Noticias de ISLA y ISLA PTO

September 29, 2019

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant
2nd grade at Global Academy

CrossCultural Connections:  

How internationalmindedness is shaped at ISLA

ISLA at Global Academy

This year the second grade students have formed new friendships with students from Global Academy IB World School in Columbia Heights. In the fall the Global Academy 2nd graders were welcomed to ISLA to share in activities related to their unit of inquiry which explored cultural similarities and differences related to traditions, language and concepts connected to weather. The students have been writing pen pal letters to each other throughout the year and on Monday the ISLA second graders visited Global Academy and learned about coding, sang a song in Arabic and shared their curiosities with their new friends.  

Global Academy at ISLA

Escola Josep de Ribot i Olivas

On Monday fifth graders had their first peek of a Catalan classroom as questions were flying back and forth in Spanish and English to their new friends at Escola Josep de Ribot i Olivas.  Sra. Guerrero opened the door to this cultural exchange as she had the 5th graders write letters to the 5th grade Spanish students introducing themselves and telling them about life in Minnesota.  Before coming to us Sra. Guerrero worked at the Catalan school in Vilamalla on the Costa Brava, Spain.

6th Grade at Neighborhood House
6th grade at International Institute

Last Friday the sixth graders had a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of the central idea of their current unit of inquiry, “Human migration is a response to challenges, risks, and opportunity.” After inquiring into their own families’ immigrant stories and reading fictional books like “Home of the Brave” that narrates the story of a boy named Kek, a refugee from Sudan who finds himself in Minnesota, students once again stepped out of the classroom and into the community. The morning started out with a visit to Neighborhood House in West St. Paul where students were paired with English language learners from across the globe asking them questions about their life experiences and home countries. They then spent the afternoon volunteering at the International Institute of Minnesota providing,serving and sharing lunch with refugees and immigrants who have made Minnesota their home. The students spent their lunch having conversations with these students and finding all sorts of connections despite having very different life experiences. This was all made possible by generous donations from 6th grade families and collaboration between ISLA and these important community organizations.

6th grade serving lunch

International Day of Happiness

March 20 is the International Day of Happiness and this year's theme is Happier Together, focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us. At ISLA students celebrated by gifting a smile to someone around the world by locating a place on a world map and putting a smiley sticker on that location. The maps are hung on the common wall space by the bathrooms. They also drew and wore smiley face necklaces to help them remember to share a smile with everyone around them.

Last Call for Yearbook Orders!    

The deadline for ordering yearbooks is over spring break this year (March 29th). Yearbooks will not be available after the deadline, so don’t delay! 

Click here to order – school ID code: 9747919

Spring Music Programs

The spring music program dates have been set. You will receive more information about these programs as the time gets closer.

May 20 – 4th grade, 2 pm
May 24 – 1st grade, 2 pm
May 28 – 2nd grade, 2 pm
May 31 – 3rd grade, 2 pm
June 5 – 6th grade, 6:30 pm
June 6 – Kinder, 9:30 am
June 6 – 5th grade, 6:30 pm

Extra-Curricular Activities

Checkout the new extra-curricular activities that ISLA will be offering for spring.  Registration opens on Thursday,March 21st.  Please make checks payable to ISLA PTO. The spring session will begin April 8th. To see the extra-curricular activity descriptions, click on the families tab and then extra-curricular activities.

Click here to register.

Calendar of Events

  • March 22-29 - Spring Break, No School
  • April1 – School Resumes
  • April 3 – Last day of Minecraft (gr. 3-4)
  • April 4 – Last day of Games, Chess, Calligraphy
  • April 10 – Last day of Young Rembrandts
  • April 11 – Late Start, 2 hours
  • April 16 – ISLA Board Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • April 19 – Teacher Workshop, No school
  • April 25 – Kindergarten Round-up, 6:30


Our 8 LAs had a great time with their 1st MN families - their fall families.  From their welcoming pick-ups at the airport to the State Fair to the first days of school and into winter, our Language Ambassador program could not happen without our devoted families who provide fun, food and FAMILY while housing our exchange teachers.  

Thanks so much to:

The Fisher Family for hosting Rocio from Colombia

The Gregory Family for hosting Valeria from Colombia

The Halls Family for hosting JuanRo from Chile

The Klein Family for hosting Ruben from Spain

The Lauzon Family for hosting Yancy from El Salvador

The McCabe Family for hosting Lina from Colombia

The Morales Family for hosting Karla from El Salvador

The Salemi Family for hosting Cristian from Colombia


Will YOUR family be a host family next fall?Please contact Kim ( or Meggin ( to talk about this opportunity.

ISLA Board Elections

Election for directors for ISLA's board for the 2019-2020 year will take place on May 21, 2019.

For the slate of candidates go to: and to see their biographies go to:


Putting away your winter clothes and pulling out your suitcases for spring break?!   When you discover you are done with those items, please consider donating them to the ISLA LA program!

Each spring, most of our LAs want to return home with one additional suitcase - can you imagine how much stuff they accumulate in one school year?!?!  Note: they do NOT need to be working suitcases!  There could be a rip or a broken zipper… as long as it can hold “stuff” and be duct taped up, it will work just fine!!!

And, although our snow is FINALLY melting away, we at LA HeadQuarters never stop looking for warm items to keep our future LAs warm!!!  The PTO provides the LAs with their winter gear mainly from ISLA family donations.  We need men’s and women’s sizes.  Smaller sizes like our older school kids would wear (girls size 14-16) are always needed.  

Please leave donations with Emily Smith in the front office.  Please contact Meggin ( with any questions regarding donations.

PTO Survey

Hola Parents! Your input is very important us! If you haven’t had a chance to complete the PTO survey (placed on classroom tables at conferences), complete online by March 31, 2019 for your chance to win 2 FREE TICKETS TO THE FIESTA DE LA PRIMAVERA!

Online Survey:

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.

Last minute donations will be accepted for one more week!

Contact Merrie Sjogren for questions!

Parent Donations Form!!!



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 signups below and give it a try! Still not sure? E-mail us your questions - Sarah and Julia at

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

Kinder - 4/1, 4/12, 4/26
First - 4/2, 4/29
2nd - 4/4, 4/16, 4/30
3rd - 4/5, 4/18
4th - 4/8
5th - 4/9, 4/23
6th - 4/11, 4/26

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 forvolunteers 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


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 InternationalSpanish 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 Amazon Smile and use it for your entire Amazon shopping needs.


The PTO collects and organizes new or gently used uniforms that are donated by ISLA families who no longer need them.  They will beset 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.