January 6, 2023

"Paws" for news from the principal:

Greeting, Cowern Families!

Happy New Year. I hope the end of this unusual first week back finds you adjusting to the routines of a school schedule again. The addition of an E-learning day reminds me of how fortunate we are to be able to hold school in-person most days. We know that the personal connection of our students and staff is a big part of our community. Thank you for your continued support for that.

You will hear your students talk about some different assessments that they engage in next week. One of them is our Winter screener called FASTbridge. There are three components of that - two are reading and one is math. These assessments help us benchmark student progress, determine intervention groups, and indicate what changes to our classroom instruction are necessary. We do this three times a year. These are done on the computer for grades 2-5 and with an adult in grades K and 1.

So, if your student says they took an assessment who's name you don't recognize next week, it's probably one of these.

Recognizing that it's only January 6th, I do want to put something on your radar for February. Our PTG will be sponsoring a Read-A-Thon fundraising event. This will be the primary fundraiser for our Parent Group for the 2022-23 school year. Funds raised during this will be used for enhanced learning experiences for our students. Primarily these will be field trips! We so appreciate you planning for this experience. One way to do that is to give family, friends, and co-workers a heads up that they will be able to make a donation or pledge in February. This might help increase participation come February!

In the meantime, I hope you are shoveled out of the snow, enjoying the above 0 temps, and proud of the work that Cowern Elementary students and staff do each day!


Travis Barringer

Cowern Elementary Principal

Give Kids a Smile

On February 3 and 4, 2023, Minnesota children in need will have access to free dental care, thanks to the thousands of dental professionals who volunteer with the Minnesota Dental Association’s annual charitable event, “Give Kids A Smile.”

Participating dental clinics are now taking appointments for “Give Kids A Smile,” a once-a-year opportunity for children in need. Give Kids A Smile is for any child whose family faces financial or other challenges accessing dental care. No eligibility questions are asked, in an effort to remove any possible barriers to dental care. Here is more information:

All patients must have appointments in advance and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. After January 1, parents may call United Way 211 (just dial 2-1-1) or 1-800-543-7709. Operators will have a list of participating dental offices and will be able to direct people to a location in their area. Parents will then call the dental office to schedule an appointment. An online list is available at Note that walk-in appointments are not available.

Services will vary from preventive care, which includes cleanings, sealants and fluoride treatment, to restorative care, which includes fillings. Information on specific services that will be provided will be outlined when an appointment is scheduled. Typically, clinics treat children ranging in age from 3 to 18. When calling for an appointment, parents should ask about any age requirements.

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Winter Weather & Recess

As the weather gets colder and the snow starts falling, please send your student to school with everything they will need to play outside at recess. Students go outside for recess if the temperature is above 0° Fahrenheit, and if the wind chill is above -10° Fahrenheit. Fresh air is great for learning! If your child has a medical condition that prevents them from going outside for recess, the school will need a doctor’s note. Please make sure the doctor’s note includes the specific dates and/or the temperature at which the student can’t go outside. When there is snow on the ground, students need to wear snow pants and boots to play in the snow. If they don't have boots or snow pants, they will have to stay on the blacktop area of the playground. Remember those hats and mittens too! Please label all winter outerwear.

School Delays, Dismissals & Closings

The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District has established procedures regarding delays in school opening, early dismissal or emergency school closings. All delays in school opening, early dismissal of school, or emergency school closings are announced via the School District’s emergency calling system and over local radio and television stations. The emergency calling system allows the district to notify all parents by phone in the event of an emergency, such as a school closing. When the emergency calling feature is used, all phone numbers listed as contact numbers for a family will be called. Please ensure that your phone numbers are accurate. In the event of a delay in school opening or emergency school closing, local radio and television stations will be contacted as early as possible.

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Attendance Procedure

Please be sure to call in your child’s absence OR if they are going to be late for any reason call our attendance line at: 651-748-6824 (please call by 8:45 a.m.).

Is my child well enough to go to school? Click the link to learn more.

Attention: When calling in your child’s absence, please do not leave a message saying “they are sick” or “not feeling well.” Be more specific about the absence. Let us know the type of illness your child has (i.e., flu, vomiting, stomach ache, etc.). The Health Office needs to know this information to help keep our school safe and healthy.

If a phone call is not received, the absence remains unexcused. If a child has 3 unexcused absences or 10 out-of-building tardies, the school will send written notification to the family and report the situation to the appropriate county agency. The county agency will exercise progressive steps, if the unexcused absences and/or tardies continue.

Upcoming Events

January 16 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

January 18 - Food In-A-Box Mobile Market; 4-6 PM

February 9 - Music Concert; 3rd and 4th grades 6PM (Students arrive at 5:30)

February 20 - NO SCHOOL - Presidents' Day

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Culver's Fundraising Night!


What: Cowern Elementary Fundraising Event

Where: Culver's Location: 3202 White Bear Avenue White Bear Lake, MN 55110

When: Tuesday, January 10, 2023 from 4-7pm

How: Grab Dinner or dessert at Culver's from 4-7pm and 10% of drive-thru, dine-in and to-go orders will go towards Cowern Elementary! If you order online, 20% of the order will be donated! It is that simple! No flyer, code, or information needs to be given in order for Cowern to receive proceeds.

Thank you for supporting our Cowern Community!

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Food In-a-Box Mobile Market at Cowern Elementary

A program of Good in the 'Hood

This program provides FREE fresh, frozen and non-perishable produce, meat, and dairy for all families at Cowern and in the North St. Paul Community.

This opportunity is FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.



Once every third Wednesday of each month 4-6pm at Cowern Elementary.



APRIL 19TH, 2023

MAY 17TH, 2023

The drive through line for the food boxes will start on Margaret street in the front of the school closest to the gym. Please use the QR code above to sign up - as soon as possible if interested (to ensure enough food is ordered) or email

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Resources For Students And Families

Below are some resources that will be helpful during this school year:

1. Weekly Food Bags through the EveryMeal - After September 23rd! Bags that are provided with foods structured around USDA MyPlate with options that also cater to different dietary needs and restrictions. Bags will be placed in student backpacks every Friday. There is no eligibility requirements! ANY student can participate. Please sign up here.

2. “Food In-A-Box Pop-Up Market at Cowern” - This is a project that will be done in collaboration with Good in the Hood, a program dedicated to “changing lives through simple acts of kindness.” Their goal is to provide fresh produce, meat, and dairy products to communities once a month to the surrounding communities. We will be setting up a drive-thru mobile market where families can pick up these items in a socially distanced manner. This opportunity is open to ANY and ALL FAMILIES and will happen every third Wednesday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Click here to get to Food Shelf-In-A-Box link. If you would like to participate, please complete the form by clicking on the following link: FORM and send a copy to I am also looking for volunteers to help at distribution. Time slots are open from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Volunteers can come and go as they please. If you are interested in volunteering on November 23rd, contact Kyliah Thompson via email at or at 314-312-1097.

3. Minnesota COVID Hotlines for Immigrants and Refugees - There is now a MN COVID hotline specifically dedicated to our families that are immigrants or refugees to get help with COVID questions and one-on-one navigation support (i.e., getting appointments scheduled, finding testing sites and vaccination sites for those eligible, dealing with employers, accessing COVID rental assistance, etc.). It is available to undocumented immigrants, too. The number to call is 651-318-0989, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

4. COVID-19 Resources - The Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative put together a massive list of resources related to housing, employment, financial support, unemployment, mental and physical health resources, and so many more for people living in Ramsey County. This is just a list to have at your disposal, but if you need help connecting to resources, please do not hesitate to reach out! Here’s the link.

5. COVID-19 Vaccine Connector - ISD 622 put together a webpage to find out when and where vaccination sites are in the community. Please visit if you are interested in resources regarding COVID-19 vaccination availability.

6. Housing Resources - Please call Kyliah Thompson, School Social Worker, at 314-312-1097 or email if you need any assistance.

7. ACT! Program - This year we will be partnering with Ashland Productions to put on Giants in the Sky. We are so excited to get started with rehearsals! Rehearsals will be BEFORE school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting January 4th, 2023. There are scholarships available if needed! Feel free to look at the attached flyer for more detailed

information or reach out to me at if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Cowern Elementary School

Cowern Elementary's mission is to create a safe, engaging, and welcoming community for all learners to grow academically, emotionally, and socially.

The school day is from 8:50-3:20.

Adventure Connection: 651-748-6898

Attendance Line: 651-748-6824

Cowern Health Office: 651-748-6815