September 29, 2019

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” ~ William Shakespeare

Queridas familias,

I know that it does not feel like April yet outside, but inside the ISLA classrooms, it is clear that we are in our last phase of the year.   We are about halfway through the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA’s), having completed the reading portion this week, and the results so far have been excellent. Now that student led conferences are completed, teachers begin the mad dash to finish the final units of inquiry, prepare for final projects and concerts; sixth graders will soon begin researching topics and forming mentor groups as they dive into their exhibition work, which is the culminating academic product of the Primary Years Programme.  

As you know, this weekend is the “Fiesta de la Primavera”, which is our annual fundraising event put on and organized so adeptly by the PTO with the goal of providing the much needed funding for our Language Ambassador program.   If you do not have tickets already, they are still available at the door; in light of the possible snow storm tomorrow, please know that this fabulous event will go on regardless of the weather.  

Regrettably, I will not be able to attend the Fiesta, as the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Minnesota Department of Education have invited me to travel to Spain to interview teachers for immersion teaching positions throughout the state of Minnesota.  I will be among a group of educational leaders from around the United States interviewing teachers in Madrid, and I will represent Minnesota in the continuing efforts to strengthen immersion programming in the state.    In any case, I wish the entire ISLA community the best tomorrow night, and I hope that we will make our fundraising goal!



ISLA Board Meeting Date Change

The date for the April ISLA Board meeting has changed from April 17th to April 24th.  The meeting will still be held at 6:30 pm in the ISLA Library.  Please note this change on your calendar.

Kindergarten Round-up and New Student Orientation

Incoming kindergarten students and new incoming students will be welcomed at the kindergarten and new student orientation/round-up.  It will be held on Thursday, April 19th at 6:30 pm.  This is a time for families of incoming students to complete their registration forms, ride the school bus and kindergarten students will have time with the kindergarten teachers.

The Exhibition

On Monday ISLA sixth graders will enter into our collaborative transdisciplinary inquiry process called, The Exhibition. The Exhibition is a culminating project that takes place in the final year of the Primary Years Program. It is now time for the students, after being a part of an IB world school since kindergarten, to create their own unit of inquiry. 

The students use all that they have learned throughout their years at ISLA to engage in in-depth research on a topic of their choice. This requires that each student, working collaboratively with others, demonstrates engagement with the five essential elements of the IB program: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. During this process the students identify, investigate and offer solutions to real-life issues or problems. 

This year we have again chosen the transdisciplinary theme “Sharing the planet". This theme explores the concepts of what it means to be a member of a global community and how we are responsible for taking care of our shared resources, to work together to find ways to resolve conflict and to live in peace. 

It's important for us to honor the curiosities of our students, yet at the same time to structure the choosing of topics in a way that would move us in the direction of focusing on issues in our community that matter to us and by learning more about these issues we can work together to help change our communities. We wanted this to include a global platform so we chose the United Nations 17 goals for sustainable development to help us frame our inquiries. 

The Exhibition will be presented to the ISLA community on Wednesday, June 6. Presentations will be in Spanish for Spanish speakers and English for English speakers. 

The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student; therefore, we look forward to sharing this experience with our ISLA community!

Late Start               

Thursday, April 19th is ISLA’s next late start. Buses and school will start 2 hours late. If you need child care for this day, register online at They need at least 24 hours to process requests for care.

Spring Music Programs

Fri, May 4 – 2nd grade, 10am Tues, May 8 – 3rd & 4th grade, 10am Thurs, May 10 – 6th grade, 6:30pm Weds, May 16 – 1st grade, 10am Thurs, May 17 – 5th grade, 6:30pm Fri, May 18 – Kinder program and graduation, 9:30am

Scheduling 2018-2019 Language Ambassadors (LAs) Host Family Home Visits!

Have you thought about hosting an LA? Don’t miss your chance for this upcoming school year to open your home to one of our 2018-19 school year LAs.

We are scheduling house visits in May for potential host families. We will meet at your home and go over expectations of the host families and answer any additional questions that you have.

If you are interested in hosting and/or want more information, please contact LA Coordinator Kim Gelperin at

Book Collection

Our 5th grade Girl Scout Troop #16210 will be collecting books the week of April 16 to 20. The books will be donated and it would be wonderful to show our support to the troop by donating gently used books of all kinds.