Phoenix Family News

April 30, 2021

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Important Dates Ahead...

  • May 5 - Dress Like a Teacher day

  • May 31 - No School

  • June 2 - Last day of school

  • June 2 - Device return day for VLA students. More details to follow.

MCA Dates:
  • May 3-7: Math MCA for 3rd-5th grade
  • May 10-14: Science MCA for 5th grade only

VLA MCA Dates:

  • May 7: Math MCA 9:30-12:00
  • May 14: Science MCA (5th grade only) 9:30-12:00

Calendar and Schedule Updates

The latest calendar updates are available at

A Note from the Principal

Happy May!!! Next week is officially staff appreciation week. We have been celebrating all month long and will have some fun culminating activities next week to show our appreciation to the Valley Crossing Staff. Thanks to everyone who sent in a "Lucky Duck" note for staff - they've loved getting all of your kind words! It has really been a great month! In addition - we have a special dress up day on Wednesday... it's DRESS LIKE YOUR TEACHER DAY!!! We are surprising our staff with this fun dress up day! It can be any of your of our staff, because they are all teachers in some way - homeroom, specialist, special ed, paras, etc. Let’s get creative and show our teachers how much we appreciate them!

VCES Spring Book Fair

It’s time to get excited about our in-person Buy One Get One (BOGO) free Book Fair to be held May 10-17!

  • Due to current Covid restrictions, all shopping will be done by students during the school day by classroom appointment.

  • VLA students will have the opportunity to order books from the fair via a Google form. More information on this will be sent to you from your classroom teacher.


  • We are encouraging families to set up an eWallet to make shopping even easier. Visit our website to set it up! Watch this video for more information.

  • This cashless system works a lot like our current lunch account system. Money is placed in the student’s eWallet and they can shop the fair. You can share the eWallet with friends and family to add funds to the account as well!

  • Any unused funds will remain in their eWallet for next year’s book fairs OR the money can be spent on the Scholastic website.

  • eWallet accounts can be set up NOW through the last day of the book fair.

  • We will accept cash or checks (made out to VCES PTA).

Book Fair Website and Flyer

All items at the book fair are buy one get one free! The average price of a book is $8. Reading four books over the summer helps kids retain their reading level. The BOGO book fair is a great opportunity to stock up on books for summer reading! Questions? Contact Susan Vance or 952-334-2572

Staff Appreciation

Next week (May 3-May 7) we invite you to join us as we celebrate the amazing staff we have at Valley Crossing. We consider ourselves a “Lucky Ducks” to have each one of them here . To celebrate we will be having “Lucky Duck” gift card drawings amongst the staff each day. Thanks to generous donations of families at VCES we are able to provide a gift card to each staff member throughout the week! Students are also welcome to bring in notes or gifts of thanks for the VCES staff who make a difference in their lives each day.

Student Council Hygiene Drive

Dear Valley Crossing Community-

THANK YOU so much for the generosity you have shown towards the Student Council's Service Learning Hygiene Collection project! The Student Council looks forward to packing your donations into personal kits for donation to Valley Outreach, who will then distribute the kits to people in our local communities!

Many thanks,

The VCES Student Council

Order Battle Books for 2021-22!

All students have the opportunity to purchase copies of next year’s Battle of the Books titles. All books are or were nominees for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award, part of the Minnesota Youth Reading Awards. This is an optional order, and the Media Center will have multiple copies of all the books available for checkout next year. This order supports a local independent bookstore in St. Paul called Red Balloon Bookshop. If you’d like to place an order, please fill out this order form and send payment (cash or checks made to Valley Crossing PTA) to school by Monday, May 10. You can find summaries of next year’s titles by clicking here. Contact Ms. Lanners ( if you have any questions!

Return Library Books by May 14!

April 30 is the last day that students may request library books for checkout, and we ask that all VCES library books are returned to the Media Center by May 14. We have a cart in the front vestibule 5 days a week, and students learning in person can return books to their classroom library bins. If you or your child are unsure which books you have checked out, you can log into student accounts in Destiny Discover. We’d ask that you send payment (checks to Valley Crossing Elementary) or replacements for any lost or damaged books. You may also contact Ms. Lanners, Media Specialist ( or Mr. Josh, Media Clerk ( if you have any questions. Thank you!

Hmong American Day in Minnesota

Greetings! Nyob zoo!

This year, the Hmong Parents Advisory Council (HPAC 833) for South Washington County School District would like to invite you to celebrate Hmong American Day with us. Hmong American Day in Minnesota is celebrated on May 14th and commemorates the service of Hmong allies during the Vietnam War and celebrates the many contributions of Hmong Minnesotans.

We are excited to announce a virtual community presentation entitled, Hmong American Day is Everyday: Honoring our Past, Celebrating our futures, and Recognizing our communities. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Chia Youyee Vang. This virtual event will be on Friday, May 14th at 6 pm. You can register for the event at

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at or Mee Xiong Yang at or via phone at (651) 352- 5635

Thank you, and we look forward to celebrating with you!

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2021-22 Planning

Preliminary planning for the 2021-2022 school year is beginning. If you have information about your child that you would like considered in making class placements, please submit an email to Mrs. Classon by the end of the day on Friday, May 14th. Final placement of students in specific classrooms will occur during the summer. Please note: This is not an invitation to “request” a classroom teacher. Please do not include names of teachers in your email to Mrs. Classon. While we are able to take many things into consideration during the placement process, we cannot guarantee students will be placed into specific classrooms. Thank you for your understanding.

Are you Moving?

If you will be moving over the summer and your child will no longer be attending Valley Crossing Elementary, please contact the main office. It is very important that you notify us so that we can transfer your child’s records to their new school. Please email Merita LaPlante at .

A Note from Dr. Gervais, School Social Worker

    • VLA families and quarantined students are welcomed to book individual meetings with me. Please view my schedule and availability online at

    • Resources for Families - District 833 has a website that will link you to a variety of resources from food, mental health, and unemployment and so much more. Bookmark this page for future use:

    • Snacks - Thank you to those families that donated snacks for our students over the course of the year. It has been a tough year for families and the need was greater than normal. Your generosity has been greatly appreciated!

    Illnesses, Absences and Quarantines

    • 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.
    • If your student is in quarantine due to a school-related exposure and you received a district quarantine letter, you do not need to call attendance every day.
    • If a family member has symptoms, please keep your child home from school. You can call the office to report the absence and our school nurse will explain the next steps based on your situation.

    • If anyone in your household has a pending Covid test due to having symptoms, we ask that everyone stays home until the results come back.

    • Please do not enter the building if you or anyone in your household is ill or tested positive for Covid. We can provide contactless delivery of materials or walk students out to be picked up, if need be.

    • 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.

    • We acknowledge that families may be frustrated, but we ask that our staff be treated with respect. They cannot change a student’s quarantine period.

    • If you have questions, please call our Health Office at 651-425-7502.

    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.

    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