2020-11-06 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

September 7, 2021

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Letter from the Director

RE: COVID 19 case rate rise in Hennepin County

Queridas familias, 

As I am sure you are aware, the COVID 19 case rates in the country, state, and county are increasing rapidly.  According to the information that we are given from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education, we reached 34.25 per 10,000 on October 24th, and the cases have been rising daily since then.  We have been monitoring individual cities and communities throughout the county from which we draw students, and some of the data is alarming.  For example, cases in the city of Hopkins have risen to 45.9 as of October 26th.  As you can see, the publication that we get from MDE and MDH is “stale” data, as it has a built in 14 day lag period.  For this reason, we have been monitoring many other sources as well; indeed, some of these sources are putting our current rates per 10,000 at 50 or higher today, and rising still.  

As a reminder, Governor Walz and the Dept. of Health have recommended that at over 50 cases per 10,000, all schools should go to full distance models, and our school board has indicated that they would like to follow this guidance.  

Therefore, it is imperative that we all plan on the eventuality that we will have to return to a full distance model in the very near future, most likely sooner than we expected.  We have already seen some districts and many charter schools announce in the past few days that they plan to return to a full distance model; unfortunately, I believe that we will only see more of that in the next few weeks. 

We are working with our regional support planning group and will give the ISLA community as much lead time as possible when we have to make this very difficult decision.  However, for parents of K-2 students in particular, please plan accordingly. 

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



Calendar of Events

  • November 10 - Virtual PTO Community Meeting, 6:30 pm (Juntos presentation)
  • November 12 - Virtual Parent Education Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • November 17 - Virtual ISLA Board Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • November 19 - MN Give to the Max Day
  • November 20 - Staff Development, No school
  • November 25-27 Thanksgiving Holiday, No school


Want to know more about the JUNTOS program at Hopkins North Jr High?  Come to the next PTO Community Meeting next Tuesday, Nov. 10th, 6:30.  

The new Principal Julius Eromosele, James Ware Associate Principal, Hinda Abdi Assistant Principal, and Language Acquisition and Immersion Specialist Dr. Molly Weiland will be joined by the JUNTOS teaching staff from both Hopkins North and Hopkins High School.  We look forward to your questions!  

See flyer for more info and also for a link to a Google form to input questions you may have ahead of time!

Parent Education

Thursday, Nov. 12 6:30p - 7:30 p

Parent Educator Hilary Novacek-Bundt is back for her last session and it's a timely one - Social Connectedness!

"As we head into winter, and the holiday season, we will discuss supporting social connectedness for our children, as well as ourselves, along with creative ways to make the most of this winter season."

See attached flyer for more info and register to get Google Meet link! https://hopkins.ce.eleyo.com/course/ecfe/9169/fall-trifold-2020/ecfe-parenting-caregiver-discussion

Give to the Max

Mark your calendars, Give to the Max is coming up on NOVEMBER 19th!  Our goal this year is to raise $45,000 to support our ongoing programs. This is our ONLY  fall fundraiser this year, so we’re counting on the ISLA community to step up this year!   Don't want to wait until the 19th? Donate now while you are thinking about it!  Donations can be accepted anytime between now and November 19th.  Thank you ISLA Community!

Here is the link to donate: https://www.givemn.org/organization/Islapto

Amity Program Cancelled for this Spring

We have learned just this week that Amity International, the organization that allows our Language Ambassadors (LAs) to come to ISLA, has discontinued their program for the spring semester. Below is part of their message sent to schools around the country:

“Amity’s staff has worked tirelessly to find avenues around the massive barriers that the Exchange Visitor Program has faced since the pandemic began. Unfortunately, as of this week, we have reached the extremely difficult decision to suspend our Intern Program operations for the 2021 Spring Semester.  

We feel strongly that offering an Intern Program while knowing all the above would be unfair to our participants, who certainly would be robbed of an authentic and joyous exchange opportunity.  Amity prides itself in offering Interns the opportunity to have a full immersive experience in U.S. schools and U.S. culture; as of right now, this would simply be impossible. We are beginning to recruit and process Intern applications for our 2021-2022 Intern Program, and do not feel that our decision to suspend for the 2021 Spring semester is a defeat.”

Please reach out to ISLA’s host families who were eagerly awaiting to welcome our LAs into their homes come January. LAs bring so much joy to our community, and their loss will be felt most by their hosts who have already gotten to know them before their arrival. A huge thank you to the Mahowalds, Coopers, Baileys and Salemis for their support and their willingness to welcome these young adults into your homes.

Until next year.

Lee Prohofsky Photography

ISLA Portraits

View Photos »


Your child's portrait is uploaded and available to view. Please click the link and review your child's image. The password for the gallery is Jeremy.

Makeup day is Friday, Nov. 13

If you have not done your child's photo, please signup for a time on makeup day.  portraits1https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C084BABAF2DA31-1
Due to Covid, we are not doing retakes this year. We are wearing masks and practicing social distancing during the shoot day.

Lee Prohofsky Photography
ISLA Portraits

To save photos to your phone, download the free Photo Moments app for iOS or Android then click here to view the group.

View ISLA Portraits on the Photo Moments app:

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

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:

  • 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

And the Survey Says...

Here are the results of the Phase 3 Back to School Survey.

Review what other families and staff have said.