Phoenix Family News

January 22, 2021

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Important Dates Ahead...

January 25-29 -

  • K-3 Multiage Dial Students ALL in person
  • Gateway and 4-5 Multiage Dial students and VLA students continue in their virtual environment

January 26 - Picture Retakes, 9:15 am-3:30 pm and 4:00-6:30 pm (see below)

January 29 - Last day of ECare for 4-5 multiage and Gateway 3/4/5

February 1:

  • All K-5 Dial Model Students return to in-person learning
  • All VLA students continue in VLA
  • I Love to Read Month begins! Watch for more information to come from your child's teacher!

February 8 & 9: NO SCHOOL for all students

February 15: NO SCHOOL for all students

Calendar and Schedule Updates

The latest calendar updates are available at

Welcoming Back our K-3 Multiage Dial Students

Week one with our K-3 students was a success. The students and staff were all so excited to be back together again! We can’t wait to see our Gateway and 4-5 multiage Dial model students on February 1st. We continue to do our best to maintain 3 feet of social distancing in the classroom, maintain 6 feet of social distancing from other bubbles, remind students to wear their mask properly, wash/sanitize hands often and sanitize work spaces and supplies. We know that this is going to be even more important as we welcome more students back to school on February 1st.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedure Reminders

Students will be invited into the building at 9:00 am. Please note that there is no supervision prior to 9:00 am. All students sanitize as they enter the building.

Car Arrival/drop off:

  • Please wait to let your children get out of the car until you are past the crosswalk

  • All students must exit the car on the curbside of the car

  • Drivers may not exit the car to assist their child - if your child needs help getting in or out of the car, you may park, walk them to the crosswalk, and have them cross to school at the crosswalk

Car Dismissal/Pick up:

  • Have your child’s name and grade level on a piece of paper in your window or on your visor (please contact your homebase teacher if you need a car-rider sign).

  • Like the drop-off routine, your child will be picked up curbside. Please do not park and come to get your child.

  • Students will wait in their designated area with their teacher until you arrive to pick them up.

  • As you pull up, proceed all the way to the stop sign directly in front of the school (please be kind and follow the directions of the staff members directing traffic).

  • For safety reasons, students may only enter your car on the curb side of your vehicle.

  • Please exit the car line as soon as your child has loaded to keep our traffic flow moving. Thank you!

Picture Retake DATE CHANGE - January 26th only:

  • Any K-3 multiage students who want to participate in picture retakes will get their retake completed during the school day from 9:15 am-3:30 pm on TUESDAY, JANUARY 26th.
  • Any VLA students, Gateway students, or 4-5 multiage students who want to participate in picture retakes are welcome to come to Valley Crossing between 4:00-6:30 pm on TUESDAY, JANUARY 26th. Signs will direct you to the gyms - please keep 6 feet of social distancing between families. Masks must remain on until pictures are taken.
  • Any students who are unable to participate in picture day or retake day are welcome to submit a picture for the yearbook. Instructions will be sent to families who were not able to participate in picture day/retake day once we know who has not had their picture taken.
  • To preview, personalize and pay online, visit and enter event code: FE70220

Last Chance Yearbook Ordering Promotion - through January 29th

Wondering if the yearbook is happening this year? 👉 YES! Last chance to order by Jan. 29th for spring guarantee!

Masks. Elections. Virtual classes. This school year will be talked about forever. The yearbook is truly the most important keepsake from this remarkable time. Our yearbook program is working hard to put together a historic book that will be looked back upon to remember one of the most unpredictable school years of all time. Order today or before Jan. 29th so we make sure there are enough copies for everyone - After Jan. 29th there are no guarantees a book will be available in the spring.


Choose J-Pay™ to easily and affordably spread the cost of your purchase over three payments. No interest. No fees. No stress.

Can’t remember if you purchased a book earlier? If so, please call 1-877-767-5217 for Jostens customer support.

Illnesses and Absences

  • Please be sure to call in to our attendance line to report absences or illness: 651-425-7506

  • Any sick student who is sent to school, or is determined to be sick during the school day, will immediately be sent home.


  • The 14-day quarantine period will remain in place. If staff or students had close contact with an infected person, the Minnesota Department of Health may direct us to keep them out of school for a minimum of 14 days.

  • We ask that families be prepared for the possibility that their child’s class could move to distance learning at any time due to a potential COVID-19 exposure.

Vacations and Other Extended Absences

When students return to in person learning, teachers will not be posting Seesaw activities or provide live streaming for students who are on vacation or other extended absences. Homework packets and/or assignments will be put together similar to years past (non-COVID school years). If you have any questions, please contact me at or 651-425-7503.

Now Hiring!

Are you looking for something to do while your kids are at school? Or do you know someone who is looking to get into the schools? We have the following positions open!

  • Lunch/Recess Paraprofessional, 11:05 am-1:05 pm daily
  • Lunch/Recess Paraprofessional, 11:00 am-1:30 pm daily
  • High Needs/Resource Paraprofessional, 9:00 am-3:45 pm daily

​If you are interested please go to the SoWashCo district website and complete an application for this position at Valley Crossing! You can also reach out to Merita LaPlante in the office for further information.

A Note from our Social Worker

As many of our students return to the classroom, I will be evaluating how to balance my schedule to meet student needs at Valley, in distance learning, and in VLA. As of now, I will dedicate one day a week to distance learning and VLA students for individual meetings and consultation with parents. Starting January 20, 2021, I will be available Wednesday's 12:00-4:00 pm. If you have a previously scheduled appointment with me outside of this day/time, this will continue to be honored. You can view my schedule and availability online at

I also encourage you to check out my recently developed Bitmoji Classroom that provides tools to practice mindfulness, movement, social skills, and learn about emotions. You can access this classroom HERE.

Resources for Families - District 833 has a website that will link you to a variety of resources from food, mental health, and unemployment and so much more. Bookmark this page for future use:

VCES Information Links

VCES Contact Information

Connha Classon, Principal: / 651.425.7503

Kristine McDonald, Assistant Principal: / 651.425.7523

Merita LaPlante, Office Coordinator: / 651.425.7501

Jen Gackstetter, Office Assistant: / 651.425.7507

Jen Gervais, Social Worker: / 651.425.7542 (Note Change)