New Look, Same Important Info!
14 January 2021
Coming Up
COVID-19 Update
Learning Level 2: Hybrid Learning resumes on January 19th.

Visit our COVID-19 update section of the website for all COVID-19 information.
Beyond the Bell
Session 2 Clubs
Session 2 begins Tuesday, January 19th and runs through Friday, March 26th. Please click here for offerings and registration details.

Scholarships will be available upon request.
Upcoming Activity Days
Monday, February 18th all AOWL students are invited to attend an in-school activity day!

The day runs from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm for $90.

Register via Smart Tuition or email
Bridge the Gap Summer Camp
Registration for Bridge the Gap Summer Camp 2021 will open Monday, February 1st.

View program offerings here.
Piano Lessons
Second semester piano lessons with Eric Bell will begin on Monday, January 25th. Lessons will be available in-person or virtually and cost $600 per semester.

To register, please email
Wyayn's Words
COVID-19 Relief Funds (or Not)
Much of the COVID-19 impact on AOWL can be seen through its mitigation strategies. In the school we have desks situated at least 6 feet apart, the acrylic dividers throughout the school are the latest safety device, and we are just now getting ready to return to mostly in-person classes. In the clinic, staffing has been difficult as we work to limit the number of staff working with any one client. This hasn’t been easy for anyone, but we all do it. We’re all in this together.
Our government has come alongside businesses and schools to ease some of the financial impacts. The first was the Paycheck Protection Program last spring. Through this program, the government was able to cover 2.5 months of our payroll or approximately $385,000. This allowed us to cover quite a bit of our COVID-19 related PPE expenses and other supplies and allowed us to hire 3 additional people this year that we wouldn't otherwise have been able to hire. We hired 1 staff member for additional supports in the classrooms to cover unanticipated COVID-19 absences, another for classroom support to allow one of our teachers to teach remotely, and a newly hired distance learning teacher. 
COVID-19’s impact reaches further than direct expenses though. For the first time since 2012, our enrollment was flat this year. We had to cancel our MOAK Benefit Breakfast for the first time. Our IT Department (and its budget) worked overtime to ensure all students and staff were able to work remotely when necessary.
We are not the only business or school to be significantly impacted by COVID-19. Again, our government recognized that we needed more assistance. To this end, Congress passed a new round of COVID relief on December 21 which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. 
There are two relief programs that could significantly affect AOWL. The first is the new round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The second is the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program. The EANS program is designed to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on non-public school students and teachers. Minnesota's EANS portion is $41.9 million. As far as the allotment individual private schools will receive, the law says that each state “shall prioritize services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by the qualifying emergency.” 
While it seems unimaginable that with nearly 2 trillion dollars in COVID relief we might not get any of it, we are not sure that we will qualify. Donations continue to be an essential source of revenue to run our programs. So far we have received $195,000 towards our goal of $610,000 that we need by July 31st 2021. However, our board of trustees is carefully monitoring our situation. Thanks to thoughtful oversight we had funds set aside for emergencies. Our board has said from the beginning of the pandemic that we will use our reserves to cover our extra costs to ensure that we don’t pass these costs on to our families.
I am writing to you now because we believe transparency is crucial; we are all in this together. The reality is that while we have good reasons to be optimistic we will emerge stronger than ever, we still face COVID-19-related challenges every day. As we begin our spring semester, I look forward to the day when we can say “we made it!” I look forward to the day when we can freely open our doors and once again be united. 

Dr. Wyayn
Family Corner
Click the photos to enlarge
Annual Parent Meeting
Save the date! The Annual Parent Meeting will take place via a virtual meeting on February 25th from 7 - 8 pm.
Tuition Assistance
We are now accepting tuition assistance applications through TADS for the 2021-22 school year.

The deadline for applications is February 12th.

You will be asked to submit income and tax information for 2020, so we encourage you to file your 2020 taxes at your earliest convenience. Contact Mike Onan with any questions.
Parent Support Group
The next virtual parent support group is on January 15th at 9 am. RSVP by contacting Sunni.
PTO Meeting
The next PTO Meeting date is Thursday, February 11th from 4:30 - 5:30 pm.

Check out the Parent Calendar for the link to join. A text will also be sent the day of the meeting with the meeting link.

All AOWL parents and caregivers are welcome!
Group Therapy Registration Now Open
AOWL Therapy Services now offers Group Therapy! Beginning the week of January 18th, our 8-session groups provide a wide range of support for children, teens, and young adults.

This January, we offer groups that focus on social skills, virtual friendships, and living with ASD. Now covered by most major insurance carriers, please visit our group therapy page or call 952-737-6933 for detailed course descriptions and registration information.
You and your family are invited to participate in the Fourth Annual Super Fest, a fully inclusive cheerleading and football clinic!

This year the event will be held virtually on February 6th. The Academy of Whole Learning choir will be featured singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Join online and support our AOWL choir! Register here.
Yearbook Cover Contest
All submissions are due by Friday, January 22nd. Click here for details.
Polar Plunge
Don't forget to register for this year's virtual Polar Plunge!

Click on this link and then click "join our team." Take the plunge and submit a video to by February 12th.
Need to Update Your Info?
Help us ensure all student information (contact info, medical/prescription info, etc.) is up-to-date!

If your family has had any contact info changes or student medical updates since enrollment in August, please communicate those changes to Paige at, as soon as possible.

Thank you for your assistance!
2020-21 Board-Parent Liaison

Contact Ross for questions or concerns regarding school processes.
PTO Co-chairs

Contact Kerry or Audra for questions or concerns regarding the PTO.
Board Recommendations
As you know, our board of trustees has gone above and beyond this year, supporting us through the challenges of COVID-19. We are so grateful for their time and thoughtful guidance. 

Optimally, our board is equally comprised of both parents and other individuals from the community. We are thankful that we have sufficient parent representation on our board, but now need your help as we seek additional members from the community. 

We are especially interested in a community member who is a CPA and/or has the expertise to help us reach the following board goals: 
  • Plan for long-term facility needs
  • Fundraising to facilitate growth in Annual Fund 
  • Increase the diversity within the organization and its leadership

If you know anyone who you think might be a good addition to our board, please contact at your earliest convenience.
View from the Nest
Staff Highlights!
Abby Tollas
Long-distance Learning Teacher

 Abby holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. She majored in elementary education, and supplements her expertise with a minor in psychology.
Will Kramer
Behavior Therapist

Will holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, majoring in child psychology. Prior to coming to Academy of Whole Learning, Will worked as a behavior therapist for children with ASD at both in-clinic and in-home settings.
Kaitlin Walsh
Director of Enrichment Programming

Kaitlin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Science. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, she was a Personal Care Assistant for children with developmental disabilities, a case manager at a vocational day program for adults with disabilities, and volunteer classroom assistant at Northern Voices Oral School for the deaf.