Once again this week, I hope this message finds you well and you are all able to get some rest this weekend and enjoy this beautiful fall weather.
Staffing: Today, I have to deliver the unfortunate news that Jen Jouppi is leaving ISLA for personal reasons after 12 years of service. Her last day is next Tuesday, and she will be sorely missed. Thank you Jen for everything! We are actively interviewing candidates for her replacement, and our business manager/accounting office will take on additional responsibilities in the interim.
Assessment: We have received the results for students for our MCA examinations, and will be sending out an assessment update with each child’s results, Toddle information, and our assessment strategy next week.
Curriculum Night Reminder: Please be advised curriculum night is virtual this year, Wednesday, October 6th, from 6:30 to 7:30. (Two identical presentations). More information and links are enclosed in this newsletter.
Transportation: Please see the Transportation Hub section of this newsletter for more information about busing.
I would like to reiterate the pick up/drop off procedures here, although nearly everyone is collaborating with this process:
Please do not turn left into the lot off of 78th street unless you are a PRE-K family.
Please do not cross 78th Street on foot.
Please do not park in adjacent parking lots and walk over to pick up your child.
Please do not get out of your car. Staff members are available to help your ISLA student in/and out of the car.
Please give the buses the right of way to enter the property first. If a bus arrives late, we will let the bus through the line.
Pre-K parking: We have managed to get a few more parking spaces from the construction company for our staff, and have reserved parking spaces in the lot for Pre-K dropoff and pickup only. Families with Pre-k students are the only families allowed to get out of their vehicles during drop off or pickup (unless you have a pre-arranged meeting).
Remember to display your student’s unique number on your passenger side window or dashboard.
If you have more than one ISLA student, please only display the number for your oldest child. We will call that number and the student will exit with their siblings. If for any reason your oldest child is ill or absent, please display the number of your next oldest child.
If you need to pick up your child early, please plan on picking up before 3:45. We follow Minnesota Department of Education guidelines and issue a “tardy” for such pickups.
NEW this year*****Please remember to communicate all transportation changes to the office by 12:00 pm, unless it is a family emergency, in which case it is imperative that you call the office and speak to a staff person.
Since we last provided an update, NorthStar and ISLA administration have worked to eliminate unassigned stops as well as attempt to consolidate stops that are in close proximity. While this has shortened overall duration on some routes, there are three routes that are still over 60 minutes.
NorthStar has committed to mapping out routes with eight buses in place of our current seven bus fleet. We are awaiting this information before making additional changes to bus routes.
Adding an additional bus will be a significant change in our transportation budget and the Transportation Committee plans to work with the Finance Committee to include the additional cost in the upcoming October budget re-forecast that the Board will vote on at their next meeting (10/19/2021).
We appreciate your ongoing support and patience as we navigate this process and work to find a long term solution in line with our mission.
The transportation committee plans to meet on. 10/4/21, assuming receipt of outstanding information from Northstar.
How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:
Walk in or schedule an appointment for a free test at one of the state’s 11 community testing sites across Minnesota: COVID-19 Community Testing Sites. New sites have been added to meet increased demands for testing.
Order a free test through the state’s at-home testing program: COVID-19 Test at Home. These can be ordered ahead of time to have on hand at home, and use when needed.
Find other testing options in your neighborhood through the state’s "Find Testing Locations" map, including through local providers, pharmacies and clinics: Find Testing Locations.
Who Should Get Tested
Even if you are vaccinated, Minnesotans should get tested:
if you have symptoms of the virus;
if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19;
if you are returning from international travel;
or if you have attended a large gathering or event where people are not wearing masks and are not able to stay 6 feet apart.
People who are unvaccinated should test before travel (domestic or international).
Unvaccinated teachers, staff and students in K-12 should test weekly at a minimum or more frequently per CDC guidance.
With the at-home program and 11 community testing sites offering free testing across the state, the state has made it easy for Minnesotans to find a test.
Join us this weekend for a Back to School Gathering! While there will be no potluck this year, there will be an ice cream truck on site! Be sure that each family signs into the PTO table to get free ice cream tickets, hosted by the PTO. See you Sunday!
Curriculum Night Wednesday, October 6th, 6:30 pm
Each grade level team will give two identical presentations at 6:30 and 7:00 pm. Specialist teachers will share an on-demand video and host open office hours from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Click here for more information.