September 29, 2019

Sarah Walz

Field Day Volunteers!

"Mom, dad, can you come to my school and help out?"

Have you heard this from your kids? If so, here is one of your last chances this year to see them in action.

Please consider volunteering for Field Day, Wednesday, May 25th. We have several volunteer opportunities. This is a fun end-of-year-event. Come join your kids, staff, and have a blast!

PTO Meeting

Join the PTO Board at our spring meeting. We will be voting on the budget for the upcoming school year. Due to the success of the fiesta this year, part of the budget includes the addition of an 8th Language Ambassador. There are also positions available on the board, and many other ways to be involved!

Childcare will be available. We will see you on Tuesday, May 23rd at 6:30 pm in the ISLA library.

Box Tops for Education Collection

As the school year comes to an end, be sure to turn in your box tops for education! ISLA can use the money for anything it needs! Examples include computers, books, and playground equipment are just some of the ways schools have chosen to use the funds raised through Box Tops for Education.

Turn in the box tops to the box by the office before school is out this spring.

Fiesta Gatherings!

If you are looking for more occasions to meet up with ISLA families, there are still a few Fiesta gatherings available. There are opportunities for everyone with events hosted by staff and ISLA families!

  • LA and Student events –An afternoon of Futbol and More!
  • Families – 2nd grade family kickball game, Kinder pool party, and 2nd grade pool party
  • Adults – Murder Mystery Dinner

Click on our ISLA store link below to learn more about each gathering and to sign up!

Last PTO Family Night of the Year!

Date: Monday, May 22nd, 6-8 pm

Location: The Roller Garden, 5622 West Lake Street, St. Louis Park

Join other ISLA families as we celebrate the end of the school year during our traditional roller skating party! Bring the entire family. It's a free event. Admission and skate rental are included. We hope to see all of you there! Sponsored by the PTO.

Nataly Avella

Grade: Second grade – Srta Hester,
3rd grade – Sra. Pfeiffer, Sra. de la Cruz
Host Families:

The host families are the first people that I meet.  When we come here, we are alone and don’t know anyone, so they are first time we experience American people, customs, and culture, first thing is from the host family.

I stayed with the Piruis family in the fall. The first month we went to a resort in northern MN and I saw Lake Superior. At home we biked around, went out for ice cream on the weekends, played board games, cards (Yahtzee), and went to movie theaters, restaurants, Arboretum, Minnehaha Falls. For thanksgiving the Pirius family hosted the big meal. Over Christmas we visited parents in MN. The Piruis family has since moved to Colorado.

Right now I’m staying with the Erickson Family. We have parties with friends, watch their older daughter play in volleyball tournaments, and went to Phoenix over spring break. We ate Easter dinner with the family – potato salad and ham.

Experiences at ISLA:

I interact during the morning meeting where we share about things to know about each other. I also help students who need extra support (1:1, small group) and lead some activities for vocabulary and reading activities.

I love the kids, I know them, I know who has difficulties and who doesn’t. I know the things in the behaviors and things that make them sensitive. You get to know the students really good even if it’s only one year. Sometimes they don’t see in me that I’m a teacher who will be mad at them, but someone who is there to support them and a friend of them.

Differences Between American and Columbian Schools:

This is a different educational environment than in Columbia. In public school here there are resources available that aren’t available in public schools in Columbia. (this feels like a private school in Columbia) The goals are similar until around 3rd / 4th grade (e.g. math is learned sooner in Columbia). For the immersion experience, the students here are really good. I sometimes think the way kids converse in Spanish is like someone in the university in Columbia.


The differences I see are the food, hours and type of meals. In Columbia, the big meal is at lunch and supper is small/light. In America, the big meal is at night.

Here, we eat a lot of sandwiches and pizza. In Columbia, I didn’t eat it often. I tried tomato soup for the first time here. I also love apple pie! I made 21 apple pies in December with the neighbors in one day.


1st trip was to see Lake Superior.

2nd trip I went to Chicago with the LAs. This was my first real big city in the US.

3rd trip I went to Orlando over new years with family from Columbia. We went to Universal Studios, explored the city, went bowling in the hotel and stayed at a Disney resort.

4th trip was to the Tix family cabin up north. We played ice sports such as ice skating, snow tubing, cross country, sledding, and snowmobiling.

5th trip – I went back to Chicago and Milwaukee. I stayed in Milwaukee and went to the Harley Davidson museum . Milwaukee was a lot of fun!

6th trip –I went to Phoenix with the Erickson family. They rented a cabin and we went biking and enjoyed the weather with friends.

7th trip – I went to visit the Pirius family in Colorado.

8th trip – After school is out I’m going to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon.


Advice to Future LAs

This is a unique experience that you have to enjoy, you will have ups and down and it’s part of your experience, and you have to learn to deal with it and not get sad. Everything that happens here you will remember for the rest of your life. Take advantage of this opportunity, you are in a great school, and the great staff is going to make you feel like you are with your friends and family.

Winter it wasn’t that cold. Be ready for winter, it’s going to be a good experience.

What’s Next?

I will return to Columbia and finish schooling. I’m completing the university where I am studying foreign languages, English, French, and German to be a teacher. I need 2 more semesters. 1 of them is practice in the schools). After I finish maybe I will travel to France (improve French) and Germany (Improve German).