January 2017 Newsletter

September 29, 2019

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Queridas Familias,      

Feliz Año Nuevo!    Last year was another great year for ISLA---with a record high enrollment, great assessment results, a Minnesota Department of Education School Finance Award for overall fiscal health,  a designation from the state as a “High Quality Charter School”, and much more; in addition, ISLA was also awarded by the Reader’s Choice Awards from the Sun Newspapers as the Best Public School, Best Summer Camp, Best Principal, Best PTO, and Best Teachers (Claudia Holzbauer and Adriana Maldonado).

As we head into 2017, all of the ISLA team would like to express our best wishes for all ISLA families, and wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.  As you know, we are preparing to launch our Makerspace at ISLA this month.

The “maker movement”  is designed around the idea of engaging students with critical thinking and creativity through designing and making things. Schools around the country are incorporating “makerspaces” in school library media centers and other flexible learning areas.  As part of our professional development program, ISLA teachers attended a workshop which showed them how to utilize common resources for curriculum focused projects that engage students in “making stuff.”  The applications in the areas of STEAM and within the International Baccalaureate PYP Units of Inquiry are numerous and rewarding.  

We need your help... There are a lot of materials that you might find around the house, many of which are recyclable that you could help us collect. Teachers have submitted lists of materials they will be needing for development of their units.

Some of the recycled objects that we could use are:

  • tubes   soup cans  bolts   nuts  screws
  • bottles  metal  aluminum foil craft sticks straws
  • toothpicks styrofoam bubble wrap plastic bags cotton balls
  • duct tape scotch tape egg cartons wrapping paper tubes  
  • toy animals (not stuffed) empty prescription bottles (without labels), etc.

We look forward to another great calendar year here at ISLA, and we would like to send out a special thank you to all of our volunteers this past year.  Your involvement and help is what really makes ISLA and this community shine.  

Thank you for all your support,


   Late Start

ISLA’s next late start is on Thursday, January 26th.  School and buses will run 2 hours late.   If you need childcare for this day, please sign up at http://misamigosimmersion.com/reg-onoccasion.html.  Remember that they need at least 24 hours notice to accommodate your child.



Parent Information Meeting for Prospective Families

ISLA will be holding a parent information meeting for prospective families on Thursday, January 26th at 6:30 pm. Tell all your friends and neighbors!  This is an adults only meeting and unfortunately child care will not be available. 

MLK Day            

There will be no school on Monday, January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  If you need childcare for this day, please sign up at http://misamigosimmersion.com/reg-onoccasion.html.   24 hour notice is requested to accommodate your child.

ISLA has a openings for your child in Extra-curriculars!!

 Did your child love the Hour of Code? If so, you can register for an extracurricular coding class (Google CS). 

The Spanish corner will explore the Spanish language through stories, crafts and activities that will increase your child's vocabulary. 

Are you into art? Enjoy learning new painting techniques?  Then Painting Life is for you.

If you need a workout, Zumba still has room for you.

Please see this form to see if there is still room in some of our offerings:


2017 Winter Session
3:45 pm to 4:45 pm

  • We are accepting registrations on a first come first serve basis. Write checks to ISLA PTO and turn it in to Emily Smith in the office. 
  • Deadline to register is Sunday, January 8
  • Please have your child/ren bring a nutritious snack and a water bottle for after-school snack time
  • The session will be January 9 to March 17
  • Please fill out one registration form per child.

6th Grade Parents Save the Date at Hopkins North Jr. High

For 6th grade families interested in having their student attend North Jr. High in the 2017-18 school year.

  • January 10, 2017 • 6th Grade Parent Registration Information Night 6:00-7:30 pm
  • January 15, 2017 • Deadline for open enrollment for non-Hopkins district residents. **
  • April 18, 2017 • 6th Grade Parent Step-Up Night 6:00-7:30 pm
  • May 12, 2017 ·6th Grade Student Step-Up Day 6th Grade students visit the junior high during the school day


10700 Cedar Lake Rd I Minnetonka , MN 55305 I 952.988.4800

Volunteer Spotlight, Q&A

January 2017

By Heather Copps, ISLA Marketing Chair


Steve Tycast  


Steve created the ISLA mobile app almost a year ago. ISLA is streamlining digital communications and embracing this useful tool!

Q: Can you tell me something about yourself and your connection to ISLA?

A: All three of my daughters started in immersion education very early with several years of Mis Amigos preschool and they currently attend ISLA.  Our family was looking for a Spanish Immersion elementary school and we live in the Hopkins School District.  ISLA seemed like a natural choice for so many reasons.

Q: What has inspired to give your time and talent to ISLA? Why is it important to give to ISLA?

A: The choice to develop a mobile app was driven by my daughters' school schedules and our family needing some avenue to quickly and easily stay in touch with their classrooms and activities.  My wife and I believe in giving back in order for their classrooms and the ISLA community to function at the highest level.  Since ISLA is a charter school, it receives funding in similar and dissimilar ways to those of traditional public schools.  We know that our involvement, time, money, energy and commitment is critical to the success of ISLA and our daughters' education.

Q: What makes ISLA so special?

A: It’s the teachers and administrators that my girls interact with each day, as well as the other parent volunteers that help complete the circle of giving back and demonstrating pride in what we all share.  The IB Programme is really unique and teaches a whole world view that our family believes in.  The chance to continue on in Spanish Immersion at such a high level at Juntos through Hopkins is also really fantastic.  I believe ISLA is special because it is a small elementary school that has a well-defined mission and a compassionate group of teachers that carry it out day after day.

ISLA families can find the ISLA app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for $1.99 (search ISLA Mobile), which covers both Apple and Google's licensing fees.  Any and all additional profit goes directly to Hola-IT (www.hola-it.org), an accredited non-profit organization that provides technology and educational services to children and organizations in Latin America.

Teacher Workshop

There will be no school on Monday, January 23rd.  There will be a workshop held for the teaching staff.  Please mark your calendars!  If you need childcare for this day, please sign up at http://misamigosimmersion.com/reg-onoccasion.html.  Remember that they need at least 24 hours notice to accommodate your child.

Emergency School Closing

The directive to close schools comes from the office of the superintendent of Hopkins Schools as the Hopkins district provides transportation for our students.  All local stations announce school closings for Hopkins Schools in the morning before school opens and announce early dismissals due to developing severe weather.  ISLA will not be named individuallyWe are included in the announcement obout Hopkins Public Schools #270.  If school closes early, Companeros will be closing as well.  There will be no extra-curricular activities on days of early closing or no school for the day.  If there is a question as to the possibility of school being closed, please tune your radio to WCCO or other local news stations.  The major local TV stations run a continuous print-out across the bottom  of the screen to keep you informed on school closings.  You can also sign up for e-mail notification regarding closings at the following site:   http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/account/

Here is another link to sign up for texts: http://www.kare11.com/closings

Please avoid calling the school during this extremely busy time.

Cold Weather Dress  

Exercise and physical activity helps children release their muscle tension after several hours in school and contributes to overall wellness, including cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance.  Recess also provides an opportunity for students to play and relax outdoors and to socialize.  As the weather is getting cooler, please ensure that your child has the appropriate dress for outside recess.  If it is determined that the temperature or the wind chill prevent safe exposure, an “inside day” will be announced, and alternate activities will be provided in the classroom or gym.  Inside days occur when the temperature falls below 0˚ F, or it is determined that it is not safe.  Students should always come to school with appropriate outdoor clothing.  Even if the weather is below 0˚ F in the morning when you drop your student off, it could warm up by recess.

Sibling Enrollment

Make sure that your child received the sibling enrollment priority they are entitled to at ISLA. Submit an online student application for the sibling of a currently enrolled student by the sibling enrollment deadline of February 14, 2017.  The online student application can be found on the ISLA website. Any student applications for a sibling received after the deadline will follow regular enrollment processes.