May Newsletter 2022

Valley View Elementary School

From Principal Kuhlman

Dear Families,

The excitement is brewing for the end of the year. We are in our last full month of school and we can feel it!! The energy level in the spring doubles! Students are excited to get outside to play and experience everything summer has to offer. We will be hosting our annual track and field events in May. We encourage all parents to come cheer on their child as they participate. We will also be hosting several other events to engage parents. More information will be coming home on these events. With all of these activities happening in the spring, it is important to keep you children on a set schedule. We often see an increase of students in the nurses office complaining of being tired or not feeling well as they have not had enough sleep.

If your student is not feeling well, or has a cold, we are encouraging them to wear a mask at school. COVID is still out there and we are doing our best to keep everyone safe. Students who are sick or showing symptoms will have their parents notified. We have COVID tests available if you choose to test your children. Please contact Nurse Kelly for one of the kits.

We are so close to the end of the year, we need everyone’s help to remain healthy and learning!

Thank you,

Mr. Kuhlman

Fun Run 2022

Registration is due Friday, May 6!

The 9th-Annual Fun Run will be on Saturday, June 4 at noon. Come out, support our school and have fun by participating in one of our races!

  • The Kuhlman 5K
  • The 2K Fenske Flash
  • Children's Quarter-mile Run (1st grade and younger)

T-shirts will be provided to all registered participants and refreshments will be served after the race.

Cost: $5 for students and $10 for adults

To order a 2XL or 3XL shirt, please stop by Valley View between 7:30-3:30 pm to register for the Fun Run.

Click on the link below to register or complete the paper registration form that was sent home with your student!


Pre-K has been busy and having lots of fun. We are finishing up a construction unit and working on Spring Activities. Soon we will move into our Insect Study, which is always fun with so many science experiments and experiences. We are working hard on rhyming, syllables, counting up to 30, writing our numbers, letters and sounds, working together and getting ready for Kindergarten.


It has been a fantastic kindergarten year. The kids have grown and learned so much! All have made friends and established relationships. We look forward to the next few weeks together. In March and April, we learned and wrote about animals. We are also learning about Minnesota and Native Americans.

1st Grade

First grade is enjoying the start of 4th quarter and has been working hard in reading and math. In reading and writing, we have been reading, learning, and writing about animals. First grade had the opportunity to talk via Zoom with a former Valley View student in St. Kitts about animals and becoming a veterinarian. In math, we have been working on addition and subtraction to 40 and will finish the year with numbers to 120. We will finish our science units with Pebbles, Sand, and Silt at the end of the year. We look forward to celebrating all that our first graders have accomplished this year!

2nd Grade

Students in 2nd grade started their money unit this month. Mr. Bondo Nyembwe (Executive Director) joined Mrs. Schaust’s class on April 21, 2022. He helped students feel confident about finding the value of a group of coins. He assisted many as he walked around and helped students through their send-off work. Mr. Nyembwe enjoyed seeing students turn-and-talk and the integration for technology in 2nd grade, while Mrs. Schaust’s class loved showing their math exploration with him.

3rd Grade

What a busy year it's been in third grade! We're glad to be done with MCA testing and moving on to spring fun. Students are learning to write about their opinions and will soon be writing letters to persuade others. In math we've learned about time, temperature, measurement, area and perimeter. We look forward to reviewing many third-grade skills and solving word problems during quarter 4.

Third grade is an exciting year for readers as they start to really hone their skills and develop specialized interests in certain books. Be sure to ask your third grader what their favorite book is right now! Students participated in a virtual empathy program with the Minnesota Zoo last month. We are currently learning about healthy food habits during weekly nutrition lessons. A big highlight has been the crayfish in science as we explore animal features and their functions. May is a busy month, full of lots of learning and lots of fun with a visit to the Heights Garden, Track and Field Day, and a few class projects. Have a great summer third grade and remember to read and practice those math facts!

4th Grade

Fourth graders are rounding out their year of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) with a unit on Attitude. We’ll talk about perspective taking, choosing optimism, and using positive affirmations. So far, this unit has been full of real-life scenarios, great conversations, and so much problem solving. We are excited practice these lifelong skills as a class! Check out our brainstorming for how to stay optimistic and keep using these skills to stay “sunny” this summer!

5th Grade

Fifth grade has been working hard on our MCA tests this spring! We are excited to start some new and exciting projects in both reading and math! They are finishing up their geometry unit in math by finding the area and perimeter of their classrooms and the school building! They have also been using their five senses to write a poem about the weather. It has been fun to see what students enjoy most about snowfall, thunderstorms, and the summer sunshine! Students have been mesmerized by their book club readings and are always asking to read ahead! They work well together and have been making great strides in reading small groups. We will be finishing off the year with some more algebra work in math and taking a field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota to tie together all of our science skills that we learned about this year. More information on this trip will be sent home with your child soon, as well as end of the year celebration information! We are so proud of our fifth graders this year and are excited to see what middle school brings them next year!


LEAP students kicked off their new Science Unit on the Solar System by Zooming in for a virtual field trip to the Bell Museum. Students were able to explore the solar system through the use of the ExploreDome. We “flew” above our solar system to “get on board” for a guided tour of the solar system, exploring the similarities and differences of the planets, moons, and asteroids. Our journey ended with the class “flying” back to North America and asking the presenter all of our astronomy related questions.

ANNOUNCING: Valley View's Track & Field Day

Monday, May 16 is Track and Field Day for students in PreK-3rd grade!

  • 8:30 am-10:30 am: PreK Full Day, PreK a.m., K & 1st Grade
  • 12 pm-2 pm: PreK pm, 2nd & 3rd Grade

The rain day is Tuesday, May 17.

On this day, students in PreK-3rd grade are allowed to be out of uniform. They may wear their track and field shirt or dress like Ms. O in athletic clothes for a day full of movement!

Summer Bowling Opportunity

Check out this great opportunity your family may be interested in for staying active this summer. You can sign your children up for 2 free games of bowling each day this summer! Bowling Centers locally like Elsie's Memory Lanes in Minneapolis, Mermaid Lanes in Mounds View and Classic Bowl Lanes & Lounge in Coon Rapids. CHECK IT OUT!!

PTO Information

Spring has been a cold one this year, but the PTO has been heating up. We had a wonderful turnout at the Carnival on April 22. We haven't finalized numbers yet, but we made over $2000 which will help us have more activities in the new school year now that Covid-19 numbers are dropping, mask mandates have lifted, and people are getting together in person again. Thank you to all the PTO members; students; along with parents, caregivers, teachers, staff, community organizations like Columbia Heights Police and Fire Departments and the Public Library; as well as businesses like Columbia Heights Rental, Culver's St. Anthony, and Heights Pizza Man who all helped us run a successful event. It was great to see families out having fun together again.

Despite the rain on April 23, PTO families removed garbage from Keyes Park to celebrate Earth Day and prepare it for outdoor fun for our community this summer. Thank you to everyone who came out to help and to the Columbia Heights Lions for the opportunity to raise money for our organization and the donuts from Heights Bakery. We will have another Keyes Park Clean Up on May 21 at 9 am so put it on your calendar and join us for some fun and fresh air.

Summer is coming and students will be wanting to spend even more time online and with screens. Hear from an Internet expert about what kids are doing online and how you can help your kids use the Internet safely—and in positive ways. Our Family Tech Talk virtual event will be Tuesday, May 10 at 7 pm on Zoom and includes a live Q&A: We will have English, Spanish, and some other languages available.

Our last PTO meeting of the year will be at the school on Thursday, May 12 at 6 pm and online on Zoom. Children are welcome and we try to have a Spanish interpreter available. If you are interested in running for a position on the board of the PTO we will be holding elections during that meeting. Please consider running for President, Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary for next school year or just come to the meeting to vote and get involved in general.

We are looking for a few volunteers to work a Make-And-Take table for a bookmark activity at the Expressions Art Showcase at Silverwood Park on Wednesday, May 18. The event is from 5pm to 7 pm and we plan to have 2 or 3 shifts so volunteers have time to enjoy the event as well. Please email to volunteer.

Columbia Heights Art and Information Fair is Thursday, June 23 from 5 pm to 7 pm at Huset Park. The PTOs of the Columbia Heights Public Schools set up a collaborative table to promote our organizations, give small giveaways (e.g. stickers, bookmarks), and have people sign up for the mailing list. To volunteer at this fun, family event, please email

For our Little Free Library Action Book Club, our theme for May is "We Are Family" and our books are Who's In My Family - by Robie H. Harris and Hotel Dare - by Terry Blas. (Click the book titles to go to a video read-aloud of each.) Join us on Facebook to post your thoughts on the books you read or suggestions for others on this month's theme. In June, our theme will be Come Together, books that encourage unity, equity, and understanding in a divided world and our books will be Being a Good Citizen: A Kids’ Guide to Community Involvement by Rachelle Kreisman, What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Egger, and Lend a Hand: Poems About Giving by John Frank. We hope to have our new replacement Little Free Library complete before the end of the school year and plan to relocate it near the front door so it can be seen from the office and be on camera to hopefully prevent future vandalism. Keep an eye on our Facebook page so you know when you can visit to give and get books this summer.

Our school is registered with several companies for accepting donations. We accept physical General Mills Box Tops for Education (or scan your receipt using the app), Loaves 4 Learning UPCs, and Coka-Cola Give product caps (or enter the codes online at in the school lobby in a marked bin on the shelf under the Little Free Pantry (which is also open for food donations).

Keep up with the PTO online at any time at and

We look forward to seeing our Valley View families in person even more going forward so please come out to meetings and attend school events so we can get to know each other and come together as a community.

Samara Bilyeu-Anderson

PTO President 2021-2022

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