Lake Agassiz Elementary School

January 2022

Message from Mrs. Jonasson

Welcome back Lake Agassiz families! I hope you had a relaxing and refreshing break these past few weeks. We are back at it here at school and ready for the 'long haul' ahead of us. This is a great time of year with minimal interruptions of days off and a lot of learning taking place in our classrooms!

Professional Learning for Teachers: January 17th, February 24th - 25th

Speaking of learning, in the next two months, we have three Professional Development days planned for our teachers. Our topics include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Trauma-informed Practices for our school setting, and high standards for teaching and learning. We are grateful to be learning from deeply vetted individuals and are eager to bring that learning to our classrooms and building as a whole.

School Climate & Positive Behavior Supports:

We have some great things around the corner for our students and staff in relation to building a positive school culture at Lake Agassiz. Our School Climate committee has been working for over a year and a half on some great things coming our way as a school! COVID put a little bump (actually a few bumps!) in our road to starting these exciting initiatives, but we are finally at a point of implementation. I can't spill the beans in this newsletter, but stay tuned for announcements in our February newsletter or on our Facebook page.

COVID: Mask update

Beginning on Tuesday, January 18th, masks will be "recommended, not required" per our GFPS School Board decision from November.

In case you missed it, GFPS recently provide a Face Mask update:

At its meeting on November 22, 2021, the Grand Forks School Board approved the district’s Smart Restart Committee recommendations of the following:

  • Effective November 23, 2021: masks are recommended at after-school activities (athletics and fine arts performances where audience members or fans are in the stands).

    • Mask requirements will stay in place for ENCORE (after-school program).

  • Effective January 17, 2022: masks are recommended for K-12 students and employees in all school-owned or leased facilities during the instructional day.

    • Masks are highly recommended for staff working with Head Start and Early Childhood Special Education students.

    • Masks are required for programs that include immunocompromised students or employees.

    • All individuals using transportation (i.e.: school and city buses, vans) will continue to wear face masks, as this is a U.S. Department of Transportation requirement.

    • Mask requirements may be reinstated if COVID data dictate so.

  • These recommendations were made, in part, due to the eligibility of students aged 5-12 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. Waiting until after the December holiday break will provide time for interested families to have their student(s) fully immunized.

Jump Rope For Heart Recognition!

Congratulations to Aubree D, our Lake Agassiz student that raised $175.00 for Lake Agassiz's Jump Rope For Heart campaign! She raised so much that she earned the task of pie-ing Mr. Capes and Mr. Pederson in the face at our Monday Rally!!

Lake Agassiz Apparel

Coming Soon!! ~ Stay tuned to the Sunday News for a link to our Lake Agassiz School clothing store.

Pet Therapy at Lake Agassiz

Two years ago, the Grand Forks School District began having certified therapy dogs in our schools to help brighten the days for our district students. We were fortunate to have a community volunteer bring their pet to our school once a week for one hour...I think this gave Mr Pederson a great the course of the past two years, Mr. Pederson, our Physical Education teacher, has been training his dog as a therapy dog with the hopes of him coming to Lake Agassiz to volunteer.

Mr. Pederson and I are very excited to say that the day has come for his certified therapy dog, Griff, to come to Lake Agassiz! Griff will be at Lake Agassiz every Friday. Griff will be in his kennel in Mr. Pederson's office while Mr. Pederson teaches gym classes and will visit students and classes (by request) when Mr. Pederson is on his prep time.

Letters to parents were sent in each child's communication folder and also included in this past week's Sunday News. (You can also see that letter below.) If you have a child that is allergic or fearful of dogs, please complete the bottom section of that letter and return it to your child's teacher. If that is the case, we will make sure that your child does not spend time with Griff. Our main goal for having Griff at school is to help students through tough emotions, difficult times, and ease any anxiousness; we definitely do not wish to cause any negative reactions.

You can see a video of Mr. Pederson and Griff explaining this HERE.

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Upcoming Dates

Monday, January 3rd

  • School Resumes

Wednesday, January 12th

  • Early Release - School is dismissed at 1:30 p.m.

Monday, January 17th

  • No School - Professional Development Day

Wednesday, January 26th

  • Early Release - School is dismissed at 1:30 p.m.
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Report Cards

Trimester 1 report cards were emailed home on Friday, December 3rd. If you have any questions or concerns, please communicate with your child's classroom teacher.

Changes in your child's pick up?

If you have a change in transportation plans please notify the school office or SeeSaw your child's teacher by 2:00 p.m. Anytime after that we can not guarantee the message will get to your child in time due to the influx of calls and student needs at the end of the day in our main office.

Notes from the Office

Attendance Line:

Add this number to your phone contacts! 701-746-2277

Please utilize our attendance line to leave us messages about your child(ren) being out of school/late drop-off, etc. Using this phone line helps to keep Connie and Laurie available to help students, especially at the start of the day.


Seesaw is a wonderful form of communication between classroom teachers and parents. Please ask your student's teacher how to sign up!


A reminder that Lake Agassiz is a Peanut Free School. When sending a snack or packing a lunch, please remember to check labels to make sure it does not contain or have traces of peanuts/nuts.

Birthday Treats:

Due to the increase in students who have severe food allergies and the higher levels of severity, we no longer celebrate student birthdays with a “birthday snack” in our schools. Parents are welcome to find other non-food items to send to school if they wish. Please discuss with your child’s classroom teacher for ideas or preferences.

Parents Lead:

Substance Use Prevention Tips
Help children separate reality from fantasy. Watch shows or movies with them and ask lots of questions to reinforce the distinction between the two. Remember to include advertising in your discussions, as those messages are especially powerful. Source:

Let your student in on all of the things you find wonderful about them. They need to hear many positive comments about their lives, who they are as individuals, and all of the great things they have to look forward to if they are safe and healthy.

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Photo Disclaimer: LA Stock photo - Pre-COVID!