Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

September 29, 2019

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Dear ISLA Community,

As you are aware, the ISLA School Board has been in conversations with the Hopkins School District since the fall of 2017 about a further collaboration. This conversation has involved the ISLA community through listening sessions and several community meetings to understand the next steps that ISLA could take and to further understand the engagement of the full ISLA community.  In August of 2018, the ISLA School Board engaged legal counsel,and sent a letter of intent to the Hopkins School Board to formally consider this collaboration. 

The negotiation committee met several times as a team to understand what the next steps would be for ISLA in this precedent setting process. Additionally, the ISLA negotiating team met with members of the Hopkins executive cabinet over a period of months to determine next steps. We have been aware for some time of the possibility that legislation would be needed in this context to deal with various complexities of the laws applicable to school districts and charter schools, the ISLA fund balance, and the lease aid provided to ISLA by the state of Minnesota.   

The ISLA Board learned on Wednesday, March 6, to its surprise,that the Hopkins executive team had apparently arranged for the introduction of legislation about the potential collaboration of Hopkins and ISLA to the MN House.  We are currently in process with the Hopkins District to rectify this situation and planfully amend the legislation with ISLA’s input, the opportunity for which has so far been lacking.  

ISLA is committed to continuing a collaborative relationship with the Hopkins School District in some form. Hopkins was our original charter school authorizer and they have continued to support ISLA with a variety of collaborative services over the entire term of our existence. Meanwhile, we are continuing to pursue further real estate conversations that would allow for larger ISLA growth and retain the special and unique character of the ISLA learning community.


Nora Tycast                                                                Jeremy Perrin
ISLA Board Chair                                                       Executive Director

Friday, March 8

International Women’s Day

This week ISLA joins the United Nations in its efforts to educate the world about gender equality by participating in a variety of learning engagements that provoke inquiries into issues of inequality that women face around the world.


Yesterday, the school was presented with a moving theater performance performed by our talented team of LAs and Sra. Claudia who walked us through a mini history lesson highlighting the story of powerful women in
history that have changed the world by their bravery, innovation and intelligence.

Girls in Action

This week fourth grader Amalia Tycast was inspired to take action by organizing a penny wars between the classes. Her efforts helped raise just under $700 to help transport the computers that were used in our previous computer lab to Guatemala.

Wall of Appreciation

Students were asked to reflect on a woman in their lives that they admire and that inspires them. These photos and reflections can been seen on the wall by the bathrooms.

Women of ISLA

Our entryway showcases the biographies of ISLA women who make our community such a strong and positive place to work.

Women’s mark on the world

The ISLA library is peppered with biographies and photos of famous women who have left their
mark in history through science, government, the arts, and much more. Students will read about
the women and complete an activity showing what they’ve learned.

Yearbook Orders!    

Don’t delay to order your yearbook - orders due by March 29th. See attached flyer for details! Click here to order – school ID code: 9747919

Send in your photos for the yearbook!

Do you have photos of class parties, field trips, or any other pictures of your kids and friends at ISLA? Send them in to be considered for the ISLA yearbook!  Please include the child’s name and grade.  Cell phone pictures will even work, as long as they are sent in at full resolution.  

Send your full resolution pictures to:

Book your baby sitter now!!

Spring Student-Led Conferences

Student-led conferences are scheduled for March 19th and 21st.  Conferences will be held from 4:30-7:15 pm on Tuesday, March 19th and 8 am-2 pm on Thursday, March 21st.  To sign up for a conference time, please go to

Parents! We are looking for donations for our 12th Annual Fiesta de la Primavera auction scheduled for May 4, at Plymouth Creek Center in Plymouth.


(You choose how many spots for your event, during the Fiesta auction parents/students sign-up& pay per spot, bringing forth community and raising funds to benefit our LA Program).

Great Gathering Ideas:

  • Host an adult dinner party (always a big hit)
  • Ladies night out, men’s night out, card night
  • Sponsor a group fun event (men’s golf outing, pool party, backyard BBQ)
  • A week or weekend at a vacation home, cabin or time-share

It is recommended that donated items be at least $30 or greater in value.

Please fill out the google form by Friday, March 15th

Contact Merrie Sjogren at for questions!

Parent Donations Form!!!

2019 Language Ambassador Experiences!!!

Have a look at our LA experiences that will take place BEFORE the Fiesta de la Primavera!

It’s easy, use the SignupGenius link, click on the experience, & sign-up with payment all on SignupGenius.

Be sure to read all descriptions thoroughly!!

Reach out to Tasha at for any questions!

Language Ambassador Experiences Signup!

Noticias de la Biblioteca
Sra. Lisa Yepes, Bibliotecaria

Hello families!

We’ve been very busy in the Library Media Center so far this school year. At first, I was getting to know our collection and the students, so that was the main focus. As the year has progressed, I’ve been establishing some new routines,such as teaching a mini-lesson each week before the class’ book check out.These lessons have to do with library skills and are tied to the IB Units of Inquiry. We’ve worked on distinguishing between fiction and non-fiction,understanding the organization of the books in the library and many other topics. In addition, I’ve worked with different grade levels regarding their specific needs for research such as finding reliable sources, creating a bibliography, taking notes and where to find good information.

Thank you for your help and support in getting the library books turned in on time! Each class has a weekly 30 minute time and also the library is open every day before Morning Meeting from 8:45-9:05 and from 3-3:15.

If you have any time to volunteer, I am always looking for help in the library! We have a variety of jobs, including processing books, shelving and a long term project getting our story books organized in a more student-friendly way.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Clear Your Mind  

It’s one of the great ironies of life: We’re too frantically busy to deal with the things that make us feel frantically busy. Tackling them might feel like a “someday project”, but here’s some ideas and strategies to ease your mind and let you enjoy life a lot more now.

Control what is possible. When we don’t know how something will work out, we worry in order to get certainty. To quell anxiety,throw yourself into what you can accomplish. Instead of fretting about an upcoming big presentation, focus on some small pieces that you can get done today. You’ll feel good about the present and be able to put other thoughts on pause.

Streamline your choices. It’s a modern-day plague:We’re inundated with options for everything from house paint to olive oil—not just in local stores, but online also. You either end up getting nothing, or you’re convinced what you got is the wrong thing. The best sanity tactic is to impose limits: Pick just one place to shop, and allow yourself only a handful of possibilities. With practice it will get easier, and you’ll have extra hours in your day.

Loosen up on perfection. We have reached a tipping point in perfection. People are realizing we can’t do it all at the level that we used to. Try the “minimum, moderate, maximum” strategy. Instead of telling yourself “I need to just let it go” or “Not everything needs to be perfect”,think about effort level and what the best option is for the moment. What is the maximum I could do—the perfect, fairy tale version of this task? What is the minimum I could do—just to be able to check this off my list? And then, what is something in the middle? Sometimes the minimum will be the best option for everyone. Other times, you will have the time and resources necessary to dedicate to the maximum option. The point is, there are multiple, adequate ways to check things off your list; and you don’t need to do everything at the same high level. You are allowing yourself flexibility in completing the task.Having a system in place to right-size the moment is liberating instead of paralyzing.

Connect with nature. Unplug from technology and venture out into nature—a beach, park or hiking trail provides a great setting to forget the stressful situations for a minute and get lost. Connecting with nature reminds you that we, along with the things that cause us to stress out,are just small pieces of a much bigger picture.

Get moving. You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour every day to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.Science has found that even small bursts of activity are helpful at alleviating stress and helping clear your mind. Hit a punching bag. Go for a short run/walk through the park. Take some swings in the batting cage or driving range. Park at the far end of the lot when you do your Target run. Walk up the stairs at a quick pace instead of using the elevator. Take your dog to an off-leash park and jog alongside the pup for 30-90 seconds. Replace short car trips with walking or cycling. If you’ve been sitting at your desk and working for awhile, stand up and stretch…or do some quick at-your-desk exercises. It is helpful just to pause for a minute and focus on something besides the task at hand.


The PTO collects and organizes new or gently used uniforms that are donated by ISLA families who no longer need them. They will be set out at a variety of events throughout the year.  However, if you find your child has gone through a growth spurt and you need access to them sooner Emily is able to give parents access to where the uniforms are stored. To donate items, please bag them and drop off at the school office.  Please feel free to take any items your kids could use.  You do NOT have to donate anything in order to take.


Looking for more easy ways to help support the great work that the PTO does for our kids and their school? Here are two great options!

:  You can find your child’s things easily in the lost and found by marking them with bright, durable, Mabel’s Labels. Go to and click on Select your School/Organization and choose International Spanish Language Academy.  A portion of your purchase will support the PTO.

: Shop at Amazon? You can have a portion of your purchase donated to the PTO!  Go to and search for International Spanish Language Academy.  Then just make sure to bookmark AmazonSmile and use it for your entire Amazon shopping needs.



Day time volunteers are needed for classroom exploration and library support. Spanish is not required.Have you considered volunteering? Sign up for a shift on the sign ups below and give it a try! Still not sure? E-mail us your questions - Sarah and Julia at

Exploration - We need your help! February and March spots remain open for every grade level! February and March dates listed by grade level below. Volunteer time is 12:50-2:50 pm.

  • First - 3/11
  • 2nd - 3/12
  • 4th - 3/15
  • 5th - 3/18
  • 6th - 3/19

Description: You will be assisting the students participate in the projects and other hands on activities that Sra Maldonado has set up. Volunteer in your child’s class. The sign up identifies the grade and rotating exploration day, with 2 volunteers needed per day for grades K-2,and 1 volunteer needed per day for grades 3-6:

Library - We still have a need for volunteers to assist classes during library time. Spanish is not required.Thank you for considering!


ISLA Board Committee Openings:Interested in joining one of the Board Committees?

Popcorn Machine Maintenance - Contact the PTO if you are interested in maintaining the popcorn machine in between school and PTO events.

Go to the Volunteer Interest Form to learn about more ways to get involved:

Questions about Volunteering? Contact us at