Phoenix Family News
September 29, 2023
Important Dates Ahead...
October 3: PTA PJ and Comfy Travel Clothes Day
October 5: PTA Wacky Silly Mismatch Day
October 6: No School - K-5 Prep Day
October 9: PTA Dress like an Olympian Day (or any athlete)
October 9: PTA Meeting in the VCES Office Conference Room 4:00 pm
October 10: PTA Davanni's Night
October 13: PTA Fall Fun Run
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
Every year, we start our year reading our schoolwide Hopes & Dreams book, and then each student and staff member creates a Hope & Dream for the year. Next, homebase teachers talk with students about what we need from each other in order to meet our Hopes & Dreams, and we create classroom and team agreements about what we want our classrooms to look like, sound like and feel like while we are at school to help us reach our Hope & Dream. Finally, we have representatives from each team come together to create our School Agreements. We are happy to share that our school agreements this year are as follows:
C - Cares
A - Assertiveness
R - Responsibility
E - Empathy
S - Self-Respect
In addition to identifying a set of academic competencies, the core belief of Responsive Classroom lays out a set of social and emotional competencies that students need in order to be successful in and out of school. These competencies—cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control—are captured in the acronym CARES, which we are embracing as our School Agreements going forward this year and beyond.
Incorporating the CARES competencies into our school has an enormous positive influence on classrooms, as these competencies prepare students to successfully learn, play, work, and form relationships with their peers by teaching them how to be in control of their own behavior and how to make good choices for themselves.
Over the next days and weeks, teachers will be teaching about each of the components of CARES through picture books and discussion. Be sure to ask your child which components they have covered so far!
Fall Conferences Oct 12 and 17
The second 15 minutes of the conference will be a goal setting conference with you, your child, and your child’s teacher.
The conference sign-up link for your child's teacher was sent via email today. If you did not get an email or if you need help signing up for a conference, please call the main office at 651-425-7500. Thank you!
Limited Lunchroom Visitors Process
Valley Crossing will be able to host limited lunch time visitors between October 2nd – May 24th this school year. Based on space and safety requirements, a family member listed in Parent Portal may sign up using our monthly Reservation Link to accompany their child at our guest lunch table. Here is the Sept/Oct/Nov Valley Crossing LINK for lunch visitors. PLEASE only sign up for one spot a month to allow for other families to sign up as well.
We ask families to review the process below for visiting your child at lunch:
- Sign up for the visit no later than the day prior to your visit.
- Upon arrival for the visit, present identification and complete the Raptor screening.
- Wear the visitor badge so that it is visible during the entirety of the visit.
- Go directly to the lunchroom and eat in the guest space with your student.
- No friends or additional students will be permitted to join the guest space.
- Visitors may not visit recess time.
- The visit is limited to guest space during the student’s identified lunch period.
- Any outside food brought in can only be shared with your student.
- Do not take pictures, record, or film while at school. Use of cell phones is strongly discouraged for safety and privacy.
- PLEASE only sign up for one spot a month to allow for other families to sign up as well.
PTA News and Fun Run Fundraiser Updates
After only one week, as a school, we have raised over $20,000 and earned the following:
- Tuesday, October 3rd- PJ or Comfy Travel Clothes Day!
- Extra Recess! (Scheduled by your teacher)
- Thursday, October 5th- Wacky Silly Mismatch Day
- Monday, October 9th - Dress like an Olympian (or any athlete) Day!!!!
Take a look at the Fundraiser Flyer 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 helping support Valley Crossing!
- PTA meeting Monday, October 9 at 4:00. Kids are welcome!
- Upcoming meal night: Tuesday, October 10 from 4-8 p.m. at Davannis! More info to come!
- Fall Scholastic Book Fair will be held October 30- November 3! Watch for more info on shopping times and volunteer needs!
VCES Picture Day
- 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.
- 6.25 hour/day HN/Resource paraprofessional - Hours are 9:00am-3:45pm and the rate of pay starts at $20.38 per hour.
Bond Information Session
East Ridge High School Principal, Jim Smokrovich, along with Assistant Superintendent Kristine Schaefer will host a bond informational meeting on Tuesday, October 17th from 6:00-7:00 pm in the Loft Stage (during conference night) for ERHS community/feeder schools to learn more about the upcoming special election.
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.
Embark on Your Spanish Language Journey, in-person or online, grades K-5
Learn practical conversation skills and vocabulary in this 16-week class. Fall session will explore the culture and daily life of a small town in Mexico. After winter break, we’ll return to discover the bustling city of Madrid.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Information from Previous Newsletters
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)
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:
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.
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.
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")
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