Four Seasons A+ Spotlight

SEPTEMBER 2021

Important Dates and Events

Picture Day on October 7th has been canceled. Families will be notified as soon as a new date is scheduled.


No School on Thursday, October 21st and Friday October 22nd - MEA BREAK.


No School on Friday, October 29th for grades PreK - 5 (conferences).

Message from the Principal

Our 1st-5th grade students are on their 20th day of school and our EC/Pre-K/K students are on their 15th day of school for the 2021-2022 school year. While it is exciting to be back at school again, there are also challenges. Keep in mind if you have a 5th grade student, the last time they experienced a “normal” school year was 2nd grade. If you have a 4th grader, the last time they experienced a “normal” school year was 1st grade. If you have a 3rd grader, the last time they experienced a “normal” school was kindergarten! Our 1st & 2nd graders have yet to experience anything close to “normal” as far as school is concerned. So, what is a school to do? We are going slowly, adjusting expectations so they are realistic for our students. This is not to say we are lowering our expectations, but we have to meet our students where they are at. We are teaching, reteaching, and reteaching the rituals & routines of being in school again. Are we seeing many unexpected behaviors from our students? Yes, we are. Within that there are many opportunities for learning and growth. Our students at Four Seasons A+ Elementary School deserve only the best and we are here with and for them to accomplish this.


Volunteers Needed:

Our students come to school every day excited to be here. They come into the school, get their breakfast, and head to class. Our hallways are very busy as everyone gets to where they need to be...our students love to visit their former teachers and say hello to their family and friends. Are you available to help with this transition in the morning? What would it look like for you to come in and support our students? We would love family volunteers to support our students from 7:15 a.m. - 7:45 a.m. each morning. We would appreciate people to walk with students to class, engage students in conversation, help serve breakfast, and generally help us keep our hallways full of joy so that our students have a wonderful start to their day. Come in and help us set the tone for everyone to have a successful day. Please contact our Family Engagement Coordinator/Cultural Specialist, Karen Shannahan if you are willing to help out. She can be reached via email at Karen.Shannahan@spps.org and via telephone 651-325-2492. Thank you!


As always, please reach out should you need anything, have feedback for us on how to improve, and/or just want to talk.


Sincerely,

Jennifer Mickelson

Principal, Four Seasons A+ Elementary School

651-358-0940

Grade Level Updates

ECSE

Our Early Childhood DHH classrooms have been busy this first month of school learning how to be in school! We have made new friends, explored different areas of our classroom, produced art masterpieces and most importantly, PLAYED! These littles have done a great job working on sharing, problem solving, and letting their personalities shine. We can't wait for the rest of the year!


Pre K

Pre K has been very busy these first few weeks of school! We have been learning the rituals and routines of being in school all day. We are learning how to sit and listen, share with our new Pre K friends, clean up after ourselves, and how to be a good friend. Every day when we enter our classroom, we practice writing our names by signing in. From there, our busy day begins! We work, we learn, and we play! Our day gets to be long so everyone is very happy to have rest time to recharge our brains and bodies at the end of the day!


Kindergarten

What an exciting new school year in Kindergarten! Our Big Idea is that: “We are a part of a community.” The Kindergarten students have been working on establishing our classroom and schoolwide rituals and routines, developing relationships with their teachers, their classmates and other friends at school, practicing our names, alphabet letters, rhyming words, numbers, and learning how to express our emotions in new ways. Thank you for all your help supporting your child as they learn to make new and exciting choices! This month we will begin to observe the world around us such as looking at seasonal changes.


1st/2nd Grade Split

Students are continuing to work on routines and expectations, as we work on building our 1st/2nd grade community. In math we have been working on numeral identification (0-100). Students have been practicing letter recognition and sounds and have been working on their handwriting skills, as we work our way through each letter of the alphabet.


2nd/3rd Grade Split

In the 2nd/ 3rd grade splits we have been spending the beginning of the year building a community. We are getting to know each other better and learning how to take care of our classroom and school. We have made classroom expectations as a group and agreed to hold each other accountable. We have just started patterns in math, including shrinking, growing and repeating. As we finish up assessments in reading, we will begin our small groups for reading. It has been such a fun start to the year and the teachers are excited to learn and grow with the students.


3rd Grade

In 3rd grade, students are finding enjoyment in being back in the building and reviewing the routines and rituals of being at school. We have been completing fun activities such as “Get to Know Me in Numbers”, math games, and picking up a good book to read! It has been a great start, and there is still much to learn, which we are excited for. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds!


4th/5th Grade Splits

The 4th and 5th grade team has been focusing on rituals and routines for a successful classroom environment. In reading, we have been setting reading goals and building independent reading stamina skills. In math, we are working on multiplication fact to build a strong mathematical foundation. In writing, we are working on writing stamina by building better paragraphs. We will continue to work with 4th and 5th graders on the importance of wearing their masks and staying healthy at school.

ELL Updates

Welcome back to school! We are so happy you are here! Our ELL team is excited to be helping students improve their spoken and written English. Four Seasons is lucky enough to have students from many language backgrounds including Karen, Spanish, Somali, Amharic, Hmong, Mon, French, Tigrinya, Arabic and Japanese. The ELL teachers are Ama Xiong (K-1st ), Casey Seeling (2nd), Mary Moga (3rd and Mr. Taylor), and Mechele Rodefeld (4th-5th). Our bilingual EA is Naw Hara. Please contact us with any questions you have. We look forward to working together with you this year!

DHH Updates

This September our DHH + classroom has been busy developing our classroom rituals and routines. This is so important when building our classroom community. The students really enjoy seeing who will be selected for our classroom jobs during morning meeting. Right now we have two jobs; line leader and lunch tags. Every day someone gets their name picked and everyone gets a chance during the week for each job. Our students have also been learning about leaders in our school and community. Some of the leaders we have discussed so far are principals, teachers, coaches, and the President and Vice President.

Health Office Updates

If your child has any of these symptoms: a cough, fever over 100.3, difficulty breathing, or loss of taste/smell, please keep your child home and contact the health office at Four Seasons (651) 888-7623 for next steps.


If your child has two of the following symptoms: sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, extreme fatigue/feeling very tired, headache, please keep your child home and contact the health office at (651) 888-7623 for next steps.


You can also fill out the SPPS Online COVID report by going to www.SPPS.org and clicking on the red link. You will receive recommendations for next steps and resources.


Please reach out to the health office with your questions or concerns at 651-888-7623.

Family and Community Connections

Free and Reduced Lunch Applications

Every SPPS family should complete an application for Education Benefits/Free or Reduced Price Meals. Not only does this help us identify families in need of assistance, it also allows the District to receive federal dollars for classroom programming.A new form must be completed each school year. If you have not filled out the form, please do it here.


Meal boxes are available for any student who must miss in-person instruction due to COVID quarantine. Each meal box contains five breakfasts and five lunches. Families must pre-register to pick up meal boxes. To pre-register, visit spps.org/2022meals


APTT Conferences

Some of the classroom teachers and educators at Four Seasons A+ will be ​participating in APTT Conferences during October. Please look for information from your classroom teacher as to whether they will be involved in the first of our year APTT Conferences on Oct. 14 or Oct. 19. These APTT conferences are a very wonderful style of conferences where the teachers and families work together to make your child increase their academic and social success. Activities and ideas are provided to help strengthen the connection between home and school. We look forward to working with all of you!


Leadership Update from Ms. Shanahan

Dates and deadlines have been set for the 2021-22 Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT7). This test determines student eligibility for accelerated services in Saint Paul Public Schools.

The CogAT7 test will be provided to all SPPS students in kindergarten and in second grade between October 11-November 11.

Students in grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 may also be nominated for this assessment by an SPPS staff member, family member or community member. Please inform your child’s school if you would like to nominate a student. The deadline for submitting nominations is October 6, 2021.

If you would prefer that your student not participate in the CogAT7 testing, please provide a written note indicating that choice to your child’s principal.

For more information on accelerated services in SPPS, please go to tdas.spps.org.

About Us

Jennifer Mickelson, Principal

Lindsay Lowther, Learning Lead

Brooke Hardman, School Counselor

Ann Elenbaas, School Social Worker

Kimberly Menne, Nurse

Karen Shanahan, Cultural Specialist

Demetri Conwell, Intervention Specialist