Phoenix Family News

May 7, 2021

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Important Dates Ahead...

  • May 14 - All Media Center books need to be returned by this date

  • May 14 - VLA Pickup, 9:30-11:30 am

  • May 20 - Kelly Corrigan Virtual Author Visit, 9:30 am

  • May 27 & 28 - Device return day for Dial Model students.

  • May 31 - No School

  • June 2 - Last day of school

  • June 2 - Device return day for VLA students. Schedule to be sent out soon.

MCA Dates:
  • May 10-14: Science MCA for 5th grade only

VLA MCA Dates:

  • May 14: Science MCA (5th grade only) 9:30-12:00

Calendar and Schedule Updates

The latest calendar updates are available at

A Note from the Principal

Thank you Valley Crossing Families! You helped to make staff appreciation such a great week for our staff! And many thanks to the PTA for helping to fund our Lucky Duck Carnival game! The teachers appreciated the love (and prizes of course)!

We are down to the last few weeks of school. It is so hard to believe that we are almost done with another school year. This year has challenged us all to be flexible and gracious. As we wind down the school year, please help us by reminding your child the importance of following expected guidelines and to think about their daily behaviors. Spring can be tricky with lots of feelings about the end of the year (excitement, fear, anxiety, happiness, sadness and all the other emotions one may feel). Validate these feelings and encourage your child(ren) to do their best as we end an amazing year where we have all grown so much.

VCES Spring Book Fair

It’s time to get excited about our in-person Buy One Get One (BOGO) free Book Fair to be held May 10-17!

  • Due to current Covid restrictions, all shopping will be done by students during the school day by classroom appointment.

  • VLA students will have the opportunity to order books from the fair via a Google form. More information on this will be sent to you from your classroom teacher.


  • We are encouraging families to set up an eWallet to make shopping even easier. Visit our website to set it up! Watch this video for more information.

  • This cashless system works a lot like our current lunch account system. Money is placed in the student’s eWallet and they can shop the fair. You can share the eWallet with friends and family to add funds to the account as well!

  • Any unused funds will remain in their eWallet for next year’s book fairs OR the money can be spent on the Scholastic website.

  • eWallet accounts can be set up NOW through the last day of the book fair.

  • We will accept cash or checks (made out to VCES PTA).

Book Fair Website and Flyer

All items at the book fair are buy one get one free! The average price of a book is $8. Reading four books over the summer helps kids retain their reading level. The BOGO book fair is a great opportunity to stock up on books for summer reading!

Questions? Contact Susan Vance or 952-334-2572

Kelly Corrigan - Virtual Author Visit

We are excited to have Kelly Corrigan visiting Valley Crossing virtually this spring! To support her virtual visit on Thursday, May 20, Red Balloon Bookstore has our VCES link to purchase Kelly Corrigan’s Hello World at a 20% discount. It fun to note that all books purchased this way will also receive a signed bookplate from Kelly!

District-issued Device Turn in

K-5 Dial Model students will be turning in their district issued devices on May 27th and May 28th. Please make sure your child has their device and charging cord with them at school on the above dates so we can successfully check them in to our system. Thank you for your help with this.

K-5 VLA devices will be turned in on June 2nd. More information will be sent out soon regarding the timeframe.

Order Battle Books for 2021-22!

All students have the opportunity to purchase copies of next year’s Battle of the Books titles. All books are or were nominees for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award, part of the Minnesota Youth Reading Awards. This is an optional order, and the Media Center will have multiple copies of all the books available for checkout next year. This order supports a local independent bookstore in St. Paul called Red Balloon Bookshop. If you’d like to place an order, please fill out this order form and send payment (cash or checks made to Valley Crossing PTA) to school by Monday, May 10. You can find summaries of next year’s titles by clicking here. Contact Ms. Lanners ( if you have any questions!

Return Library Books by May 14!

April 30 was the last day that students could request library books for checkout, and we ask that all VCES library books are returned to the Media Center by May 14. We have a cart in the front vestibule 5 days a week, and students learning in person can return books to their classroom library bins. If you or your child are unsure which books you have checked out, you can log into student accounts in Destiny Discover. We’d ask that you send payment (checks to Valley Crossing Elementary) or replacements for any lost or damaged books. You may also contact Ms. Lanners, Media Specialist ( or Mr. Josh, Media Clerk ( if you have any questions. Thank you!

2021-22 Planning

Preliminary planning for the 2021-2022 school year is beginning. If you have information about your child that you would like considered in making class placements, please submit an email to Mrs. Classon by the end of the day on Friday, May 14th. Final placement of students in specific classrooms will occur during the summer. Please note: This is not an invitation to “request” a classroom teacher. Please do not include names of teachers in your email to Mrs. Classon. While we are able to take many things into consideration during the placement process, we cannot guarantee students will be placed into specific classrooms. Thank you for your understanding.

Looking for Summer Camps and Classes?

Community Ed has so many to choose from. Here are links to a few elementary camps you do not want to miss:

And so many more!

Are you Moving?

If you will be moving over the summer and your child will no longer be attending Valley Crossing Elementary, please contact the main office. It is very important that you notify us so that we can transfer your child’s records to their new school. Please email Merita LaPlante at .

A Note from Dr. Gervais, School Social Worker

    • VLA families and quarantined students are welcomed to book individual meetings with me. Please view my schedule and availability online at

    • 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:

    • Snacks - Thank you to those families that donated snacks for our students over the course of the year. It has been a tough year for families and the need was greater than normal. Your generosity has been greatly appreciated!

    Illnesses, Absences and Quarantines

    • 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.
    • If your student is in quarantine due to a school-related exposure and you received a district quarantine letter, you do not need to call attendance every day.
    • If a family member has symptoms, please keep your child home from school. You can call the office to report the absence and our school nurse will explain the next steps based on your situation.

    • If anyone in your household has a pending Covid test due to having symptoms, we ask that everyone stays home until the results come back.

    • Please do not enter the building if you or anyone in your household is ill or tested positive for Covid. We can provide contactless delivery of materials or walk students out to be picked up, if need be.

    • 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.

    • We acknowledge that families may be frustrated, but we ask that our staff be treated with respect. They cannot change a student’s quarantine period.

    • If you have questions, please call our Health Office at 651-425-7502.

    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.

    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