Phoenix Family News

October 23, 2020

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Calendar of Events

  • October 25 - Last day to register for a change in learning models (see below)
  • Monday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 28 - Group A In-Person / Group B Distance Learning
  • Tuesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 29 - Group B In-Person / Group A Distance Learning
  • Friday, October 30 - Flex Instruction Day - Groups A & B Distance Learning

  • November 3: NO SCHOOL
  • November 9 & 10: Fall Pictures

  • October 20-30 - Fall Conference Window (see below for more information)

A Note from the Principal - Winter is Here (at least for now!)

This week we started our wintery weather season, and it really is beautiful outside - if I was writing this in December! I do like to look at it through the eyes of our students (and my dogs) who LOVE to play outside in the snow. I get so much joy hearing the laughter and seeing the smiles of the students when they play outside in the white, fluffy awesomeness.

Please remember to send your student with their winter gear each day to keep them warm and dry during recess and PE while we are in these colder weather months: snow pants, winter boots, hats, waterproof gloves, and a warm coat are all necessities! Please label your child's name in their winter items.

Please note that students will not be allowed to "borrow" any items from the Lost & Found this year - primarily because we don't really have one, but also due to mitigating the spread of germs. If a student is missing an item for the day, they may come to the office to see if we have something they can use. If we do, it will be given to your child and they will bring the item home. The item should NOT be returned to school. If you do not want the item, please wash it and donate it.

If you have a need for winter clothing, SoWashCo Cares can help. If you are able to purchase winter clothing for a child in need, SoWashCo Cares would appreciate the support. Here are the links to sign up to Give help or Get help with winter clothing.

Registration for K-12 Families Changing Learning Models for Trimester Two

South Washington County Schools has opened its online registration for families who wish to change learning models for trimester two. The trimester runs from Nov. 30 to March 5. The learning models available for trimester two include:

  • District learning model

    • Currently hybrid, but the model could change to in-person learning or distance learning due to COVID-19 infection rates and other factors

  • Virtual Learning Academy (distance learning)

The registration form is only for families who want to change learning models for trimester two. If you need to make a change in learning models, click the link below.

At-home Math Manipulatives

Hands-on math learning is a key component of our Bridges Math Curriculum. To better facilitate this type of learning, your student will be bringing home a box that contains helpful learning tools they can use during at-home learning experiences. VLA students will receive these materials on Friday, October 30 at Materials Pick up!

We encourage you to…

  • Store in a safe spot for continued use throughout the year

  • Always place manipulatives back into the “suitcase” after using, so that they do not get misplaced

  • Refer to lesson information and/or videos from the teacher to help your student use the tools successfully

We do not have replacements, so we appreciate your extra care with this wonderful learning tool for your student to KEEP AT HOME. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s homebase teacher.

VLA Materials Pick-up Drive Through Event - October 30th, 9:30-11:30 am

On Friday, October 30 from 9:30-11:30, we invite our Valley Crossing VLA families to "drive up" for student materials pick-up. Families will be able to stay in their vehicle, and our staff will hand out materials to you for your student(s). Many families choose to come during the first part of the provided pick-up window. We ask that you consider coming within the 9:30-11:30 timeframe, and please consider the middle and end of this timeframe as options. Please connect with your VLA teacher if your family needs support with this pickup plan. Thank you!

VLA Book Checkout

We are thrilled that so many of our VLA students are requesting books via Destiny Discover. However, we are pulling and checking out a number of books that are not being picked up on our curbside checkout dates. Reminder that if your child requests a book, it will be outside on a cart with your name on it between 10am-2pm on the designated dates. This video can help your child determine whether or not their book is ready for pickup. Our next pickup date is Friday, October 30, so we encourage many of you to request some books this week! Also, please return any previously checked out books. You can leave them on the curbside cart on designated Fridays, or they can be dropped off anytime on the black cart in the front vestibule labeled “Return VCES Library Books Here.” All VLA Book Checkout Procedures can also be found on our Media Center website, linked here. Please contact Ms. Lanners, Media Specialist, if you have any questions!

Fall Conferences - Oct. 20-30

Thanks to those families we have already been able to connect with during our Fall Conference window! We are looking forward to talking with the remainder of our families next week! The following specialist teachers and our LSN are available on the following nights (click on the name to access their WebEx room):

If you'd like to connect with Mrs. Classon or Mrs. McDonald at any time during the conference window, please let us know!

2020-21 Yearbooks & Fall Pictures

If you haven't heard, District 833 has started using Josten's this year for our school pictures and yearbooks. You can actually pre-order your yearbook for a $3.00 savings! Click HERE to pre-order your 2020-21 VCES Yearbook!

Fall pictures have been scheduled for November 9th and 10th to accommodate both A and B students. VLA students will have an opportunity to get their pictures taken as well. The VLA picture time is on November 10th from 4:00-6:30 pm. More information will be coming as the date approaches.

Ideas for Distance Learning Days

Here are some excellent ideas if you or your child are seeking more activities to do on Distance Learning days.

Notes from our School Social Worker

Due to the nature of our current learning platforms, Dr. Gervais is excited to be able to offer you or your child(ren) the opportunity to meet with her virtually in 15-minute increments. Dr. Gervais scheduling calendar can be found at If you should have any questions or resource needs, please contact Dr. Gervais at

VCES Mindful Movement Minute - Join Dr. Gervais on scheduled school days Monday - Thursday at 2:30 pm CST for a YouTube live opportunity to practice mindfulness and movement and participate in a social-emotional lesson. You can access live and recorded sessions 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:

PTA News

PTA Meeting

Join us this coming Monday, October 26th at 4:30 for our virtual PTA meeting. All are welcome, and encouraged to sign up to be a member on Memberhub. If you are interested in joining us, please email for the meeting link. Don’t forget to visit the National PTA website to learn about the benefits of becoming a PTA member.


Please use this link to sign up a new account:

Returning families: Your MemberHub login will carry over from past years. Login HERE

Fall Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair is back on MONDAY October 26! The fair will be exclusively held online this year and we still plan on making it a fun and joyous experience for our kids.

The Online Fair will include features like: Valley Crossing’s own online store, games for kids, virtual store walk-throughs and more. Remember, every dollar you spend will benefit our school directly (25% back in rewards!)

We can’t wait to “see” you at the Fair! Any questions? Contact Susan Vance 952-334-2572 or

Fall Fitness Fundraiser

Our Fall Fundraiser is well underway! It may look different this year, we are doing our best to still bring some fun and teamwork to Valley Crossing! Neighborhood B had fun moving this week in the snow during their fitness event!

The Fall Fundraiser is typically our highest earning fundraiser for the school year. PTA fundraising helps us provide awesome programming and activities for students at VCES. Last year we funded new playground equipment, IXL, individual classroom and neighborhood grants, meals for our amazing teachers and more!

Please consider donating to ensure these remain viable opportunities for our students and staff! Make sure to register!

To register, visit the Fundraiser Registration Site

School Identifier code: 5d2f3c17caf66


Fun Run Parent Letter

Fitness a Thon Bingo Board

Fundraiser will run through Nov 13th.

2020 Fitness Fundraiser Information Video

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: / 651.425.7605

Family Technology Support Line: Fall 2020 website / 651.425.HELP (4357) - M-F 7:30-4:00