November 2016 Newsletter

September 29, 2019

Emily Smith

Administrative Assistant

Queridas Familias,

Last month was a busy one here at ISLA. At the State of the School, we looked at our academic results, PTO and Board structure and functions, and future plans for ISLA. Our new website was launched by the Technology Committee (thank you!), and will continue to be updated with new features in the near future. Most recently, it was great to see how friends and family really turned out for Día De Los Muertos, which turned out to be a wonderful display of culture and a homecoming of sorts for the ISLA community. I would like to give a big thank you to the PTO for all of their hard work and such a successful event.

Over MEA weekend, ALL of our teachers and administrators attended the Sixth International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education. We were able to connect with educators from all around the globe, and exchange ideas on immersion language programming, methodology, applicable technology, and curriculum. It was invigorating to attend workshops and discuss common issues with distinguished colleagues from Finland, Canada, and China (to name a few), and we were extremely proud to have one of our own staff members present as well: Sixth Grade teacher Sarah Devers.

Some of the top researchers presented interesting studies on the cognitive, social, and linguistic consequences of bilingualism, reinforcing previous studies on the topic, and more than ever, reaffirming our mission. It is clearer than ever that immersion education reaps enormous benefits for the learner in many ways, including labor market advantages, identity development, and potentially, can even help prevent dementia! The recent data is exciting for the immersion community, especially in terms of neurological skills such as executive functioning. As you know, executive functioning is essential to problem solving, and is a key part of achievement and overall wellness. According to the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, “executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully” (Harvard, 2016).

These benefits and more are on display in our classrooms here at ISLA on a daily basis. Although there is always more to learn, many of our teachers commented that after hearing about all of the other immersion programs in different parts of the country and around the world, they felt a reaffirmation about how good they have it here in their own “backyard”; they reflected about the strength of the program here at ISLA, in terms of curriculum, teachers and staff, students, and of course, the support of our parents and guardians.



Library Cards update

Dear Parents,

Thank you to all of you who made and turned in the photo-copy of your child’s library card. We received information from Hennepin County Libraries that we also need the pin # to ac-cess some of the online re-sources. If you can fill out the form and click on Library Card Info for submitting these important details. We appreciate your help with this.

Late Start

Late Start

Thursday, November 17th 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.

Vision and Hearing Screening

During the month of November we will be conducting vision and hearing screenings for all grade levels. If your child already wears corrective lenses (glasses or contacts), please help them remember to wear them everyday to school.

Impaired vision or hearing in children can contribute to the development of learning problems. These issues can be prevented or alleviated through early identification and intervention. Children with impairments in hearing or vision often are unaware of it and do not complain. They tend to accept the imperfections without question.

We will follow the referral criteria set up by the Minnesota Dept. of Health. If your child needs further evaluation fol-lowing the school screening, you will receive a letter notifying you of this.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
Tanya Nelson RN, LSN
ISLA School Nurse 952-746-6020 or Fax 952-746-6023 

Festival de las Calaveras

November 5, at 7:00 p.m. The Cedar, Minneapolis Celebrates the Day of the Dead with a concert honoring many Hispanic performance groups and artists, including Maria Isa, Rodolfo Nieto & Alejandro Magallón, and Guyaba, among oth-ers. Don’t miss this fun concert that is sure to please both adults and children alike! $8-15, advance ticket purchase recommended.

No School

There will be no school on Wednesday, November 23rd due to a grading day. There will also be no school on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Companeros will be in session on Wednesday, November 23rd at ISLA, but they will be closed on Thursday and Friday. To register for Wednesday click on the following link:

2017-18 Student Application Available November 1st!

ISLA will start accepting student applications for the 2017-18 school year on November 1st. Siblings of currently enrolled students get preference, but you still must complete an online application. It is on our website under the Explore tab and then the Enrollment tab. For the most part, ISLA does not advertise in the local newspapers. Make sure you let your friends and families know that our gem of a school is accepting applications. The en-enrollment deadline for siblings and for families to be included in the lottery is February 14, 2017 by 4 pm. Click here to apply.

Give to the Max

In the ISLA calendar it shows Give to the Max day as Thursday, November 10th. This is incorrect. Give to the Max is on Thursday, November 17th. Go to the following site to donate:

Dress for the weather…

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 get-ting cooler, please ensure that your child has the appropriate dress for outside recess. If it is not raining but is wet, students will go outside for recess. Stu-dents should always come to school with appropriate outdoor clothing.

Fall Goal Setting Conferences

Fall goal setting conferences are scheduled for November 3rd and 4th. Conferences will be held from 12-8 pm on Thursday and 8 am-4 pm on Friday. Fall conferences are a time for you to meet with your child and set goals for the academic year. Teachers will send out paperwork in advance so you can come to the conference prepared. Grades 1-6 are a parent-student-teacher conference. Your child’s attendance is important. Kindergarten conferences do not involve the students.

Please make your attendance on these days a priority. Teachers are not readily available any day of the week, but will be in attendance these days.

Special points of interest:

  • Nov 3-Fall Conferences, No School
  • Nov 4-Fall Conferences, No School
  • Nov 7-Vision screening, K-2
  • Nov 11-Vision screening, Grades 3-6
  • Nov 14-Hearing screening, K-2
  • School Tour, 10:30 am
  • Nov 15-ISLA Board Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • Nov 17-Late Start (2 hours)
  • Nov 17-Give to the Max MN
  • Nov 18-Hearing screening, Grades 3-6
  • Nov 23-Grading Day, No School
  • Nov 24-25-Thanksgiving Break, No School
  • Nov 29-School Tour, 2 pm

Special Remembrance

November is the month when we remember those that are no longer with us. Here is a free workshop arranged by Tucker Helstroms’s family. Maggie Bauer, certified grief recovery specialist®, presents from the book “When Children Grieve”:

Thursday, November 10th
  • 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Location: Hopkins Pavilion
  • Discussion Topics:
  • Myths about grief
  • Sadness: a valuable emotion
  • Who’s responsible for your feelings?
  • Navigating the Holidays