Phoenix Family News

September 18, 2020

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Calendar of Events

  • September 21 - Fire drill for Group A K-5, 1:30 pm
  • September 22 - Fire drill for Group B K-5, 2:45 pm

  • September 21 & 23 - Group A In-Person / Group B Distance Learning
  • September 22 & 24 - Group B In-Person / Group A Distance Learning
  • September 25 - Flex Friday - Groups A & B Distance Learning

  • September 25 - VLA Supply Pickup, 9:30-11:30 am (VLA teachers will send out information if they have something for you to pickup)

A Note from the Principal

Now that we are into our second full week of school, we are continuing to get into our new routines. Each year, we start out by revisiting all of our Responsive Classroom Practices and developing our classroom community, whether we are in-person, distance learning, or VLA. 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 defining our expectations for our classroom and academic routines, and this year is no different!

As we continue into the month, you will see more rigor occurring, especially when it comes to the distance learning days. If there are any problems or questions about learning on distance learning days, please have your child do the best they can and we will answer the questions when they are in school the next day. We are hoping to give full attention to the students in school each day so students will need to learn to be patient for getting questions answered until they are back in school. If they have a question, they (or you for our younger learners) should write it down to help them remember to ask about it the next day. Please know that sometimes links may not work on Seesaw, Seesaw may crash, or technology is just not working. Please be patient and work on other paper pencil activities you may have. We will make sure students get their answers when they are in person at school. In these early days, our goal is to set up students for a year of engaged and productive learning and fostering the relationships that we went so many months without. We thank you for your patience as we get these routines created.

Continuing our tradition of a common read aloud to start the year, our Hopes & Dreams anchor text is Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds. You can watch the author read the text aloud HERE. The message in this text is to feel comfortable being yourself since we all have many traits to offer the world! After discussing the text in class, students have been busy creating their Hopes & Dreams for the year. Be sure to ask you child about their Hope & Dream this week!

Attendance on Remote Learning Days and VLA Students

We are required to record attendance for all of our VLA students daily as well as our Hybrid students on their Distance Learning Days. Your child can participate in many activities to be considered present. For our Hybrid students, they can participate in Seesaw activities or live class sessions, hand in work on their in person day, or show their teacher what activities they did on their Distance Learning day when they are back in school on their in person day. VLA students should be participating in Seesaw activities, live lessons and/or small group sessions. They may also watch recorded lessons later in the day. We understand that sometimes students work in the evenings to complete tasks so please know we are flexible when the work is completed. Please communicate with your child’s teacher if you have questions regarding attendance.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Students will be invited into the building at 9:00 am. Please note that there is no supervision prior to 9:00 am. All students sanitize as they enter the building.

Arrival/drop off:

  • Please drop off curbside

  • Please wait to let your children get out of the car until you are past the crosswalk

Dismissal/Pick up:

  • Like the drop off routine, your child will be picked up curbside. Please do not park and come to get your child.

  • Students will wait in their designated area with their teacher until you arrive to pick them up.

  • As you pull up, proceed all the way to the stop sign directly in front of the school (please be kind and follow the directions of the staff members directing traffic).

  • Have your child’s name and grade level on a piece of paper in your window or on your visor (we provided more permanent signs during transition week, so please contact your homebase teacher if you didn’t get one).

  • For safety reasons, students may only enter your car on the curb side of your vehicle.

  • Please exit the car line as soon as your child has loaded to keep our traffic flow moving. Thank you!

A Note from Dr. Gervais

Greetings Valley Crossing Families:

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! My name is Dr. Jennifer Gervais and I am the school social worker at Valley Crossing. I am excited to meet you and your child(ren) over the course of the next year. My role at Valley Crossing is to support staff and students with social-emotional learning, meet individually with students or parents to offer psychosocial skills and consultation, and be a resource to access essential needs you may have.

Due to the nature of our learning platforms this year, I am excited to be able to offer you or your child(ren) the opportunity to meet with me in a variety of ways. I have scheduled 15-minute increments for you or your child(ren) to meet with me virtually. You can access my calendar at

In addition, I will be offering mindfulness and movement lessons via YouTube live a couple days a week. Your teacher will be sharing a link to these sessions when they begin.

If you should have any questions or resource needs, please contact me at Thank you, Dr. Gervais

FREE Breakfast & Lunch!

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved South Washington County Schools to provide free breakfast and lunch for enrolled students starting on Monday, Sept. 14. To learn more go HERE However, it is recommended you complete a free/reduced meal form if you think you qualify. This is a precaution if this opportunity ends Dec. 31, 2020. For more information on free/reduced meals, go HERE.

If your child brings a cold lunch to school and would like to purchase milk, please make sure they have funds in their account. Milk is $.50 for our cold lunchers. This is considered an ala carte item when not purchasing a hot lunch.

Parents/Caregivers who have nutritional questions or need additional nutritional support can go to our district website at:

VNN Live!

Valley Crossing has hd a long-standing tradition of a live newscast, Valley News Network (VNN), to start our day. VNN brings us all together as one community. We are so happy to announce that VNN will continue this year for Hybrid, DL, and VLA students. Yes - You can watch LIVE even if you are learning at home! Every morning, VNN will be live on YouTube. We will start announcements at 9:15 and end around 9:20. (We will not be live on Flex Fridays when no students are in the building).

Beginning Monday, 9/14, this will be the livestream VNN link for home and school. We encourage students and families to bookmark it! (You can also access the link on our VCES website.)

Family Technology Support Line

South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) has started a new family technology support phone line at 651-425-HELP (4357). Standard phone line hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can leave a voicemail at any time with your child’s name, the school they attend and a call back number, and someone will return your call.

A variety of technology resources are also available on our Fall 2020 website including:

PTA News

Our school and PTA will again be using MemberHub as an online communication tool.

Benefits of MemberHub include:

  • School/PTA Calendar

  • Private Online Directory

  • A Valley Crossing E-Store (online payment site for events, donations, memberships. etc.)

  • Links to Spirit Wear sales (typically offered twice a year)

  • PTA Membership (become a member to have voting rights at future PTA meetings)

How to join the Valley Crossing MemberHub site:

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

Login at:

  • New families: Welcome! Use the steps below to create your MemberHub Account.

  1. Visit
  2. Fill out your information.
  3. Watch for an email from "(VCES) Join Request Accepted"- This email will provide you with a link to finish setting up your account.

Click HERE to view store link (to become a VCES PTA member or make donations)

Fall Fundraiser

Plans for our fall fundraiser are underway. Stay tuned for more information about options for participation and prizes!

Box Tops For Education

Box Tops are a way for our school to earn money. Just download the app and upload your receipt from participating retailers. Unexpired clipped Box Tops can also be collected.

Office 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: / 651.425.7542