2024-01-13 Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

January 13, 2024

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Letter from the Director

Dear ISLA Community, 

Feliz Año Nuevo! We have some wonderful updates to share with regard to our Student Support Services team at ISLA! 

I am excited to announce that Jessica Gielen has been selected to fill the Dean of Students position effective after the winter break, starting January 8th.  Jessica is a current staff member at ISLA, serving as SPED Educational Assistant and Transportation Director. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing her Masters in Special Education.  Jessica has a proven track record of developing effective relationships with students and staff at ISLA and we are looking forward to her continued success and contributions as Dean of Students.

As previously communicated, ISLA welcomed two School Social Workers to our community back in November.  Fatima Ali and Samaria Cooper-Meehan bring important skill sets to ISLA in supporting our teachers and staff with social-emotional needs of their students, as well as direct services to students. Along with Jessica and Edgar Avendano (Assistant Dean of Students), this team will work closely to support a variety of needs amongst our students. Their areas of focus will be as follows:  

This team’s mission is to support the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of every student at ISLA. Please reach out to anyone on this team or to me if you have questions. Thank you!



Board Brief

The next meeting of the ISLA Board of Directors will take place on Tuesday, January 16th.  The zoom link can be found on the website on the Board Calendar with the agenda found here:January Board Agenda

I'd like to call attention to three agenda items: (1) Update on the ED Search; (2) Preview of the 2024-2025 Calendar; and (3) Vote on whether to offer two sections of 5th grade for the 2024-2025 school year, which would likely result in class sizes greater than 25 students per section.  Please feel free to reach out to the board if you have any questions or comments you'd like to provide. Board@Isla.school

Summer Camp

Summer camp registration will open the beginning of February. Any questions regarding summer camp can be sent to summercamp@isla.school

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, 2024. No previous board experience is required.  There is a great interest in individuals with expertise in grant writing, fundraising/development, marketing, and human resources, to name a few areas, but we welcome anyone who is dedicated and ready to support ISLA and its community.

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. Currently 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, 2024. Questions about Board service and the election process can be directed to Isabelle Krisch, Chair of the Election and Nominating Committee, at ikrisch@isla.school.

• • •  PTO Website • • •

Website overhaul (still) underway!!

It’s a slow process, but we are working to make the ISLA PTO website a one-stop-shop for ALL things ISLA you may need to know… Fiesta, Volunteer opportunities, donation needs and more!! More to come.

• • •  Pick a Number!! • • •

The PTO & Board are collaborating to raise funds in support of the costs of our social workers at ISLA. All funds will go towards those costs, and we are so grateful to be contributing to such an important addition to our school. The January calendar filled up in less than 15 hours of being shared in the ISLA Families Facebook Group! If you’d like to participate in February’s calendar, please email Caitlin Edstrom at Fiesta@isla.school or keep an eye out for the February calendar in the ISLA Families Group!

THANK YOU for your support!!!

How it works:

  1. Choose a date on the calendar
  2. Pay that dollar amount
  3. We'll add your name to that date
  4. At the start of February, we will do a drawing for a prize!

We are so excited to be hosting these monthly restaurant nights!! Our running total is a WHOPPING $2,528!!! Thank you for not cooking once a month and helping support the ISLA PTO!!!

• • • Upcoming • • •

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

Monday 2/12 4–9pm
10997 Red Cir Dr, Minnetonka, MN 55343

• • • More ways to get involved • • •  

Serve lunch to your kids!

Jorge is fun to work with and it’s so cool to see your kids get excited to see you during their day (you can also go sit with them for a bit between serving)!! Plus, you can get a peek at how DELICIOUS the food has been this year with our new vendor– YUM!! Sign-ups are posted about a month in advance to help plan your schedule. Come try it out!!

Click here to see available slots!

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:

Referral Link 1

Referral Link 2
Referral Link 3

Mabel’s Labels

Keep your kid’s stuff out of the lost & found!! Check out the Tag Mates (or even the stamps) from Mabel’s Labels! This is yet another quick & easy fundraiser– 20% of proceeds will go back to the ISLA PTO– AND it will help you (and the staff) keep track of your child’s belongings!

Just Search for International Spanish Language Academy at www.campaigns.mabelslabels.com

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. Their wishlist links are available on the PTO Website and are 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 add links as they are ready! If you have access to donations of comparable items outside of Amazon, just reach out to me at ptosecretary@Isla.school and I’ll get their list updated!

Girls on the run

GIRLS ON THE RUN is coming to ISLA this spring!! It is an activity for 3rd – 5th grade girls with teams of 8-20 participants– We will be meeting twice a week for 8 weeks. This program helps girls prepare for a 5K while playing games and activities that incorporate life skills, such as managing emotions, being a good friend, standing up for yourself and others!

Quick Notes:

  • We are looking for coaches to help during practices
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays 4–5:30
  • You don’t have to be a runner to coach
  • Financial aid is available, no qualifying necessary.

Please email me PTOChair@isla.school with any questions or if you would like to volunteer to coach!

Tickets Now Available (new link!!!)

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

• • • Current Needs • • •
  1. Get your donations in!!

Great Gatherings, gift baskets, gift cards or goods & services are all welcomed and encouraged. You can click here to learn more about donation types & find the forms!

  1. Get your tickets!!

Fiesta is less than TWO months away so don’t forget to grab your tickets here!

  1. Volunteer your time!

We will respect the time you have available whether it be 1hr or 10hrs. Please reach out to fiesta@isla.school small & big ways to help plan this party & fundraiser!

  1. Recommend your favorite business!

Do you have a favorite restaurant, salon, birthday party spot or other locale? Send us the business name and we will contact them!

  1. Browse available items!!

Great Gatherings are OPEN!! Visit the Fiesta website to view more details or purchase tickets to these events!!

  • Westwood Hills Nature Center Party
  • Spanish Wine Tasting
  • Wine & Tapas Party
  • 3rd Grade Sledding Party
  • 2nd Annual Olympic Yard Games
  • Summer Softball Social

Great Gatherings can 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!! Please feel free to reach out to us (Jenner Moretto or Caitlin Edstrom) at Fiesta@isla.school with any questions!