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April 14, 2016

posted Apr 14, 2016, 2:59 PM by Kristen Henning

Red Pine School Newsletter

Week of April 18 - 22, 2016

Monday       cycle day 2D  

Tuesday      cycle day 3E

Wednesday cycle day 4A - Student Council Meeting - Officers Only

Thursday     cycle day 5B - Grade 1 Music Program - 6:30pm

Friday          NO SCHOOL - Data Analysis and Instructional Alignment Day  

A Message From The Principal:

Dear Red Pine Families,

While the weather seems to be constantly changing outside, inside Red Pine Elementary, one thing stays the same, Red Pine is an incredible school community.  Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to foster a warm school environment that focuses on our students.

In the weeks leading up to spring break we had many days where different tragic news was shared in our school.  We had a student diagnosed with cancer while another student was diagnosed with a brain cyst that needed an invasive procedure.  We also had students who either lost a parent, or whose parent was fighting against terrible diseases.  Multiple staff members had siblings pass away during this time as well.  In the middle of all of this, Mrs. Joas’ husband was critically injured, and is still struggling in the hospital.  Needless to say, the days leading up to spring break were very difficult for many staff and students in our school.

We have been talking as a staff about to how to develop a strong, school-wide message of hope and positivity.  One of the ideas brought forward was that we should focus on a #REDPINESTRONG message to honor and support the students, families, and staff who have been struggling through incredibly tough times in recent weeks.  I brought this conversation up last week to our Site Council and PTO as well.  Dialogue has begun as to how to tie a message like this into our focus on health and wellness within the school.  You will be hearing more about this message as it evolves.

I have already been able to see first hand how the Red Pine community rallies together to work to help each other.  Having been at different schools, I can honestly say that I have never worked in a more caring environment than this.  I am excited about the Red Pine school community banding together and making it even stronger.


Drew Goeldner

School News:

Dear Red Pine Families,

Mr. Kotasek and Mr. Amundson would like to THANK All of the students for their wonderful participation in the American Heart Association Jump Rope For Heart Event.  The event consisted of students rotating around the gymnasium visiting six different jumping roping stations.  Ask your child about the event and what station they enjoyed the most.  Many students were able to sign the "Wall of Fame".  Ask them about the "Wall of Fame".  We had 170 students that brought in donations totaling $13,014.00.  What an AMAZING total.  THANK YOU, to All that donated and went out and raised money for the American Heart Association.  We are GREATLY APPRECIATIVE!!!


Mr. Kotasek and Mr. Amundson

Physical Education Specialists

Red Pine Elementary School

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are in progress at Red Pine!  These state tests meet the requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (ESEA).  They are used to find out how well schools have aligned curriculum to and instructed students in the Minnesota Academic Standards in mathematics, reading and science.   

Students do not pass or fail the MCA tests, however, receive a score that falls in one of four achievement levels:  Does Not Meet the Standards, Partially Meets the Standards, Meets the Standards and Exceeds the Standards.

All of the tests will be administered online this year. When scheduling appointments and vacation please be aware that if your student is absent at testing times, they will be required to make up the testing session missed.

The testing dates for Red Pine are as follows:

            Mathematics (Grades 3-5):        April 7th – April 25th

            Science (Grade 5 only):             April 26th - May 4th

For more information regarding the MCAs and/or the Minnesota Academic Standards, please visit the Minnesota Department of Education website: http://education.state.mn.us

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Denise Vonasek at denise.vonasek@district196.org .

Blood Drive Coming to Red Pine **** TIME CHANGE

On ​Tuesday, May 17th​ Red Pine will be hosting a blood drive in honor of Bryan Joas​ ​as well as Red Pine students, staff, and families who have recently experienced challenging health circumstances. We will have a Blood Mobile in our visitor parking lot from ​**7:30am - 1:30pm​. To donate, please go to ​RedCrossBlood.org​. The sponsor code is: ​Red Pine​. If you are having problems signing up online, please contact ​Mary Kate Nelson​ at Red Pine ​651.­423.­7870 ​or email at Marykate.nelson@district196.org. You can also contact 1-800-Red Cross.Thank you and let's all be ​RedPineStrong​!

Blood Drive Volunteers *** TIME CHANGE

We are looking for volunteers to be greeters for our Red Pine Blood Drive on May 17th. Volunteers can pick how many hours they would like to volunteer and which hours they would like to volunteer between the hours of ** 7am - 2pm. Greeters responsibilities are basically checking donors in or directing donors to the restrooms. If this sounds like something that would interest you please contact Mary Kate Nelson at marykate.nelson@district196.org or 651-423-7870.

PARENT REQUEST: Thanks for those who have volunteered! We still NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS for Spring Arts Night!

100% of the money from the Spring Arts Night basket raffle and silent auction goes back to our school programs for your child!

We need volunteers to coordinate the basket raffle, and volunteers to wrap completed baskets!

Volunteers to hang student art on the wall April 18 & 19 during the school day!

Volunteers the evening of the event; to sell raffle tickets, help with security, the silent auction, we will find a place for you!

Many volunteers are needed for a successful evening on May 5th!

Any time you could give would be appreciated! Thanks!

Please contact Jayme Smrstick at jaymesmrstick@gmail.com or Peg Gust Red Pine Art Specialist at peg.gust@district196.org

Notes from the Computer Lab

Mrs. Jennifer Skalski

Grades K-2: Our visits to Star Lab are wrapping up. Don’t be surprised if, the next time your family is looking at the stars, your child points out the Big Dipper, the North Star, or Orion the Hunter. Second graders also began learning about the phases of the moon and why the moon looks different on different nights. I encourage you to download an app that shows the constellations, then take your child out for a peek at the night sky.

Grades 3-5: MCA Testing. (Third grade will finish testing today and begin rehearsing for their music program with Mrs. Herman tomorrow. Students have the songs loaded in their Collab account and should be practicing them at home until they know them well. Here’s a another link to the songs for your child…just in case you need it: https://drive.google.com/a/apps.district196.org/folderview?id=0B5UdwP6NhL9NSldZaVBKX0hJVnM&usp=sharing)

Greetings from the Red Pine Library!
We just completed Red Pine’s Best Picture Book for 2016 during our March Madness for Picture Books.  Lots of great books in the mix, if you want to read them as a family.

We started with our Sweet Sixteen, narrowed it down to our Elite Eight, then our Final Four and finally
our Championship Round.  

Red Pine Classrooms decided unanimously that "Finding Winnie" is our winner this year.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by  Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

For all the RP March Madness for Picture Book titles please visit the following link:


For more winning books please also visit the following links:

Association for Library Service to Children's 2016 Notable Books for Children: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb

Association for Library Service Books and Media Awards:


Schneider Family Book Award (expression of disability experience for a child): http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/schneider-family-book-award

Happy Reading,

Kelly Robertson & Suzanne Jarvi

Red Pine Elementary Library

Health & Wellness Committee:

Dear Families of Red Pine,

The Health and Wellness Committee would like to THANK ALL of the Families and Friends that visited the Health and Fitness Fair and Eat Your Color Run.  Once again it was a tremendous success with over 1000 people attending the fair and over 400 people running in the Color Run!  We hope that you enjoyed yourself and were able to gain some valuable knowledge from the event. We would also like to THANKS ALL the Staff, Parents, and High School Volunteers that donated their TIME, EFFORT and ENERGY to the Health and Fitness Fair and Eat Your Color Run.

We want you ALL to know that we GREATLY APPRECIATE your support.

Until next year, Eat Healthy and Enjoy Exercising!


The Health and Wellness Committee

Nurse’s Corner:

We are coming to the end of the school year.  It’s hard to look ahead to the fall, however, I just want to remind you once again about your child’s health information we need yearly and any emergency medications or daily meds I have at the end of the year.  Also, very very important to update your phone numbers in our system.  I am unable to do this.  This is the first place I look when I need to call you about your child.


At the end of the year parents NEED to collect their child’s pill bottles, expired medications, epi pens, Benadryl, Tylenol, cough drops etc..  Anything that I have of yours you will need to take back home.  I do not hold them through the summer.  


With the start of the new school year I will need new orders – dated for the 2016-17 school year and medication labeled and in a sandwich bag in the original bottle for oral tablets or a large bag for epi pens, inhalers, and nebulizers.  All medication needs to have the original label, bottle container.   Please make sure to have your child’s name and grade on the bag.  You can bring them to me in August at our open house.



Please do not send your child to school if they have had a temp, they need to be fever free for 24 hours WITHOUT medication.  (EX:  If Boyd wakes up at 8 am with a temp, and you give him Tylenol or Ibuprofen…and the temp goes down, he is still contagious.  You take his temp at 12 and he doesn’t have one – he cannot return to school until noon the next day.  If at 4 he spikes a temp and you give him Tylenol or ibuprofen, he is out the next day also.  Fever free without medication for 24 hours.)  

This will keep healthy kids healthy and keep any illnesses from spreading.

Please review the links below for some illnesses that have been present in our school.

Have your child stay home if:

~~Temperature of 100 or greater, may return when under 100 orally and without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours

~~Vomiting or diarrhea, may return when hasn’t had an issue for 24 hours

~~Severe coughing or difficulty breathing (if a nagging, itchy cough, please have child bring water bottle, encourage a lot of water)

~~Open sores on mouth

~~Skin rash or red eye from undetermined cause (if pink eye diagnosed, a MD’s note needed to return or treatment for 24 hours)

~~Head lice and scabies, until treatment complete

~~Any contagious conditions such as strep throat, impetigo, chickenpox, pertussis, mumps, Hep-A, measles, mumps, rubella, shingles, or herpes simplex

Always notify me of a contagious illness. I will keep track to see if there are clusters so I can notify the potentially exposed grade level.

Please also call me with any questions.  My hours are 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM, Monday thru Friday. Feel free to leave a message, I will get back to you as soon as my office clears out.

Thank you,

Nurse Danna



PTO News:

School Pak

We are ready for ordering!!!!  Shorten your “to-do” list for next school year by ordering your school supplies online at School Pak.  Please use the link to order your paks ( Red Pine Elementary | School-Pak ).  If you order by June 10, 2016, you will have the option to have your paks delivered, for free, to school.  These paks will be delivered to your child's classroom and will be ready for the Open House at the end of August.  Otherwise you will need to order by July 12, 1016 for home delivery.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the School Pak Coordinator, Dawn Horarik, at 952-240-4928 or dawnhorarik@yahoo.com.

Red Pine Spring Arts Night – Silent Auction

The Silent Auction at Spring Arts Night has raised a record number of funds that went back into our school. We are hoping to exceed ourgoals for this year and are once again looking for donations for the Silent Auction. Many items and services, including delicious cupcakes, video games, and estate planning (to name a few) were donated last year from Red Pine families with businesses in our community. If you have a business and are willing donate to our fundraiser, please contact Jayme Smrstick at jaymesmrstick@gmail.com

The Red Pine PTO is a tax-exempt charity and your donations are tax deductible.

Gerten's Plant Card Fundraiser

Gerten’s and Red Pine have teamed up again for a Plant Card Fundraiser.  Profits (15%) from this fundraiser will help maintain Red Pine’s flower and butterfly gardens, as well as to support other classroom activities.  Consider picking up a few for gifts:  Mother's Day, Father's Day, housewarming, birthdays, showers, wedding gifts, anniversaries, memorials . . . and more!  Order forms are due Thursday, April 21st.   Questions?  Contact Jayme Smrstick at jaymesmrstick@gmail.com.