Phoenix Family News
September 15, 2023
Important Dates Ahead...
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
We have successfully completed our second week of school, which was our first full week! Having three days, then five days, has really helped students build stamina naturally, and we are a more consistent schedule each day, which also helps students be successful in the classroom. By now, students have built their hopes and dreams for the year, and these goals help us create homebase and class rules. Next week, representatives from each team will be coming together to create school rules. We look forward to announcing these next week!
Specialist Number Days Calendar
Did you ever want to look ahead to see what specialist day it is? Now you can check it on the Valley Crossing website!
- Hover above “families” in the upper right-hand corner
- Click on “Calendar”
- Click on “Number Days” to see the specialist day
VCES is Fragrance Free
Battle of the Books Registration
This week and next week in Media class, second through fifth grade students learned or will learn about the Battle of the Books, an optional program in which students get the opportunity to read great books and turn reading into a team sport! To learn more about the program and register with your child, you may visit bit.ly/bobvces. Registration is due Friday, September 22.
This program also depends on the assistance of volunteer coaches. Coaches do not have to read the books, but are there to encourage students and keep them on track. Meetings occur at school, during recess times, so coaches must have availability during the day 1-2 times each month. Coaches can be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, or any supportive adult in our students’ lives!
Please consider coaching if your child plans to participate in this great program supporting reading! You may email Ms. Lanners (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message on Seesaw if you have further questions!
Device Protection Plan
SoWashCo Schools is offering families the option of purchasing a Device Protection Plan to protect district-issued devices from accidental damage to the device; damage from ﬁre, ﬂood, natural disasters, or power surges; and theft (with a ﬁled police report). Sign up for the Device Protection Plan HERE.
The participation cost for those choosing to enroll in the Device Protection Plan is $25 annually per device. Families who qualify for federal educational beneﬁts, such as free and reduced-price meals, will also be eligible for reduced pricing ($12.50 annually per device) or free coverage. If families are eligible, the pricing will automatically be calculated at checkout. In addition, families with multiple children will not pay more than $75 per year for Device Protection Plans. Payment on Device Protection Plans is due upon issuing of the student’s device. The protection fee is nonrefundable. Coverage begins upon receipt of the payment and ends at the conclusion of the scheduled school year.
- Families who waive the Device Protection Plan will be responsible for the full cost of repair or replacement of the device.
- The district issued device accessories, charging cable, power adapter “brick” and case (for iPad) are not covered by the plan.
All electronic technologies must be used in accordance with the educational program and mission of South Washington County Schools. Although issued to the student, the iPad or Chromebook is and remains the property of South Washington County Schools. It may be reviewed and revoked at any time. The student should have NO expectation of privacy regarding content on the iPad or Chromebook.
If a student fails to return the device and accessories (iPad case and charging cords) at the end of the school year or upon termination of enrollment from the issuing school, that student or his/her parent/guardian will be billed for the cost to replace the items not returned. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a theft report being ﬁled with the police department.
Library Media Checkout Days
We are so happy to be in full swing and checking out library books from the Media Center! Thank you to all families for helping your children to read their books and find a special place to keep them at home. We also ask you to help your children take care of their books by keeping them away from food and drink, pets, or younger siblings. Students will check out books every time they have Media Class, which is part of the Day 1-5 Specialist Rotation. This calendar shows the days that each class has media, and has a color coded system to help you keep track of when checkout will be. Books are always due back to the Media Center after two weeks, but students may renew them if they are still reading. Thank you again and happy reading!
-Ms. Lanners, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. M, Media Staff
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
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!
Join us on Monday for our Fall Fiesta. This event replaces the typical "open house." The PTA will be providing free entertainment including face painters, inflatables, and Magician Norm. Magician Norm will be performing 20-30 minute shows at 5, 6, and 7 pm. Food will be available for purchase from the following food trucks: Floyd's Mini Donuts, Unbakeable (edible cookie dough and ice cream), Pizza Karma, Sumo & Smoh egg rolls, and Yummy Tummy (variety of grilled items). All trucks are giving a portion of sales back to the PTA! We will be accepting free-will donations at this event to help offset the cost of the entertainment as well. We could also use some help with set-up, tear-down, and general assistance during the event. Sign up here!
Our Fall Fitness Fundraiser is almost here! Watch for a flyer coming home next week. Our fundraiser theme this year is “Around the World!” We have many fun activities and goals planned! After helping to replace many Smart (Technology) Boards in classrooms last year, we are hoping for a successful fundraiser to give us the funds to help with continued replacement needs. It is our hope that the school community will work together to meet or exceed fundraising goals and have this be our only fundraiser this school year (outside of meal nights). Thank you for your support of Valley Crossing!
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.
Join SoWashCo Community Education and SoWashCo CARES Education Foundation for a fun, family event. The VIP Red Carpet Dance (previously known as the Daddy Daughter Dance) will have snacks, a raffle, crafts, balloon sculptures and dancing! Proceeds from this event will benefit the youth financial assistance fund.
When: 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023
Where: Oltman Middle School, 6625 Goodview Ave., Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Cost: $35 per couple (adult plus one child age 3+) through Sept. 16
- After Sept. 16 ticket prices increase to $45.
- After Sept. 23 ticket prices increase to $50.
- Additional adults or children may register with a paid couple for $10 per person.
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
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: email@example.com / 651.425.7503
Joy Peterson, Assistant Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7523
Julie Funk, Office Coordinator LTS: email@example.com / 651.425.7501
Merita LaPlante, Office Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7501
Jen Gackstetter, Office Assistant: email@example.com / 651.425.7507
Faith Schulze, School Social Worker: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7699
Ashley Boatman, School Psychologist: email@example.com / 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