Phoenix Family News
September 22, 2023
Important Dates Ahead...
September 25: No School - Staff ATPPS Day
September 26-29: Reading MAP Testing for grades 2-5
September 27: Fall Fun Run USA Day (wear red, white and blue for reaching $2500!)
September 29: Josten's Picture Day at VCES
October 6: No School - K-5 Prep Day
October 10: PTA Davanni's Night
October 18-20: No School - Non-School Days
Calendar and Schedule Updates
The latest calendar updates are available at sowashco.org/calendar.
A Note from the Principal
We were so excited to welcome so many new Valley Crossing students and staff through the arches at our Opening Ceremony on Monday! We read "The Magician's Hat," our Hopes & Dreams book, and some of our students, staff and families shared their hopes & dreams for the year. We also had a special song, "Be Amazing, Be You," that was written by our own Mrs. Bovee, A4-5 teacher, and performed by our A4-5 team! Ask you child what was their favorite part about Opening Ceremony!
We were also excited to welcome so many families to our Fall Fiesta! It provided an opportunity for our community to come together, build relationships, and see new and existing friends! It was a night filled with joy and laughter, and we look forward to many more such gatherings in the future.
Finally, our school rules committee met today and we will be announcing our school rules next week. Be sure to ask you child about the rules they created for their classroom!
Phoenix 4-5 Choir
Join us each week for choir rehearsal where we will warmup our voices, sing a variety of unison and 2-Part songs, and build awesome relationships with our peers! We will showcase our talents with a final concert that will take place at Valley Crossing Elementary School on January 25th at 6:00 pm.
The Phoenix Choir will meet before school on Mondays, although sometimes we will use Wednesday as a rehearsal day if there is a conflict on a Monday. Please see the dates below for the complete schedule. We will rehearse in the music room from 8:00-9:00am.
Practice Dates: October 9, 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4, 13 (WEDNESDAY), 20 (WEDNESDAY), January 8, 17 (WEDNESDAY), 22, 25 (CONCERT DAY)
Battle of the Books Registration
Today is the last day to register for 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. If you think you already registered, but didn’t receive a confirmation email, please be sure you’ve tapped Submit on the registration form. You may also email or send a Seesaw message to Ms. Lanners to confirm that your child is registered. Any registrations after today may not be guaranteed a spot on a team.
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 (email@example.com) or message on Seesaw if you have further questions!
VCES Picture Day is Friday, September 29th!
If you have a completed background check and would like to help volunteer, we need volunteers to help. Please sign up HERE to volunteer. Thanks!
Now Hiring - PM Crossing Guard!
- 1.0 hour/day Crossing Guard paraprofessional! Hours are 3:15-4:15 pm and the rate of pay starts at $20.38 per hour.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Fall Fiesta on Monday! It was a great evening for fun and community! Events like this are made possible with funds raised during our Fall Fundraiser, which is now officially underway!
Our fundraiser theme this year is “Around the World!” The Fun Run will be held on Friday, October 13th (back-up weather date is October 16th). We have some exciting things planned for the weeks ahead. Take a look at the Fundraiser Flyer and watch this VIDEO for more information. Each student will receive a free Valley Crossing t-shirt on Fun Run Day (provided by the PTA).
Don't forget to register at GetMovin to see more information, donate online and easily share with friends and family.
Thank you for supporting Valley Crossing!
MCA Individual Student Results (ISRs)
ISRs were mailed September 22nd to students who participated in the MCA or MTAS in SoWashCo Schools last year. Here are some helpful resources provided by the Minnesota Department of Education:
Vote Early for the SoWashCo Bonds for Buildings!
South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) is holding a special election on Nov. 7, 2023. Taking staff and community feedback and input into consideration, the School Board approved a plan to present the district’s new 5-year facility plan (Securing Our Future. Supporting Our Students) to the community with two bond questions and a Technology Projects Levy question on the November ballot. For more information, visit sowashco.org/facilityplanning
Safety and security enhancements and expansions and renovations at secondary schools. (Approx. $160 Million total)
Construct new secure entry at Park and Woodbury high schools, and Cottage Grove, Lake and Woodbury middle schools
Planned addition at East Ridge High School and renovations at Park and Woodbury high schools
Planned expansion of Oltman Middle School and renovations at Woodbury Middle School
Addresses elementary school space at schools projected to exceed capacity; renovations for bathrooms at five elementary schools. (Approx. $40 Million total)
Elementary school additions at Bailey, Grey Cloud, Pine Hill and Red Rock elementary schools
Construction of additional bathrooms at schools only containing a single set/four stalls: Crestview, Hillside, Pine Hill, Pullman and Royal Oaks elementary schools
is a Technology Projects levy that revokes our current technology levy and replaces it with a new levy that would increase funding for infrastructure, safety and security relating to technology.
Join the District Data and Assessment Committee!
The District Data and Assessment Committee (DDAC) has three open positions for parents/guardians and one open position for a community member.
The DDAC is a feedback group consisting of district staff members, school administrators, teachers, parents/guardians, community members, and students. The DDAC provides recommendations and feedback to the Department of Program Evaluation, Research and Assessment about state-wide and district assessments.
The DDAC meets virtually three times a year on the second Thursday in November, February and May from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. This year’s dates are:
November 9, 2023
February 8, 2024
May 9, 2024
The term-length is two years.
McKinney Vento Act Information
Sometimes life throws us curve balls and our living situations change. If you fall under one of the below situations, please reach out to your child’s school counselor or school social worker as you may qualify for additional benefits under the McKinney Vento Act.
- Living with a friend, relative or someone else due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, cars, public spaces or campgrounds
- Living in shelters, transitional housing units or are awaiting foster care placement
- Living in places not ordinarily used for sleeping, including cars, parks, public places, abandoned buildings or bus or train stations
- Unaccompanied youth who are not in the care of a parent/guardian and living in one of the situations above
Children in these situations have the right to:
- Immediate enrollment, even if they are missing records
- Attend the local school or the school of origin depending on the child's best interest
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin when possible
- Have access to the same programs and services that are available to other students
- Educational Benefits (Formerly referred to as "Free/Reduced")
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Information from Previous Newsletters
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.
VCES Lunchroom Visitors
VCES is Fragrance Free
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
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7503
Joy Peterson, Assistant Principal: email@example.com / 651.425.7523
Julie Funk, Office Coordinator LTS: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7501
Merita LaPlante, Office Coordinator: email@example.com / 651.425.7501
Jen Gackstetter, Office Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org / 651.425.7507
Faith Schulze, School Social Worker: email@example.com / 651.425.7699
Ashley Boatman, School Psychologist: firstname.lastname@example.org / 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