2020-10-30 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

September 7, 2021

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Letter from the Director

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”  — Nelson Mandela

RE: Phase 3 Safe Learning Plan, & Survey for Parents of 3rd-- 6th graders. 

Queridas familias, 

Thank you for tuning in to our board meeting this week as we discussed our next phase for our Safe Learning Plan.  The board discussed the different options and timing, and in the end decided that we should go forward with plan 3b, starting on December 7th (attached here: Phase 3 Plan Presentation

Phase 3B Safe Learning Plan Schedule: 

○Monday-Thursday: Presencial Learning (Full class)
○Friday: Distance Learning

1st Grade:
○Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: Presencial Learning  (Full class)
○Thursday: Distance Learning

●2nd Grade:
○Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Presencial Learning (Full class)
○Thursday-Friday: Distance Learning

3rd Grade:
○Monday-Wednesday: Distance Learning
○Thursday-Friday: Presencial Learning (Full class)

4th Grade-6th Grade:
○Monday-Wednesday: Distance Learning
○Thursday: Group A Presencial Learning, Group B Distance Learning
○Friday: Group B Presencial Learning, Group A Distance Learning

There are a few aspects of our busing that we would like to go over with you.  As you know, we receive our transportation services from the Hopkins School District, and they are having significant challenges in staffing their buses with drivers due to Covid 19 and other concerns. Another consideration is that they have different schedules for Hopkin’s students, and have had to reduce the capacity on their buses for social distancing.

For these reasons, we would like to ask that families with 3rd through 6th graders who are eligible for busing think carefully about the necessity for busing for your family, and consider carpooling with another ISLA family if possible. For parents of 3rd-6th graders, please let us know if you would still require busing for your ISLA student by completing an online transportation request; we would also like to know if you would like to keep your 3rd-6th grader in distance learning.  Parents of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students: please fill out this survey by Monday, November 2nd at 7:00pm. 

ISLA Grades-3-6 Parent Survey

Thank you for everything you are doing to help us on this journey. 




With the Holiday season approaching, we want everyone to continue to stay vigilant with their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to stay safe and well. Everyone is doing a great job, let’s not let our guards down now! We want everyone to be mindful that any social gathering you participate in, whether in the greater community or with other family members, could have an impact on what happens in our school environment. With any social gathering we increase our exposure to a broader group of people, and then we essentially bring all that back with us to ISLA. It could affect the number of cases of COVID-19 that we see in our school or it could affect the number of individuals who need to quarantine. 

The MDH has created a video that illustrates how COVID-19 spreads in communities. Watch the video on YouTube: How COVID Spreads in Communities

The CDC has published some guidelines for celebrating the holiday season safely, please refer to the following information:

CDC's Holiday Celebration Guideline

If you are considering traveling over the holiday season, please be aware of travel restrictions that are currently in place. You can view Level 3 Risk Countries on the CDC website. Most of the world is now considered a Level 3 Travel Risk for COVID. For Level 3 notices, CDC does not require quarantine after travel the way they did earlier this spring, but they do generally recommend against any nonessential travel to Level 3 countries. There are no specific quarantine requirements on domestic travel, just exercise caution if you do travel. As always, keep yourself and your family safe while traveling by practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a face mask, avoiding crowded areas and keeping physically distant from others.

COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination

This website has a lot of helpful information and things to consider when traveling.

Travel Considerations During the Pandemic

COVID Reporting--Please report any symptom, positive test result or if identified as a close contact to ISLA.

As a public charter school, we are required to follow the guidelines for exclusion from school for anything potentially related to COVID. We ask that you report any of these situations to the email address we have set up for this purpose: covid19reporting@isla.school. We will follow up with you about what the next steps need to be for each individual situation. 

If you are unsure about whether your child needs to stay home due to potential COVID symptoms or if you have questions regarding quarantine/exclusion guidelines, please send an email to the School Nurse at tnelson@isla.school. Both of these email addresses are monitored in the evenings and during the weekend, so please feel free to reach out at your convenience.

If we are requesting that your child stay home in isolation, quarantine, or while waiting for a test result; we can set up your child with distance learning until they are cleared to return to in person learning.

MDH Decision Tree for Schools (refer to this document for guidelines on return to school)

Home Screening Tool for COVID-19 (refer to this document to determine if your child should attend school)

COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents & Families (refer to this document for more information and a more in-depth explanation of the guidelines)


Here’s a link to the MN Dept of Health website with different testing options:

COVID-19 Testing Locations

The state is making testing more accessible with new community testing locations being added around the state and in the metro area. A pilot program is also being initiated in select counties in MN for doing saliva testing from home with a mail-in kit. This will soon be available to all residents of MN.


Students (and staff!) are doing a great job remembering their mask every day. Please make sure that you pack a second mask in their backpack, and that they know where to find it. Occasionally masks get wet or soiled, and they need to be switched during the day. Make sure your child’s face mask fits properly, that it covers their nose and mouth without slipping. If your child needs a review, please talk with them on how to wear a mask properly and how to keep physically distanced from others. Thank you for your help in this, we appreciate it!

Hope everyone has a safe and healthy Holiday season!

The votes are in!

What a privilege it is to live in a county where we have the right to practice civic participation by voting. Yesterday, our kinder- second grade students were ushered into the gym by patriotic music awaiting their turn to cast their vote. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of pajama day! Yay! After a long weekend, please encourage your students to come next Wednesday, November 4th in their coziest PJs. Let’s celebrate the journey of being life-long learners!

Below are board updates for the special board meeting that took place on October 26th and the board meeting that took place on October 20th

Highlights from the October 26th meeting:

  • A majority of parents and teachers preferred option 3B of the Distance Learning Plan.  Here is a link to the survey results-https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ItjRix-RN4nCVCtI2NGQ4eHekjoMXRtY/view
  • The board discussed a number of concerns related to the Distance Learning Plan, related to increasing COVID numbers and the upcoming holidays.  It was decided to have a start date after the Thanksgiving holiday and start 3B on December 7th. 
  • The two motions that were passed at the Special Board Meeting are listed below
  • The Distance Learning Plan option 3B was approved with a start date of December 7. 
  • The board approved seeking a joint legal representation agreement with the law firm Lathrop GPM, Minneapolis, the same firm used by the ABC Board for the      real estate and finance transactions related to the purchase of a new building.  This motion communicates that the board wants to ensure that ISLA is represented by counsel throughout the purchase of the new facility to protect its interests.

The board indicated that they will take up discussions of when/if ISLA will take action on rising COVID numbers. MDH requirement is to go to full distance if there are 50 cases per 10,000. They discussed whether or not we want to wait until we get to 50 (per MDH standards)or possibly look at a lower number where they would take action in terms of next steps. No decision was made at this time but further discussions will take place.  

Highlights from the October 20th Board Meeting:


  • The Bylaws of the school are required to have periodic reviews.  The board discussed proposed updates from the Governance Committee – most of which were to change the duties of the board Officers to better reflect what they do (and move day-to-day operations activities to Jeremy).  The Governance committee is going to take a look at that section and make it more clear as to how a person may request to be added to the ballot.
  • There was discussion about the importance of hiring a director to manage and market the new Pre-K program at the new building.  The preference is to fill that position as early as possible to help get the program up and running.
  • Finance discussed the budget and forecasting for next year . You can access the finance committee notes here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GHLUH951MSWBFLqI87tec4sBgU-i-00m/view
  • The Marketing/Communications Committee announced it will be meeting the second Saturday of each month at 8:00a.m. and is focusing on developing a     marketing plan for the new Pre-K program and a new dedicated link on the website for that program.
  • The Building Working Group discussed that based on survey results the school will need to provide Hopkins families with no cost busing for a period of time.   


If you would like to access board documents such as agendas and meeting notes, please access that through this link: https://www.isla.school/board/documents

If you would like to contact any of the committees that are a part of the Board, please go here: https://www.isla.school/board/board-committees

Fundraising Committee

Hola ISLA community!  The Fundraising Committee is actively looking for 2 volunteers to serve on the committee.  As we surge forward with our exciting new school this committee will be engaged and vital in the upcoming months!  For details or questions, please contact Justin Elder at jelder@isla.school.

Employment Opportunity

Do you have project management/marketing experience?  Do you have any openings in your schedule?  

The building working group is looking for a part-time Building Relocation Project Manager.  This position will require a time commitment of approximately 10 hours per week, and the Manager will be compensated  with an hourly stipend.

If interested, please send an email to info@isla.school.

Minnesota Give to the Max

Mark your calendars, Give to the Max is coming up on NOVEMBER 19th!  This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and our goal is to raise $45,000 to support our ongoing programs, including the 5 LAs scheduled to come in January. This is our ONLY  fall fundraiser this year, so we’re counting on the ISLA community to step up this year!

Support the PTO!

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

Mabel’s Labels: 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://mabelslabels.com/en_US/fundraising/support/
Type International Spanish Language Academy into the search bar on the screen

A portion of your purchase will support the PTO.

Amazon Smile: 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.

Box Tops: Download this app to scan in your receipts to make easy money for our school!

Go to: Home - Box Tops for Education

Curbside Lunch Volunteers Needed:

Two volunteers are needed for lunch distribution on Oct. 5th, 19th and 26th from 3-5PM.  Please consider signing up if you have availability.   Thank you!

Signup Link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0D4FA4A62AA1FF2-isla17

School portraits are coming up! Due to Covid-19, this year’s portrait arrangements will be a little different in order to allow you to bring your kids in to school for a safe portrait session with masks and social distancing.

Grades K & 1: Picture Day will be October 30, 9:00am - 3:00pm.Order envelopes will be sent home with your children. In addition, the form from the envelope will be emailed for students that are distance learning to print. Complete these and bring them, along with payment, to the photographer on picture day. You will need to sign up for a portrait time using Signup Genius. Click here:


Grades 2 - 6: Picture days will be November 2, 1:00pm - 8:00pm &November 3, 9:00am - 4:00pm. Order Forms will be emailed to you prior to picture day. Please print the form and bring it along with payment to give to the photographer on picture day. You will need to sign up for a portrait time using Signup Genius. Click here:


Additional Session: For students who were not able to schedule in the regular sessions, an additional session will offered on November 13 from 11:00am to 7:00pm. This session is not intended as a retake day, but as an opportunity for every family to schedule their portrait session. Please have your portrait done during the regular sessions if possible, in order to reserve this additional session and in particular, reserving the evening slots for those with conflicts. To schedule a session on this day, click here: