Willow Creek Newsletter

September 4th, 2020

Hello Wildcat Family,

We hope you had a great first couple days of school! This newsletter will be coming out weekly and will include updates along with communication that will help make distance learning more successful for you and your family.

Have a great weekend,,

Andrew Kappel


Willow Creek Middle School.

Schedule for the week

Big picture

Second Step

We want your child to be successful in school and that means supporting and encouraging their whole development. While excelling in academic classes is important, students also need skills to take on learning challenges, make good decisions, handle strong emotions, and get along with others.

This week, we’ll begin Second Step® Middle School, a research-based social-emotional learning program designed to improve students’ social-emotional skills, such as emotion management, impulse control, problem-solving, and empathy. Second Step skills and concepts are designed to help students both in and out of school. These include:

  • Mindsets and Goals: Students learn how to develop a growth mindset and apply research-based goal-setting strategies to their social and academic lives.

  • Recognizing Bullying and Harassment: Students learn how to recognize bullying and harassment, stand up safely to bullying, and respond appropriately to harassment.

  • Thoughts, Emotions, and Decisions: Students learn how to recognize strong emotions and unhelpful thoughts, and apply strategies to manage their emotions and reduce stress.

  • Managing Relationships and Social Conflict: Students learn strategies for developing and maintaining healthy relationships, perspective-taking, and dealing with conflict.

The Week of September 8th Second Step Lessons:

6th Grade - Starting Middle School


This week’s lesson will introduce your child to the Second Step Middle School Program. Your child will identify challenges they might face when starting middle school and identify resources in their school where they can get help.


Tell your child about something that made you nervous when you started middle school. Ask what makes them nervous and who they can go to for help at school.

7th Grade - Helping New Students


In this week’s lesson, your child will help brainstorm ways to support new students.


Ask your child what feelings they had when they started middle school. Did they get support from other students? Ask your child how they can support students who are new to their school.

8th Grade: Welcome!


This week’s lesson will show your child how the Second Step Middle School Program can help them navigate physical, social, and emotional changes in adolescence.


Have a conversation with your child about what you felt was the most difficult part of being an adolescent. Ask your child about any changes they’ve noticed in friends and what they think about these changes.

If you have any questions about Second Step® Middle School, please don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Craig Schneider for more information. Thank you for your support as we work to build a safe and supportive school community.

iPad pickup / Tech issues

If you were unable to pick up your students' iPad this past week and are in need of a device, please call the main office at (507) 328-5900 to arrange for a pickup time. This way we can ensure the device is ready for pickup as well.

Additionally, if you are experiencing tech issues we are here to help. If you are experiencing an issue with a student password or missing Google Classroom course we can also handle these via email, and often faster. Thank you so much for your patience with this as we get up and running.

One issue we have seen is that some devices are not showing the camera feature on Google Classroom. If this is the case, please have your student uninstall Google Classroom and reinstall it. We are finding that many devices did not update the app over the summer.

Below you will also see the directions for iPad setup if you need to reset a device.


Attendance will be taken for each class daily. Students are expected to log-in for each class using the Google Meets link provided through the Google Classroom.

Parents will receive a phone call notifying them if their student was absent at 5pm if an absence occurs that day.

To report a student absence due to illness, appointment, or other reason, families can either utilize the Skyward reporting system or call our attendance line at (507) 328-5910. To report an absence on Skyward, follow the directions below. If your student is ill, please give a description of the symptoms.

District Return to Learn Plan and other important documents

Please visit the Districts Website for more information on the Return to Learning this Fall. Follow this link for answers to some of the questions you may have.

Block Scheduling for Distance Learning

The District will implement a later DL start time for secondary students of 8:25 AM - 3:10 PM, with a 45-minute lunch period. A later start time while in DL will offer benefits for our students. Given current transportation scenarios, we will not be able to continue a later start time if the District goes to in-person learning.

Big picture
Students will attend periods 1-4 on day 1 and 5-8 on day 2. (Please note that period 1 is Willow Creek's Advisory period. Students will not meet the entire hour). We will be incorporating a 4 day rotation for A and B day course offerings.

Student Handbook

This years Student Handbook has been updated and published. Please click the picture below to review with your student.

Music Classes

Students who are playing a musical instrument in either Band or Orchestra will still need an instrument. Music Teaching Staff will be reaching out individually with procedures for each course. Look for more information soon.

Free and Reduced Lunch Application

There is no need to fill out a paper application this year. Please click the picture below to access a digital form.

Important Dates


  • 7 No School


  • 15-16 No School
  • 16 District Decision regarding Return to Learn next phase

Follow us on Social Media

Click the links below to follow Willow Creek on both Facebook and Twitter.

Contact us


Andrew Kappel - Principal

Denise Long - Assistant Principal

Craig Schneider - Assistant Principal


Jessica Olson - Grade 6 Counselor

Tracy Lund - Grade 7 Counselor

Dawn Johnson - Grade 8 Counselor

School Social Workers

Tonya Rein

Nate Gendron