2023-09-22 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

September 23, 2023

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Letter from the Director

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”  Oscar Wilde

September 22nd, 2023

Queridas Familias: 

Tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, and once again, I always ask--where did our summer go?    As the flora and fauna slow down once again in this season, we will see the days start getting shorter as of Sunday. As you know, the term “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox,  meaning”night.” Tomorrow, day and night are roughly equal in length in terms of minutes of light and dark.. As human beings, many of us become more reflective during this period, and children have been shown to need even more sleep and we should pay close attention to mood swings.  

Next week we welcome you to attend our Curriculum Night(s).  We have made some adjustments to where the curriculum night presentations will take place--so please take a look: 

Curriculum Night(s):  6:30-8:00pm

Wednesday: Two identical sessions per grade:  6:30 to 7:00, and 7:10 to 7:40 

  • Kinder: Room #108, Profe Luis/Srta. Doris for first session, Seño Silvia/Sra. Najera for second session
  • 2nd grade: Cafeteria  with projector and screen set up 
  • 4th grade: in Room 244

Thursday:    Two identical sessions per grade:  6:30 to 7:00, and 7:10 to 7:40 

  • 1st grade: Cafeteria with projector and screen set up 
  • 3rd grade: Flex room
  • 5th grade: Room 247
  • 6th: Room 251

Please feel free to visit our Specialists in their classrooms after your child's classroom presentation:

Sr. Diaz - Physical Education: Gymnasium
Sra. Maldonado - Exploration/Art - Exploration/Art Room
Sr. Dangelo - Music Room



Board Brief

The ISLA School Board met on Sept 19th for their monthly meeting.  While numerous items were discussed, topics that the family community may be most interested in are summarized below.

  • Continuation of 6th grade at ISLA - When ISLA was founded the Hopkins district (which ISLA was in) subscribed to the K-6 model, with junior high starting in 7th grade.  With the move to our new location and the Hopkins district moving to K-5, ISLA is one of the few elementary schools that go through 6th grade.  The question of whether to continue offering a 6th grade has been raised each year and the board needs to make a decision on whether or not to offer 6th grade for the 2024-2025 school year.  A survey has been sent to current 4th and 5th grade families to gather information on their intentions for 6th grade.  At the October 17th meeting, the School Board will vote on whether to offer 6th grade during the next academic year.  If you are a current 4th or 5th grade family, please make sure to fill out the survey to aid the board in this decision.  Other community members who would like to provide comments to the board may do so by emailing the board at board@isla.school.
  • Enrollment Impacts on Budget - Fall enrollment numbers are being finalized (changes occur right up to and even after school starts as families are deciding what to do for the academic year).  The good news is that the El Nido classrooms are full with a significant number of families on the waitlist.  We very likely will be looking to open a 3rd classroom in the near future.  Enrollment for Kinder is strong as we welcome 99 new students to our community this year!  This highlights the strong desire for amazing opportunities that ISLA has to offer.  Unfortunately, enrollment for 1st-6th grades are below capacity, which is associated with lower than anticipated funding.  The board will be discussing this challenge at the next two board meetings as it relates to changes that must be made to the budget.  If you know of students who would be a good fit for ISLA, make sure to get the word out about the wonderful opportunities the school provides!
  • Public Comment Policy - We are fortunate to have such a wonderfully involved community that is willing to provide feedback to the board on topics related to the school.  We value and appreciate this as it helps the board understand what is important to families.  Our authorizer, IQS, has offered suggestions on how to best facilitate this process and at the October board meeting, you will see a new policy being voted on.   This policy encourages individuals who would like to speak during the open comment period at board meetings to register beforehand.  This will allow for the appropriate allocation of time during the board meetings and ensure that topics are being handled most efficiently.  Please remember, that in addition to speaking at board meetings, comments to the board may always be provided via email at board@isla.school.

Lunch Ordering Window Open

The window to order breakfast and lunch for October is open until Tuesday, September 26th at 12pm since we have to submit our order that same day.

Please make sure to order for the whole month of October or preferred days before submitting it so we can see your child in the breakfast/lunch list for reporting purposes.


1. There's an option for "only milk" for children that bring lunch from home.
2. There's another option to select the start right next to words "breakfast", "lunch", "vegetarian", "allergen" & "milk" to select the whole month instead of selecting them day by day. Hopefully this makes it easier for you :)
3. Menus attached. Take a look at them.
4. For allergens, your child would need a Doctor's statement so he/she can qualify for this meal. If we don't have one in his/her file, she/he will get a regular breakfast/lunch.

Link to order:


Note: if you still don't have a boonli account, see this link for more information: https://www.isla.school/families/lunch-ordering

IB Island 2

Fundraising Committee Corner

The ISLA School Board Fundraising Committee invites you to a happy hour on Thursday, October 5th from 5-6:30pm at Cahill Bistro, just down the road from ISLA. Come share your fundraising ideas, help us brainstorm ways to support ISLA School, or just hang out with our team! Please RSVP to fundraising@isla.school.

It's BAAAAACK! Obstajog is almost here! Next Friday students will bring home Donation Envelopes and spend the month of October helping us to fundraise for our terrific school! This year the students will have some exciting incentives encouraging involvement. The Obstacle Course/Jogathan event will take place in the ISLA gymnasium on Friday, October 27th. Stay tuned for more information and check out this teaser video created by our one and only Señor Edgar!

Check out the Giving Tree by ISLA's front door - The apples are turning RED! Thank you to everyone who has already given to support ISLA!

• • •  Language Ambassador Updates • • •  

Looking for Host Families

The LA team is looking for SPRING host families. The main requirement for hosting an LA in your home is to have their own bedroom! This is such a great opportunity for your kids (and you) to be further immersed in the Spanish language and learn about another culture from these wonderful humans!! You can gain a lifetime friend for you & your kids by hosting an LA and making loads of memories. Stipends & grocery gift cards are available to host families along with support from our amazing LA Coordinator, MK! If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to islalaprogram@gmail.com or fill out this google form! Have questions? You can also go over the new LA Family FAQ sheet.

• • •  Upcoming Events • • •  

Dia De Los Muertos:  Mark your calendars to come celebrate with ISLA on 10/28 from 11am–2pm. More details are coming soon!!

Extra-Curricular Activities with Openings

First Guitar Steps

Students will learn the basic chords (C, D, E, F, G, A, B) thythms on the the guitar, and play songs in order to improve their performance with the guitar.  At the end of the course, students will be able to play songs (Ode to Joy, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Mary had a Little Lamb, etc) using common chords.  Teachers expect that each student brings their own guitar (not electric guitar).  If the student has no guitar, please let the teachers know in advance so they can try and find one.

Who:  Grades 3-6, Maximum 8 students
When: October 2-December 18 Mondays 3:50-4:50 pm
Who: Manuel Salgado and Mili Fuentes
Cost:  $144.00 payable via cash, check made payable to ISLA PTO, or venmo @ISLA-PTO

Click here to register.

Bailar esta de Moda/Dance in Today's Style

Students will learn modern dances (bachata, merengue y salsa) and at the end of the course, the students will be able to show the parents different choreographies.  We intend to show them other cultures in relation to dances. There will be a final show in which students will show the different dances they have learned during the semester.

Who: Grades 4-6
When: October 3-December 19, Tuesdays 3:50-4:50 pm, (No class October 31)
Who: Jawi Jamith Romero Gonzalez and Andrea Calvo Martin
Cost:  $132 payable via cash, check made payable to ISLA PTO, or venmo @ISLA-PTO

Students will need to put together some costumes for the final show (they will communicate with parents about this). For the classes students will wear comfortable clothes to be able to dance (sport shoes and clothes).

Click here to register.

Bienvenidos A Hollywood/Welcome to Hollywood

Students will focus on the importance of working with their bodies and their emotions during the first month. They will also get to know each other. After that, little by little, they will be introduced to short pieces of performing art.

At the end of the semester, they are planning to offer a small recital, for families and friends, of some of the pieces that we will work on during this period of time

Students will need to put together costumes for the final show (They will communicate to the parents about this). For the classes we recommend wearing comfortable clothes to be able to move their bodies (sport shoes and clothes)

Who: Grade 1-3
When: October 3-December 19 (no class on October 31)
Who: Marina, Neus and Francisco
Cost:  $132 payable via cash, check made payable to ISLA PTO, or venmo @ISLA-PTO

Click here to register

• • • Community PTO Meetings • • •  

Next meeting: 10/11 6:00-7:30pm  
Where? ISLA conference room & playground or gym (Enter through main doors, we will have someone waiting to let you in)!
What? Dinner, time to meet & chat with other ISLA parents while we share-out all the things the PTO has coming.

Zoom Meeting Link: Can’t attend in person? No problem, we’d love to have you via Zoom (and I am working on improving things to properly record each meeting to have them available to share out afterward)!  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81922697214?pwd=ATVakzyJfIziTJbCU408vGzL7LyDwU.1

Agenda for 10.11.23 Meeting

6-6:30: Eat & mingle in the Conference (Food available for kids & parents)
6:30-7: Community Meeting begins with PTO updates
7-7:45: The amazing Michelle Ndely (ISLA parent) will continue her share-out of info about how we can best support our children within the IB Learning Model at ISLA. This will be PART TWO of Michelle speaking at our PTO Meetings, and I will link her presentation & the recording from 9/13 below. Please note, I was having some tech issues and only started recording Michelle's portion of the presentation about 5 minutes in). You can learn more about Michelle here: http://www.ndelyconsulting.com

• • •  Volunteers • • •

If you have upper grade level kids, partner, grandparent, etc  that can help with childcare during meetings, that would be a huge help!! Kids will play at the ISLA Playground or in the Gym during the meeting. Please follow the links or scan the QR codes for further details:

PTO Community Meeting Attendance
PTO Community Meeting Childcare Volunteers

Link to PTO Community Meeting Slides & Recordings

Thank you to ALL that came out ordered from Davanni’s this past week! We had a great turnout with so many new & familiar faces from the ISLA Community. We will soon have an update on how much was raised.

• • • Upcoming • • •  

Saturday 10/7 8–10am
Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast!!
8421 Joiner Way, Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Come for breakfast and you'll be helping raise funds for the ISLA PTO!!

We are also looking for volunteers (kids age 14+ welcome) to help serve during the breakfast. Slots are 1hr long to still allow you to sit & enjoy time with your family & friends!
Tickets now available – Click here!!
Serve up some pancakes with us!

Monday 11/13 5–9pm
2251 Killebrew Dr, Bloomington, MN 55425

Wednesday 12/6 4–8pm
Noodles & Co.
8120 MN-7, St Louis Park, MN 55426

Wednesday 1/18 4–9pm
Cafe Zupas
13000 Technology Dr., Eden Prairie, MN 55344

• • • More ways to get involved • • •

Sign-up for Box Tops for Education!

Download the app on your phone and search for International Spanish Language Academy to begin benefiting your kids’ school! After setting up your account, you can send digital receipts via email or scan a hard copy in the app. No more ripping boxes up!!

Use any of the below referral links to give ISLA an extra bonus when you sign-up:


Teacher Wishlists!

Our wonderful teachers work so hard to make their classrooms welcoming and comfortable for our kids. This year, the PTO has asked that our teacher’s share a list of items they need to complete this huge task. Here are their lists, broken down by grade. Any item is a huge help for our teachers & is SO very appreciated by them AND your kids in their rooms. We are still awaiting a few lists, and will send out updated links when they are ready!

El Nido
Group wishlist for all of El Nido

Doris Bonifacio Salas
Silvia Herrero-Fernandez
Maryann Najera
Luis Vivas

1st Grade
Bonyin King
Erika Leal Gil
Edily Sanchez

2nd Grade
Irene Martinez
Miriam Oropeza
Lina Pinto Perez

3rd Grade
Corene Adaxms
Rosa Fernandez
Patricia Floe

4th Grade
Riana Dilley
Roberto Izquierdo
Pilar Robles

5th Grade
Stewin Bernal
Jordi Costa

6th Grade
Rachel Karlov


Exploración & Art: Adriana Maldonado
Exploración & Art: Ana Luisa Galleres (link to come)
Physical Education: Igor Diaz
Tech: Edgar Avendano (link to come)
Music: Danyelo Rivera
Lunch: Jorge Gomez (link to come)

Special Education
Ruth Garcia (link to come)
Tatiana Gordillo
Thairys Rodriguez

Emily Smith
Jessica Gielen
Nurse: Tanya Nelson (link to come)

• • • Save the Date • • •  

When: Saturday, March 9th, 2024 6-11pm
Where: Bloomington Event Center

New to ISLA or need a refresher on what Fiesta de la Primavera is? No problem!! Each year, the ISLA PTO hosts the biggest fundraiser AND party of the year for parents, teachers, LAs, staff and more from our ISLA community. This is an adult-only event where we will have food, games, prizes, music, dancing and our live & silent auctions! It is a time where we can come together as a community, connect or reconnect and celebrate!! All proceeds raised at Fiesta de la Primavera go back to the ISLA PTO to support the Language Ambassador Program where we bring student teachers to our school from native-Spanish speaking countries. They provide support for our classrooms and enrich the experience our kids have everyday at school by sharing their unique cultures & stories both in-school and with after-school activities, social gatherings and more! It's such an amazing program & I'm grateful to take part in that coming together.

• • • More ways to help with Fiesta  • • •

Donate a Great Gathering!!!

This year, we are encouraging Great Gatherings to be held beginning in October! This will allow for more Fall & Winter fun before our actual Fiesta event in the Spring, but all the funds raised will still go back to the ISLA PTO to support the Language Ambassador Program and enrichment for our kids in the classrooms! Our donation forms are now OPEN!! We will get our Givesmart website launched in the coming weeks to allow purchasing tickets to upcoming Gatherings that are submitted!

• • • Great Gathering Ideas  • • •

Moms & Margaritas: Host 7 other ISLA Moms at your house/yard with chips, salsa, guac/snacks & margaritas while you chat & hang out!

Family Bonfire: Have 5 families in your backyard around the campfire while you roast marshmallows, make s’mores, have adult or N/A beverages, tell spooky stories or just chat.

Paint Party: Host 7 other ISLA parents at your home (or even in the party room at a restaurant…?) and provide snacks, drinks, a 10x10 canvas with paints and have a great evening getting to know one another!

Golf Day for Dads: Host 5 other ISLA Dads at your favorite golf course with beverages & lunch or snacks.

Fall Fun Day: Host with another parent(or more) and bring 8 kids to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch– Grade specific, maybe?

ANY of these ideas could be hosted on your own or with another ISLA friend or family!! These gatherings don’t need to be EXTRAVAGANT or overly spendy, they are meant to bring kids, parents, LAs & staff together outside of the classroom and enjoy the wonderful community we have here!!

• • • Donation Form Links  • • •

Gift Basket Donations

Community/Parent Donations
Staff/LA Donations
Info on Fiesta business sponsorships will be coming soon!!

Recommend potential donors/sponsors

Do you have a favorite restaurant, salon, birthday party spot or other locale? Send us the business name and we will reach out to see if they’d like to participate by donating to Fiesta!

Any friends own a local business?

Or maybe you want to get your own small business involved with this fundraiser? We’re sorting out details for sponsorships to help advertise your business(es) while contributing to the growth of the LA Program!! Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks, but you can always reach out to us (Jenner Moretto or Caitlin Edstrom) at Fiesta@isla.school with any questions!

Family Fun Opportunity

The MSP Film Society is hosting their 11th annual Cine Latino Film Festival, so they wanted to share some information with you. Cine Latino is a 5 day festival of Spanish Language cinema from across the globe. There will be visiting filmmakers, fiestas, food trucks, and more! The dates are October 11 - 15th 2023.

They would love to invite the ISLA community! For kids 8+, we are partnering with the Minneapolis Institute of Art to show ¡Hola Cine! See the family-friendly collection of Spanish-language short films for free between 10:30am-2:30pm at Mia on Sun, Oct 8 (2400 Third Avenue South in Minneapolis).

You can view the complete lineup of films here: https://mspfs.info/CL2023