2022-12-16 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

December 16, 2022

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose."—Dr. Seuss

Queridas Familias, 

As you know, next Wednesday, December 21st is the winter solstice--the shortest day of the year, the longest night, and technically, the first day of winter.  I know that some of our Language Ambassadors who hail from much warmer climates would question that assertion here in Minnesota---it seems to some that winter has gone on forever already!   From here on out, our hours of daylight begin to incrementally creep back up, and we are on the path to spring.  For years now, cultures around the world have celebrated this return of the light, agrarian societies have taken note of the status of their food stocks, and many people have done an assessment of their year in review. In fact, the word solstice comes from Latin, meaning Sol= Sun, and Sistere=To stop, or stand,  because the sun actually appears to take a brief cessation in the sky.  It makes sense for us to pause as well--to take stock, to give thanks, and to look forward to the new year.

It has been a wonderful first half of the school year here at ISLA.  Classrooms have been buzzing with activity as students complete the end of Unit projects.  Here are a few updates about all things ISLA: 

  •  As of this printing, iStation (our Math and Reading assessment/intervention software)  Rate of Improvement (ROI)  shows that our students are making great progress in reading and mathematics. The RTI team is in the process of analyzing the impact of the first intervention cycle, and they are pleased with the number of students who will be exiting out of the intervention programming.  
  • This weekend we are sending out our first progress report to all families on Toddle.  Please take some time to review them with your ISLA student and find out what they are doing in their classes, and ask them about some of the different areas of displayed evidence.  
  • It was great to see some of you at the Winter Concert. The students sounded great and did a wonderful job!  Thank you to Sra. Medina and all the staff and faculty!  Having said that, we are still learning about our campus, and which spaces work for different types of activities, and have definitely learned that we need to use some kind of an RSVP system for attendance and structure our program to accommodate our enthusiastic audience.
  • The finance committee has worked hard at budget adjustments, and we have an updated 5 year prospectus which allows us to return to fiscal health in a timely manner. Because of this planning, no more cuts in staffing will need to occur this school year.
  • At the last board meeting, the ISLA board approved the concept of restructuring next year’s 3rd and 4th grades to include 2 sections of Third Grade, 2 sections of Fourth Grade, and one Multi-Age Classroom of Grade 3 and 4 together.  More information about this innovative plan will be forthcoming later this winter. 

I am thankful for all of you this year, and wish you all the best during your winter break. 



Trimester 1 Progress Report

Dear ISLA Families,

We are reaching out today as your child's progress report for Term 1 is now available on Toddle.  

We are delighted to present your child’s progress report through Toddle, our platform that coincides with what we value and how we want to report on student learning.  At ISLA, our assessments aim to empower “the whole child by nurturing the development of personal growth, strong character, academic excellence and global vision.”

Our unique report card reflects our mission as an IB World School, yet also incorporates our own design and nuances with our values as a Spanish Immersion community. This progress report provides a reflection of your child’s learning process rather than a final product.  

At ISLA, teachers assess every day through observation, documentation, and reflection.  Assessment is a tool for students, teachers, and families to understand overall progress, strengths and developmental needs. Feedback is a year-long endeavor that forms the cornerstone of our teaching and learning methodology.

We believe that the purpose of assessment is to enhance learning through a holistic approach. We see progress reports as more than a grade; rather, we see these evaluations as an opportunity to communicate meaningful action relevant to learning. This progress report is also an opportunity to inform the community about IB essential elements such as the IB learner profile, key concepts, and approaches to learning.  We hope that you will find that our updated progress reports provide insight into how your ISLA student is developing in the spirit of the IB’s mission as an “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young person who will help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

Native American Heritage Month

To honor Native American Heritage Month, our 6th grade students demonstrated their leadership skills by serving as docents for the Why Treaties Matter Exhibit. They engaged all grade levels in a short presentation of each poster and also invited questions and connections to the content. Prior to these presentations, the 6th graders researched Dakota and Ojibwe culture, traditions and practices through our Northern Lights curriculum. These inquiries connected to their unit of inquiry on How We Organize Ourselves with the aim to understand how societies function and finding commonalities despite differing beliefs and experiences. Some concepts 6th graders experienced were tribal sovereignty, treaty rights and violation of treaty rights. We were thrilled to host this exciting exhibit from the Minnesota Humanities Center and thank them for their dedication to honoring and acknowledging the Native experience.

Join the ISLA School Board!

Looking for a way to support the mission and shape the future of ISLA? Join the ISLA Board of Directors!  The Election and Nominating Committee is seeking interested community members, teachers, parents, grandparents, and guardians to fill upcoming vacancies on the ISLA Board for three-year terms beginning July 1, 2023.  No previous board experience is required, but there is a specific need for individuals with expertise in fundraising/development, marketing, and human resources.

The ISLA Board is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the school, implementing policies and procedures, and long-term strategic and financial planning.  In addition, there are a number of different committees on which Board members serve. Click here for descriptions of the various committees. The Board meets in the evening on the third Tuesday of each month.

If you are interested in seeking a Board seat, please submit a Statement of Interest (available here) to the Election and Nominating Committee by Friday, February 3.  Questions about Board service and the election process can be directed to Liz Crouse, Chair of the Election and Nominating Committee, at lcrouse@isla.school.

Winter Extracurricular Activity Sign Up

Paint The Town Red

Come join our marvelous LAs as we grab our paintbrushes and paint the town red! This class will explore different styles of painting such as modernism, expression, abstract, impressionism, surrealism, cubism and maybe even pop-art.  We will experiment with different painting techniques to discover fun ways to express our inner artist. We will finish our time together by exhibiting our creations in a colorful mural of who we are! Come paint with us!

Who: Grades K-6, Maximum 25 students
When: Monday afternoons 4:00-5:00 pm, January 9-March 27, no class January 16 and February 20
Who: Profe Elena, Profe Leire, Profe Chema

10 sessions - $120.00 payable in cash, check payable to ISLA PTO or Venmo @ISLA-PTO. Email Jessica Gielen at jgielen@isla.school for scholarship information. Click here to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040d4cafaf22a3fd0-paint#/


Do you want to build your confidence, ability to focus, learn discipline all while having fun moving your body?  Then this class is where you want to be! Taekwondo is a martial art that helps students develop skills such as the ability to pay attention to what is relevant and ignore distractions, to learn the value of doing what is right, even when no one is watching and so much more! This class will be led by our fabulous LA Ainoa who has been practicing Taekwondo since she was four years old and has achieved a black belt. There will be an open observation class at the end of this session so families can see all the great things students will have learned.

Who: Grades K-6, Maximum 25 students
When: Monday afternoons 4:00-5:00 pm, January 9-March 27, no class January 16 and February 20
Who: Profe Erick, Profe Raul and Profe Ainoa

10 sessions - $120.00 payable in cash, check payable to ISLA PTO or Venmo @ISLA-PTO. Email Jessica Gielen at jgielen@isla.school for scholarship information. Click here to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040d4cafaf22a3fd0-taekwondo#/

Drawing for Aspiring Artists

These ten sessions will focus on different drawing techniques. We’ll begin with the basics of drawing and experiment with different mediums like crayons, colored pencils, markers, and chalk. We’ll explore realism, by drawing the human anatomy, learning to draw their favorite cartoons from a technical perspective, even character creation. We will help students develop their inner artist by exploring what they are passionate about and teaching them the skills to make images come to life. We encourage all levels of drawing skills to join us. 

Who: Grades 3-6, 25 Maximum students
When: Monday afternoons 4:00-5:00 pm, January 9-March 27, no class January 16 and February 20
Who: Profe Nuria, Profe Dany and Profe Raul

10 sessions - $120.00 payable in cash, check payable to ISLA PTO or Venmo @ISLA-PTO. Email Jessica Gielen at jgielen@isla.school for scholarship information. Click here to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040d4cafaf22a3fd0-drawing#/

Chess Club

This class begins on Thursday, January 12 and goes through March 30 (no class February 16). Want to amaze your friends and impress your opponents? Want to increase your IQ while having fun playing chess and compete for various prizes? Learn from Twin Cities Chess Club instructors who have years of experience. Competitive Chess tournaments are scheduled once a year and students can play for real chess trophies! All levels are welcome. We have a great instructor for this class but he is not a Spanish speaker. $90 for 9 sessions. Register online at


Classes will be 3:50 pm - 4:50 pm

Young Rembrandts Art Academy

Be inspired by the masters! Create masterpieces like the great artists Romero Britto, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, and Andre Derain in this amazing workshop! No experience necessary.

Wednesdays at 3:50-4:50 pm, starting January 11 and ending March 29

Register here