Phoenix Family News

March 5, 2021

Big picture

Important Dates Ahead...

  • March 5: Last Day of Trimester 2
  • March 8-12: NO SCHOOL for all students - Spring Break
  • March 15: NO SCHOOL for all students; Progress Reports to be delivered via email by 4:00
  • March 16: First day of new learning model for those switching between VLA and Dial
  • March 22: PTA Meeting via Zoom, 4:15 pm
  • March 23: PTA Cafe Zupas Night, 4-9 pm

Calendar and Schedule Updates

The latest calendar updates are available at

A Note from the Principal

We've had such a fun week heading into spring break! Across the school and in VLA, we had MANY students participate in our Valley Crossing Spirit Week! Be sure to check out the Valley Crossing Facebook page over the coming week to see some highlights!

As we head into this spring break, we mark a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting us in District 833. We have truly endured an unprecedented time unlike any other we have experienced together. While we are starting to see glimpses of normalcy, one thing we know for sure is that we need to continue to maintain a focus on mental health and self-care. Our wish for you over the next week is that you are able to spend time together as a family, whether you are staying close or traveling far. Students, staff and families have been working so hard this year - enjoy this much deserved break! We look forward to seeing our students back in person and virtually on Tuesday, March 16th!

Online Scholastic Book Fair through Sunday at Midnight!

Our Scholastic Book Fair is here on a device near you! The fair is being held entirely online from Monday, February 22-Sunday, March 7 at 11:59 p.m. Visit to access our online book fair.

Questions? Contact Susan Vance

Free Lunch and Breakfast for All Students

Just a reminder that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) to provide free breakfast and lunch for enrolled students. Paperwork is not required to receive free meals. All students eat breakfast in the classroom, and our 2nd-5th grade students eat lunch in the classroom. All students are invited to participate in this program this year!

School-based Mental Health Services for Students

District 833 is partnering with Ellie Family Services for co-located services in our schools. This service offers the opportunity for students to meet with a qualified behavioral health therapist during the school day for 30-45 minutes. The therapist also communicates with caregivers throughout the therapeutic process. This partnership allows services to follow a student into middle and high school if needed. If you are interested in receiving these services for your child or have questions, please contact Dr. Gervais at 651-425-7542 or at

Notes from our Nurses

We hope that you all have a safe and enjoyable spring break. Please remember to stay vigilant and monitor for signs and symptoms of Covid. We are following the MDH Decision tree for schools when evaluating whether students and staff can be at school. Feel free to use the attachment for guidance should you or a family member develop Covid symptoms over the break. Always feel free to reach out to the nursing staff at Valley Crossing at 651-425-7502 or 651-425-7522.The health office is not staffed during the break, but a nurse will follow up with you as soon as possible.

We love having students learning safely in person and by all of us staying vigilant we hope to keep students in school for the rest of the year.

Helpful backpack items when students return:

Changes of clothing, spare masks, water bottle, fragrance free lotion for dry hands, and Chap-stick for dry lips.


Nurse Rachel and Nurse Melinda

A Quick Note from Dr. Gervais, School Social Worker

PTA News

Book Fair

  • Our online book fair is underway! Shop the fair at by Sunday, March 7 at 11:59 p.m. Do you have questions about how a virtual book fair works? Watch this two minute video for step-by-step instructions Virtual Fair Tutorial (
  • Free shipping with $25 book-only purchase. Book fair purchases benefit our school and has allowed the PTA to provide books and other educational items for the media center, individual classrooms, and for our reading specialists. Thank you for supporting our virtual book fair!

Cafe Zupas Night

  • Help us raise money for Valley Crossing! We’re teaming up with Café Zupas for a Fundraiser Night on March 23rd from 4pm-9pm. Simply mention Valley Crossing Elementary at check out! Each meal can earn up to 25% back! Dine in or take out. See the flyer below for more information!

PTA Meeting

  • Consider joining us for the upcoming Valley Crossing PTA meeting on Monday, March 22 at 4:15 via Zoom. Email for the Zoom link.

Vacations and Other Extended Absences

When students return to in person learning, teachers will not be posting Seesaw activities or provide live streaming for students who are on vacation or other extended absences. Homework packets and/or assignments will be put together similar to years past (non-COVID school years). If you have any questions, please contact me at or 651-425-7503.

Illnesses and Absences

  • Please be sure to call in to our attendance line to report absences or illness: 651-425-7506

  • Any sick student who is sent to school, or is determined to be sick during the school day, will immediately be sent home.


  • The 14-day quarantine period will remain in place. If staff or students had close contact with an infected person, the Minnesota Department of Health may direct us to keep them out of school for a minimum of 14 days.

  • We ask that families be prepared for the possibility that their child’s class could move to distance learning at any time due to a potential COVID-19 exposure.

VCES Information Links

VCES 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 (Note Change)