AVHS Update

Sunday, January 17

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Message from the Principal

I’ve had the honor to spend some early mornings and late evenings meeting with 9th-12th grade parents for family experience circles since Winter Break. We’ve discussed what has been working, naming the struggles and challenges they have seen, and shared ideas of steps we can take to support students in distance-learning. I’ve learned a great deal from this group. More than anything, we have resoundingly affirmed that PARENTING IS HARD WORK- especially in the pandemic!

The challenges we are collectively facing while we try to support our students have stuck with me over the weekend. Whether your young people are thriving in this distance-learning model, or struggling without the structure of in-person connections, it’s tough to see your students lose motivation or “buy-in”. Whether you are a kid or an adult, we need to see the value in doing, but the stress, worries, crises, and everything else that has been thrown our way over the last 11 months make it really hard to do what we “know we need to do”.

For me, what I know I need to do has included the holiday greeting cards that I said I’d take on while my wife manages her job and our kids’ distance learning each day. At the start of the project, I was proud of the 24-hr turnaround I set in motion with a rush order for cards, stamps, and envelopes, and then…I made zero progress for weeks. I kept waiting for motivation to arrive each day of Winter Break. It didn’t. Then, after my daughter put off practicing her multiplication flashcards for a week and repeated, “I’ll do it when I feel like it,” I knew something needed to change, and yes, I knew it had to start with me.

In the moments when we “just don’t feel like it”, sometimes we need to pause and name that we are actually developing key life skills like perseverance, stick-to-it-ness, and self-discipline. School and life are full of little things that we don’t want to do. And the pandemic and other stresses can intensify our feelings of inertia. If you don’t want to do multiplication flashcards, hey girl, I get it. If you don’t feel like writing your narrative analysis, I hear you. However, there are times in life when you just have to sit down and write the darned holiday cards. So, yesterday morning, I announced that I was going to go practice “self-discipline” and began licking the envelopes. “Hey Dad. Come watch the game!” “Sorry, Oscar, I’m busy demonstrating a little stick-to-it-ness right now.” And guess what? It worked. And it made me feel a little better too.

Doing the things we don’t really feel like doing helps develop the mental habits we’re going to need for a life that is actually full of these things. Never before have we all been in such an important position to help our kids understand that school and life aren’t really about where the semi-colon goes or how to balance equations. Yes, those things matter, but what we’re really doing is helping kids know that they can deal with all of the ups and downs of life by practicing the skill of doing things that are tough or that we want to postpone or that aren’t necessarily fun. So here’s to getting your taxes done, unloading the dishwasher, and knowing that we are sharpening valuable mental habits by attending all of our Zoom classes, completing assignments, and learning how to follow through! Take care. Be well. Go Eagles!

Drew Mons


(952) 431-8788


Join Us for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program

The AVHS Speech & Debate Team and Black Student Union are sponsoring this program at 10 am on Monday, January 18th. The program will feature a vocal performer, an oratory, a poetry performance, a keynote and some breakout sessions.

CLICK HERE for a link to the program.

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Arts and Activities are Back In-Person!

Guidance from the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), Minnesota Departments of Health and Education (MDH/MDE), and District 196 now allows for the return of students and staff to in-person practices and games for co-curricular activities across the arts and athletics spectrum. Our first in-person athletic competitions took place on Thursday night, and students have returned to school for practices and rehearsals in sports, music, and more. Each activity is moving towards in-person meetings at a different pace as there are different needs in terms of time, technology, and overall structure. We are excited to offer these in-person opportunities for our students again, and pledge that the safety of students and staff will be at the forefront of our decision-making in co-curricular activities.

Winter Conferences this week!

Teachers and counselors will be available for individual conferencing (5-10 minutes) via Zoom between 4 pm and 7 pm on Thursday, January 21st, and again between 7:30 am and 10:30 am on Friday, January 22nd.
  • Please CLICK HERE to sign up for an individual conference through our scheduling app, PTC Fast.

  • If your family would like to request an interpreter, please email Susi Yermishkin at susan.yermishkin@district196.org

  • If you do not know who your student’s teachers are, you can CLICK HERE to access their schedule in Infinite Campus.

*Please note that Zoom links to these sessions will be emailed to you from the teacher directly.

Registration for 2021-2022

Tuesday, January 19th

9th grade: Report to advisory for one-on-one registration and grade check-ins

10th grade: Report to your counselor’s zoom room from 10:00-10:20am*

11th grade: Report to your counselor’s zoom room from 10:25-10:45am*

12th grade: Attendance not expected

*Your advisor’s Zoom will be open during advisory if you need to jump in with any questions, though 10th and 11th advisory attendance is not expected.

CLICK HERE for the AVHS Registration Website.

AVHS Counselors

Ms. Gustafson (Student Last Names A-C)

Zoom room- https://tinyurl.com/MGmeet2020

To set up an individual appointment- https://calendly.com/michelle-gustafson

Mr. Perkins (Student Last Names D-He)

Zoom room- https://tinyurl.com/DPmeet2020

To set up an individual appointment- https://calendly.com/don-perkins/counselor-meeting

Ms. Fogolin (Student Last Names Hf-Mek)

Zoom room- https://tinyurl.com/VFmeet2020

To set up an individual appointment- https://calendly.com/val-fogolin

Ms. Schmidt (Student Last Names Mel-Roo)

Zoom room- https://tinyurl.com/LisaMeet2020

To set up an individual appointment-https://calendly.com/lisa-schmidt-1

Ms. Perkins (Student Last Names Rop-Z)

Zoom room- https://tinyurl.com/EPmeet2020

To set up an individual appointment- https://calendly.com/ellen-perkins

Resources in a Time of National Turmoil

As trusted adults in the lives of young people, we are in a key position to help process all that is happening. Here are a few resources to spur ideas and plans to support both adults and children:

January 2021 has offered many reasons for people to come together and talk about difficulties and disruptions local and national. AVHS administrators, counselors, student support specialists, and teachers will continue to offer spaces for our school community to process and reflect upon the impact of current events. If you would like to learn more about circles, please contact drew.mons@district196.org or AVHS’ Student Support Specialist, Alix Grande, at alix.grande@district196.org

7 Day Meal Kits Available at AVHS

7 Day Meal Kits are available for pick up near the AVHS entrance doors at the following times:

  • Monday 4:00pm- 5:30pm

  • Tuesday 7:30am- 9:00am

  • Wednesday 10:00am- 11:00am (Digital Academy Meals will continue)

  • Thursday 7:30am- 9:00am

  • Friday 7:30am- 9:00am

All families are encouraged to participate in this opportunity. To assist the AVHS Food and Nutrition Services team with meal planning, please complete the meal kit interest survey if you haven’t done so.

Who Do I Go To For Help?

COVID Notifications in Distance Learning

Please continue to call or email us if you or your child is ill or are experiencing symptoms, if you or your child is identified as a close contact to someone who is COVID-19 positive, and if there are any positive test results in your household. We are obligated to continue tracking this data for the district, county, and state, and will be assisting with contact tracing. This is also one of the data points that will be used in determining the learning model and our opportunities for in-person experiences.

It is important you and anyone in your household stay home and discontinue any activities outside of your household if you are feeling sick, regardless of whether symptoms are related to COVID-19. Less common symptoms of COVID-19 include sore throat; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; muscle pain; fatigue; headache; nasal congestion; runny nose, and chills. More common symptoms include fever over 100.4; new or worsening cough; difficulty breathing, and a new loss of taste or smell.

The state of Minnesota is providing barrier-free testing to every resident. You can order a test online and have it shipped to your home at no cost. Included in the test are instructions for taking the test and consulting with a health professional. Order your free at-home saliva test at https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/.

Our Licensed School Nurse at School is Lori Henke. Contact information is lori.henke@district196.org or 952.431.8220. School nurse office hours are 7:30 to 3:30. The school’s main number is 952.431.8200 and school hours are 7:30 to 3:30.

Text Message Updates

Texts are delivered via SchoolMessenger, the mass notification service the district uses for phone calls and email messages. Parents must opt-in to receive text messages. Standard message and data rates may apply.


  • Text Y to 67587, you will receive a confirmation message stating you are registered to receive SchoolMessenger notifications via text.
  • For help information, text HELP to 67587.

  • To opt-out at any time, text STOP to 67587.

*Only SMS numbers listed as Guardians in the Infinite Campus student information system can receive texts.

**If you do not receive a confirmation message of what appears to be an error message, it most likely means that short code texting is not enabled on your wireless plan.

Distance Learning Schedule at AVHS

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