2023-08-11 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

August 12, 2023

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Letter from the Director

The road to freedom –here and everywhere on earth-– begins in the classroom.” – Hubert Humphrey

Queridas Familias:

I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying these last few weeks of summer.  At ISLA, we have been busier than ever--setting up new classrooms, updating chromebooks, painting, and in general getting ready to dust off our textbooks for the new year. Part of the planning for the new year has been done with our new IB Coordinator--Sarah Ashby.  Sarah Ashby comes to us from down the hall in 6th grade, where she has been teaching for the past 7 years.  As you might know, the 6th grade Exhibition is the culminating project for the International Baccalaureate Primary Year Program (PYP), so she is well versed in all aspects of the IB, and familiar with all of our Units of Inquiry in our program.  Congratulations Sarah Ashby on your new role here at ISLA! 

Mark your calendars:

Meet the Teacher Night:

Later this month, I look forward to seeing you at one of our two Meet the Teacher events. This is an open house forum and you can attend any time in that window of time:

  • Grades 1-6, August 30th, from 4:30 to 6:30
  • Kindergarten, August 31st, from 4:30 to 6:00

Curriculum Night: 

We will be conducting curriculum nights a bit differently this year.  We will be having two different nights of sessions instead of just one, with different classes each night:

  • September 27th: Grades: Kindergarten (in the cafeteria),  2nd grade (In “Buenos Aires” (Large open space past 6th grade),  and 4th grade (4th/5th grade commons)  from 6:30 to 8:00. 
  • September 28th: Grades: 1st grade (Cafeteria), 3rd grade ((In “Buenos Aires” (Large open space past 6th grade), 5th grade (Rm  247), and 6th grade (Rm 251). 

I hope that you keep enjoying this wonderful summer weather!  Thank you as always for everything that you do for ISLA, and for all of your support as we work together on this journey. 



Spirit Store Open!

The Spirit Store is now open through Monday, August 14! Orders will be ready at Meet the Teacher on Wednesday, August 30 (Grades 1-6) and Thursday, August 31 (Kinder only). The order link is here: https://pogo.undergroundshirts.com/collections/isla-spirit-store-august-2023

The Spirit Store is provided by the ISLA Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for families to purchase uniform approved shirts and sweatshirts and show their school spirit! The Spirit Store is a fundraiser for the PTO, and proceeds support PTO sponsored events such as the back to school picnic, provide funds for classroom supplies and field trips, and also supports the LA program.

Each grade level has an assigned color and all grades are allowed to wear black. While the shirts are not required, teachers like to have kids in their "Se Habla Español" shirts for field trips and students like to represent ISLA!

  • Black - All School
  • ISLA Sweatshirts (hooded and full zip) - All School
  • Kinder - yellow
  • 1st grade - blue
  • 2nd grade - green
  • 3rd grade - red
  • 4th grade - orange
  • 5th grade - purple
  • 6th grade - white (for in classroom tie dye project)

New this year! We have partnered with a vendor that offers the option to pick up your order at Meet the Teacher (no additional charge) or ship to home (shipping is calculated at checkout). Please be sure to add in your student’s name, grade, and teacher (if known). Doing this helps our volunteers get the order quickly to the correct student.

Questions? Please contact   spiritstore@isla.school

Aunt and Uncle Families Needed

ISLA's first LA has already arrived from Mexico . Welcome Francisco! He is hosted by the Slininger family in Minneapolis. We are so happy to have him here! The rest of the LA's are coming at the end of August. We are looking for families to be their committed Aunt/Uncle families. Please reach out to us if you are interested: islalaprogram@gmail.com

Thank you!


ISLA staff is currently working feverishly finalizing teacher assignments soon. The postcards with teacher assignments will go in the mail on August 15th. The teacher update came out in the newsletter 2 weeks ago, but here it is again.

Teacher update.  Here is the list of teachers by grade for the 2023-2024 School Year:

  • Kindergarten:  Silvia Herrero Fernandez, Maryann Najera, Doris Bonifacio, Luis Vivas.
  • First Grade: Bonyin King, Edily Sanchez, Erika Leal
  • Second Grade: Lina Pinto, Irene Martinez, and Miriam Oropeza. (Previously worked in ISLA SPED).
  • Third Grade: Rosa Fernandez, Patty Floe, and Cori Adams.
  • Fourth Grade: Riana Dilley, Roberto Izquierdo, and Pilar Robles (New teacher from Spain)
  • Fifth Grade: Jordi Costa, Stewin Bernal (New teacher originally from Colombia).
  • Sixth Grade:  Rachel Karlov.

All of these talented teachers have teaching degrees and come from years of experience and a variety of grade levels, and we are looking forward to working together next year.

Lunch and Breakfast at ISLA

After listening to your feedback about lunch service and overall quality, we also put our lunch contract out to bid. After inquiring with almost 20 companies, we interviewed a handful of finalists and decided to go with a smaller company with a wide variety of homemade and nutritious options--Cafe Racer.   The owner of Cafe Racer is from Colombia, and is very committed to and passionate about providing quality, nutritious food.  Another bonus for lunch this year is that thanks to your MN Senate,  it will be provided free of charge, and breakfast will be offered as well!  Everyone will still order lunch and breakfast through Boonli--with many more details and menu options coming soon.

While lunches and breakfasts are free, we use the Application for Educational Benefits for many other benefits. Please complete this form even if you do not think that you will qualify.

Application for Educational Benefits

Back to School Supplies

For those of you who were not able to purchase your back to school supplies through the ISLA PTO, you can find the grade level supply lists on the ISLA website under the Current Families tab and then the School Supplies tab.

Label your Items

We are encouraged to label everything the kiddos bring to school so check out our Mabel's Labels fundraiser (summer camps, sports, additional activities too!) - this is ongoing throughout the year!

20% of proceeds go back to the PTO!

So many designs to choose from to personalize for each child.

Stop by www.campaigns.mabelslabels.com and search International Spanish Language Academy for your labels today!

Box Tops for Education

Box Tops for Education is an easy way for families to contribute to ISLA. You can download the app from the App Store if you are an Apple customer or get it via Google Play by clicking on this link: https://www.boxtops4education.com/s/get-the-app.  Once you have downloaded the app, you will need to search for International Spanish Language Academy as the school you would like to support.

Once you have the app, start purchasing items with the Box Tops for Education logo and can your receipt within 14 days of purchase.