CGE Family News

March 17, 2023

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Important Dates Ahead...

April 7- No School

April 21 - No School

April 17-21 - Reading MCA grades 3-5

April 24-28 - Math MCA grades 3-5

May 1-5 - Science MCA grade 5

Calendar and Schedule Updates

The latest calendar updates are available at

News from the Principal

We welcomed all the students back on Tuesday from spring break and we are in full force as we begin Trimester 3.

While we hope that spring is just around the corner, please make sure your children still have all of the outdoor gear needed for winter weather. We continue to have LOTS of snow on our playground.

As always, thank you for your partnership in your child's education.

Candy Gram, Principal

Cottage Grove Elementary

Transportation for the 2023-2024 School Year

SoWashCo Schools Adopting a Transportation Opt-in System for the 2023-24 School Year

South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) is moving to an opt-in transportation system starting in the fall to help ensure the most efficient routing for students eligible to ride a school bus.

Families must complete the transportation opt-in form for each child by March 27. Families that do not complete the form for each child will be opted out of transportation services for the 2023-24 school year.

Even if you do not need or do not qualify for transportation services, you must complete the form for each child. Families can opt back in for bus transportation at any time, as long as the student qualifies for services.

If you have questions about the opt-in form, please contact

Long Range Facility Planning

Community Meetings

The first of three Community Meetings that will be held this spring is happening from 6:30 - 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 21 at Cottage Grove Middle School.

SoWashCo Schools is beginning to develop a new 5-year facility plan. Those in attendance will learn about the planning process and have an opportunity to share feedback and ideas that will guide our new plan.

Community meetings:

  • Cottage Grove Middle School
  • Tuesday, March 21 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
  • Review results from the Community Survey and Demographic Study. Staff will share how the facility planning process will work. There will be an opportunity to share feedback and ideas for what you would prioritize in a new plan.

  • Oltman Middle School
  • Tuesday, April 25 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
  • Share a preliminary 5-year facility plan and gather community feedback.

  • East Ridge High School
  • Tuesday, May 23 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
  • Review the final 5-year facility plan and gather community feedback

MCA Updates

South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) administers statewide accountability assessments each year, called the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) in grades 3-8, 10, and 11. Students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) test as an alternative. The test results are a source of information for us to evaluate our services, supports, programs, and classroom instruction. Participation in MCA/MTAS testing is important so that we have accurate data to assess how students are learning academic standards and determine which academic areas we need to improve instruction in.

The MCA/MTAS testing dates for CGE will be from April 17- May 5.

  • April 17th - 21st - MCA III Reading, 3rd - 5th Grade

  • April 24th - 28th - MCA III Math, 3rd - 5th grade

  • May 1-5 - MCA III Science, 5th grade

We recognize that the testing window overlaps with a number of religious observances and holy days. SoWashCo Schools is committed to honoring and being responsive to the needs of all families and students. Please contact Candy Gram at or 651-425-5803 if you have concerns or questions about school testing dates and times, needed accommodations, and/or your student’s participation in MCA/MTAS testing.

For more information about the purpose and uses of the MCA/MTAS, please visit the Assessment and Grading website.

Minnesota author to Visit 1st and 2nd Grade

Minnesota Author Emily Kilgore is coming to Cottage Grove Elementary is rescheduled at a later day TBD. She will talk about her new book, The IHeards – the follow up to her debut book, The Whatifs! As both a writer and elementary school teacher, she strives to create books that foster empathy, welcome imagination, and spark a natural curiosity. She has written for various education publications. When she's not writing or working, she enjoys traveling, running, and spending time with those she loves. Originally from Duluth, Minnesota, Emily now lives in Minneapolis. While the visit is only for students in 1st and 2nd grades and a special opportunity to have an author come and read, anyone can order the books! Only books pre-ordered through the link – or paper copy (sent home) – will be autographed and personalized!

CGE Spirit Wear Store

Here is the link to the Spring CGE Spirit Wear Store


Store closed March 17th.

From the Art Room

We are in need of about 250 Jerry’s paper grocery bags. If you have any, please consider donating them to the art room. We use these bags for our end-of-the-year portfolios when we send student artwork home. Thank you so much for your help!

Congratulations CGE Artists

Ten students from CGE were invited to have their artwork on display at the Elementary District Art Show. This event highlights high achievements in the area of Art for elementary students throughout the district. Congratulations to these CGE students:

Izzy R. – 1st grade

Connor B. – 1st grade

Alyssa K. – 2nd grade

Saniyah H. – 2nd grade

Charlie I. – 3rd grade

Addilyn Y. – 3rd grade

Allura M. – 4th grade

Kong X. – 4th grade

Emme P. – 5th grade

Verity B. – 5th grade

After School Art Program

See below for information regarding a Community Ed class offered at CGE.
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Community Education Classes

SoWashCo Community Education Youth Activities

South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) offers activities and classes for youth through SoWashCo Community Education. Activities and classes are conveniently offered at your child's school, partner locations within our community and online.

The latest activities and classes can be found on our website under Get Involved > Youth Activities.

Featured Class

IMPROV: Acting without a Script

Come out and play! Learn communications skills, self-confidence and respect towards others’ ideas while playing improve games and learning theater basics.

  • 6-7 p.m., Wednesdays, March 29-May 17, East Ridge High School, Grades 3-5
  • 6-7:15 p.m., Tuesdays, March 28-May 16, East Ridge High School, Grades 6-9

Find More Classes and Activities

PTO Corner

Upcoming PTO Events:

  1. SAVE THE DATE: Join us for Glow Bingo on Friday night, April 14th! We’ll have more information and sign-up in future newsletters.
  2. SAVE THE DATE: CGE night at Noodles & Company in Cottage Grove. Join us on Tuesday, April 25th. A percentage of funds raised goes directly to our school. More information to follow.

Yearbook Sales

You can preorder Yearbooks now until March 28th. Here is the link:

Scroll down to search for Cottage Grove Elementary. Make sure you are choosing the one located in MN. This will take you to the link to pre-order your yearbook.

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Lunch Visitors

CGE will be able to host limited lunch time visitors between , October 1– May 26th this school year. Based on space and safety requirements, one family member listed in Parent Portal may sign up using our MARCH Reservation Link to accompany their child at our guest lunch table. Our reservation link for MARCH IS LIVE LINK. We ask families to review the process below so that we can ensure this practice is available:

  1. Sign up for the visit no later than the day prior to your visit.
  2. Upon arrival for the visit, present identification and complete the Raptor screening.
  3. Wear the visitor badge so that it is visible during the entirety of the visit.
  4. Go directly to the lunchroom and eat in the guest space with your student.
  5. No friends or additional students will be permitted to join the guest space.
  6. Visitors may not visit recess time.
  7. The visit is limited to guest space during the student’s identified lunch period.
  8. Any outside food brought in can only be shared with your student.
  9. Do not take pictures, record, or film while at school. Use of cell phones is strongly discouraged for safety and privacy.
  10. You may sign up for one spot a month to allow for other families to sign up as well.
  11. PLEASE delete your reservation if you are unable to come to allow for other families to sign up.

We ask that you limit your visit to the lunchroom and not accompany your child back to the classroom. We also ask that you not visit your other children in their classroom or drop something off for them.

You will get a new link monthly to reserve your spot.

School Hours

7:30 am - School office opens

8:25 am - School opens to students

8:40 am - School day begins

3:10 pm - School day ends

3:30 pm - School office closes

NOTE: The earliest students can arrive at school in the morning is 8:25 am. All students must be picked up at 3:10 pm if not riding the bus home.

CGE Contact Information

Candy Gram, Principal: / 651.425.5803

Judy Nicklay, Office Coordinator: / 651.425.5801

School Website:

District Website:

CGES Office: 651-425-5800

CGES Attendance Line: 651-425-5806

CGES Health Office: 651-425-5802

CGES Fax Number: 651-425-5815

SoWashCo Student Information: 651-425-6218

SoWashCoTransportation: 651-425-5303