28 January 2021
Coming Up
COVID-19 Update
Visit our COVID-19 update section of the website for all COVID-19 information.
Beyond the Bell
Bridge the Gap Summer Camp
Registration for Bridge the Gap Summer Camp 2021 will open Monday, February 1st.

View program offerings here.
Upcoming Activity Days
Join us for a week of in-school enrichment with daily arts and crafts, games, active play, social skills, and more.

  • Monday 2/15: Presidents and American History
  • Tuesday 2/16: Winter Wonderland
  • Wednesday 2/17: Plants and Animals
  • Thursday 2/18: Science and Technology
  • Friday 2/19: Free Friday: Student choice activities

Register via Smart Tuition or email [email protected].
HEADlines with Brenda
In the coming months, the Parent Round Table will be scheduled. This platform has been used to discuss three questions: What is AOWL doing that you love? What is AOWL doing that we could stop? What things would you like AOWL to do differently? The purpose of this type of discussion is to use feedback to continually improve. It is a cycle that allows for essential stakeholders to have a voice in a place that is a second home. 

To start this process, I would like to take this opportunity to share what I love about AOWL. 

Staff: I love the AOWL staff. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated, passionate group of educators and administrators. I have seen staff:
sitting in the hallway with a student checking in, asking how they are doing, and coming up with an individualized plan.
  • going on walks with their class and connecting with each student.
  • jumping in to help support a colleague or class.
  • worrying about their student when they are absent and hoping they are ok.
  • scheduling early morning meetings to discuss student needs and accommodations.
  • advocating for books, materials, and resources to support student interests.
I love working in an environment with colleagues who share the same passion. Our shared goals create a motivated connectedness and refuel our energy to continue working as hard as we can for our students. 

Collaboration: I love being a part of the collaborative culture at AOWL. No decision is made without having been discussed, brainstormed, consulted, and contemplated from various viewpoints. To work within an organization that establishes collective intelligence as their culture is one that no doubt will succeed. 

Community: A place where everyone knows your name...truly. I love walking into a classroom and hearing, “Hi, Ms. Brenda!” Even in this COVID year when parents are not present and students have not always been in person, I have still felt very connected. Supportive relationships are the heart of a community. Students are able to bring personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences into the classroom and be accepted. Maslow’s theory proposes that we need certain essential needs to be met before we can go on to achieve more. Once our physiological needs and safety are met, we have psychological needs, such as belonging and self-esteem. I am happy to be part of a community where students’ psychological needs are met.

In the coming Bridges, I will continue to progress through the initially stated three questions. I look forward to continuing the imperative work with our amazing staff and parents.   
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.
We are pleased to save you time by having evergreen contracts in place for all K-11 students. Next year’s enrollment deposit will automatically be placed on your Smart Tuition account on your next billing date after March 12, 2021. We’re looking forward to a robust, enthusiastic, and (hopefully) non-socially-distanced year next year! 
If you choose to not re-enroll your child for the 2021-22 school year, the Official Notification of Withdrawal form found here will need to be submitted via email by the end of day on March 12, 2021.

We will contact senior families separately to discuss next year's enrollment options.  

We are honored to serve all of our AOWL students and families, and we are excited to see your family again next year. If you have any questions, please contact Paul Gloudemans at [email protected].
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 29th 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!
Coffee & Convo
The next Coffee and Convo date is Friday, March 5 from 9:00 - 10:00 am.

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 caregivers are welcome!
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.
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 [email protected] by February 12th.
Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA)
AOWL's own GSA is starting soon! Student-led and staff-advised, GSA is an opportunity for high school students to build community around issues impacting them.

Learn more here.

Questions? Feel free to email [email protected].
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.
View from the Nest
Staff Highlights!
Tana Conway, MEd
Math Teacher

Tana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in math and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from Arizona State University. She is currently enrolled in a graduate program for Applied Behavior Analysis through the University of Arizona. Tana comes to us from Arizona where she taught high school math and developmental math at the local community college.
Kade Drechsler
Classroom Teacher

Kade holds a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from ACU in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. In 2019, they were honored as the Minnesota Independent Schools Forum's Teacher of the Year. They have presented at multiple STEM conferences, and they have received multiple Innovation Grants from MISF. 
Collin Cooper
Behavior Therapist 

Collin attended the University of Wisconsin for sociology and criminology. Before coming to Academy of Whole Learning, Collin taught various forms of movement for 9 years including Parkour and Gymnastics, with an emphasis on learning to overcome physical and mental obstacles.