proven strategy for controlling the spread and keeping businesses and schools open as much as possible. In addition to combating existing levels of disease spread, this testing will provide important data to guide efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable to serious complications.
This week’s testing events will be held in Grand Rapids, Pine City, Waseca and St. Paul. For more information and specific details, visit MDH’s COVID-19 Community Testing webpage.