Phoenix Family News
September 8, 2023
Important Dates Ahead...
September 12: PTA Bridgeman's Night 3:00-9:00 pm
September 18: Opening Ceremony 10:00 am (for kindergarteners and new VCES students)
September 18: 4:30-7:30 pm - PTA Fall Fiesta - Join us for some fun and food, and meet teachers and other families in your child's class!
September 18-22: Math MAP Testing for grades 2-5
September 18-22: Reading MAP Testing for grades 2-5
September 29: Josten's Picture Day at VCES
Calendar and Schedule Updates
The latest calendar updates are available at sowashco.org/calendar.
A Note from the Principal
It's been a great first week of school at Valley Crossing! Each year, we start out by revisiting all of our Responsive Classroom Practices and developing our classroom community. The goal of the first six weeks of school is to create a space where students can come to know each other and develop a sense of belonging through activities that help them define their commonalities and their differences. These first few weeks are also rich with modeling, practicing and defining what we want our school community to look like, sound like and feel like. Every year we start slow by reviewing our expectations for our classroom and academic routines, and this year is no different!
Continuing our tradition of a common read aloud to start the year, our Hopes & Dreams anchor text is “The Magician's Hat” by Malcolm Mitchell. The message in this text is that anything is possible with determination and imagination, and we can make our hopes and dreams a reality! After discussing the text in class, students have been or will be busy creating their Hopes & Dreams for the year. Be sure to ask you child about their Hope & Dream!
Finally, we have a tradition at Valley Crossing to have an Opening Ceremony at the beginning of the year. During the Opening Ceremony, we welcome new students and staff to the school, and they have an opportunity to walk through our school's arches to the song, "Step by Step." Parents are welcome to join us for the Opening Ceremony, but due to the number of new students we have at our school this year, we respectfully ask that only parents of new families attend. At the end of the year, we will have an all-school Closing Ceremony where 5th graders and any other students and staff who will not be returning next year get an opportunity to walk back through the arches as they leave Valley Crossing. Be sure to also ask your child about this important tradition as we begin the year!
Connha Classon, Principal
Valley Crossing Elementary
End of Day Crosswalk Procedures
K-5 Student Pickup: If your child is crossing the crosswalk at the end of the day, we will send them across the crosswalk to meet you once we make eye contact with you. This alleviates congestion on the sidewalk outside of the building where our students are lined up.
Thanks to everyone for helping keep our students safe!
Have you or your child ever forgotten to pack a school snack? We know how hungry their busy, growing bodies can be so we keep an emergency supply of snacks available for those situations. As everyone adjusts to their new school routines our snack supply is getting low.
If you are able to donate, we would really appreciate individually wrapped packages of Goldfish or Saltines to replenish our supply. Snacks can be brought to the office or directly to our School Social Worker, Faith Schulze.
Please Label Clothing
MAP Testing: Grades 2-5
All 2nd-5th grade students will be taking the MAP Math assessment the week of September 18th and the MAP Reading assessment the week of September 25th.
This assessment is used to determine your students’ growth in Reading and Math and is part of a balanced assessment system used in South Washington County Schools. Here are some important ways we use MAP data:
To inform instruction during the current school year
To identify students to receive Advanced Learner Services,
To identify or exit students from reading and/or math intervention supports, and
To place students in the appropriate 6th grade math courses
If you would like to opt your student out of this test, parents/guardians must fill out THIS FORM by Friday, September 15th and submit it to the school.
K-3 First Lego League Explore Team
First Lego League Explore teams will be starting up soon at Valley Crossing. This is the Lego robotics league for 6-10 year olds, or K-3 students. Kids get to practice the First core values of discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork, and fun, all while playing with Legos and building robots!
If you are interested in joining, please complete this form so they can plan for enough teams: https://forms.gle/XK1AE51UNtqjnyes8. We will have an informational session on Lego League in the valley crossing cafeteria on Sept 13th at 6:15 pm. Formal registration will begin about Sept 20th. Thank you!
Attention 4th and 5th graders! Get involved at Valley Crossing Elementary! Valley Crossing Elementary Student Council
Who we are:
We are a group of students dedicated to making Valley Crossing a great place to be! We plan, organize, and participate in a variety of activities throughout the school year. Meetings are twice per month from 8:15-9:00am. Students will need a ride to school. There is no sibling childcare available.
What we do:
Serve our community with a service learning project
Serve as role models, greeters or tour guides when needed at school activities
Organize and Promote Valley Crossing Spirit Week
Organize ALL school BINGO
Tidy up our school grounds on Earth Day
And MUCH more!
How can I get involved?
Be on the lookout for announcements in September via Seesaw, VNN, and the Phoenix Family Newsletter! If you are interested in joining, you will need to complete a Google form and get a teacher recommendation.
FINAL CALL: FREE PTA Fun Run Shirt Order
FINAL CALL: Valley Crossing Spirit Wear
Want to stay informed about PTA happenings? The PTA has a section in the weekly Phoenix News that you are reading right now. You can also follow us on Facebook, check out our website, and of course, join the PTA! Membership is $10 for individuals and $15 for families. Questions about the PTA or would like to find out how to get involved? Email us at email@example.com
We have partnered with Advanced Sportswear in Newport to provide the opportunity to purchase VCES gear. All purchases will be made online through this link. Make your purchases soon as the online shop will be close Sunday, September 10th at midnight.
Join us on Monday, September 18 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.! The PTA will be providing free entertainment! We are excited to welcome Magician Norm who will be performing 20-30 minute shows at 5 pm, 6 pm, and 7 pm. Learn more about Norm here. Oh Happy Day face painting will be on site as well providing free face painting!
Food will be available for purchase from Floyd's Mini Donuts, Unbakeable (edible cookie dough and ice cream), Pizza Karma, Yummy Tummy, and Sumo and Smoh Egg Rolls. All food trucks are donating a percentage of sales back to our PTA! This night replaces the traditional "open house" and will provide a great opportunity to meet teachers, classmates, and Valley families!
Hispanic Heritage Celebration
SoWashCo is excited to host our first Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Friday, October 6th, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at East Ridge High School. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend this free event celebrating and honoring the legacies, contributions, and stories of our Hispanic/Latinx community.
The event features:
- Culturally authentic food and snacks (with options to purchase additional items)
- Culturally authentic games and crafts for kids
- Traditional and popular music and entertainment
We are excited to celebrate with our Hispanic and Latinx students and families. We are stronger together.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Information from Previous Newsletters
Volunteers Needed During Kindergarten-1st Grade Lunches
Here are the K-1 lunch times:
- Neighborhood A - 12:00-12:20 pm
- Neighborhood B - 12:50-1:10 pm
- Neighborhood C - 11:10-11:30 am
Thanks in advance for your consideration!
VCES Lunchroom Visitors
SoWashCo Peanut-Aware Information
We welcome several students to our school with food allergies. We ask for your cooperation to help keep our students safe. We have students who are allergic to different foods or food groups. Allergies can be severe, and the reaction can be life-threatening.
To prevent an allergic reaction and provide a safe learning environment, your child’s school has taken steps to ensure each student’s health.
Students will be encouraged to wash their hands upon arrival, before lunch and after lunch
All building spaces are designated as an ALLERGY/PEANUT/NUT AWARE ZONE. There will be no classroom projects with peanut butter or peanut shells
Please help us keep students safe by following the guidance below:
- Snacks in the classroom must be nut-free
We ask families who pack a lunch or snack to be aware of the ingredients in any meals you send from home
Please instruct your child to not share food with other classmates
Thank you in advance for making the school environment a safe and healthy place for the students. We look forward to a great school year!
SoWashCo Community Education
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.
TGA Tennis and Golf Enrichment, Grades K-5
Develop skills in tennis or golf. Includes rules and etiquette lessons, physical activity and a STEAM component! Conveniently offered after school at locations in Cottage Grove and Woodbury.
8:00 am - School office opens
9:00 am - School opens to students
9:15 am - School day begins
3:45 pm - School day ends
4:00 pm - School office closes
NOTE: The earliest students can arrive at school in the morning is 9:00 am. All students must be picked up at 3:45 pm if not riding the bus home.
VCES Contact Information
Connha Classon, Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7503
Joy Peterson, Assistant Principal: email@example.com / 651.425.7523
Julie Funk, Office Coordinator LTS: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7501
Merita LaPlante, Office Coordinator: email@example.com / 651.425.7501
Jen Gackstetter, Office Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7507
Faith Schulze, School Social Worker: email@example.com / 651.425.7699
Ashley Boatman, School Psychologist: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7661
School Website: https://vces.sowashco.org/
District Website: www.sowashco.org
VCES Office: 651-425-7500
VCES Attendance Line: 651-425-7506
VCES Health Office: 651-425-7502
VCES Fax Number: 651-425-7515
District 833 Student Information: 651-425-6218
District 833 Transportation: 651-425-5303