21 October 2021
Coming Up
View the 2021-22 Year-at-a-Glance Calendar here.
View our Parent Google Calendar here.
COVID-19 Update
Symptomatic Student Protocol
A reminder that all students with cold, flu or COVID symptoms must stay home and must have a negative test result sent to AOWL before returning to school. Flu shots are highly encouraged so students can stay in school as much as possible.

Special Persons Day Rescheduled for Spring 2022
Out of an abundance of caution, we will be rescheduling Special Persons Day to spring 2022. We will miss getting together this fall to celebrate students and the special people in their lives. We hope to have an in-person event next spring where students can showcase their work and spend time with their special people in the classroom. Watch for updates on Special Persons Day in future editions of The Bridge!

Reminder: Remember Your Mask!
Families, please ensure your child has a mask upon arrival to AOWL! We have extras for the occasional event that students forget, but we do not have enough to supply masks for students daily.
Your support in equipping your child with a mask from home is essential. Thank you!

Check out the COVID-19 Update section of our website for the latest information.
Please contact [email protected] for all COVID-19 questions.

Family Corner
Thank You, PTO!!!
  • "Thank you so much for the very generous DoorDash gift card! It is such a nice thing to not have to think about preparing dinner on conference days! Thank you again."
  • Dear PTO, Thank you for the gift card for warm meals during our long conference days. We appreciate the generosity and kindness of families deeply. Our team looks forward to meeting with each of you during conferences. Have a great week and enjoy this gorgeous sunrise today (Tuesday)!"
  • "On behalf of the advancement team, we want to thank the PTO for their thoughtful DoorDash gift. Having a tasty meal during conferences helps keep the teachers fueled and raring to go. We appreciate your generosity so much!"
  • "PTO - Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity for providing dinner to staff for Parent Teacher Conferences. It was such a wonderful gift to staff...and it was very delicious. Thank you, thank you!"
  • "Dear PTO, Thank you so much for the gift of sustenance during the long days of conferences! It was amazing to not worry about the "what's for dinner?" question for a couple nights." 
  • "Thank you so much for the generous gift card! It was so helpful to be able to order some dinner during conferences and spend time working on things for students versus having to drive and pick something up. It is much appreciated!"
  • "Thank you so much to AOWL families and the PTO for providing us with gift cards so that we can still have a "conference meal" this fall! Please know that it is so appreciated and definitely makes the long days easier!"
  • "Shoutout to PTO for the generous staff gift cards! It's so nice to have your support and generosity throughout the year, everyone truly feels appreciated and energized!"
  • "Thank you PTO, for providing a lovely meal for me while I was finishing conferences. It is a huge help while we are so busy this week. It truly is a game changer. Thank you." 
  • "Thanks for providing the DoorDash gift card! We really appreciate that generous gift during conferences."
  • "PTO, Thank you so much for the generous gift card! This is appreciated so much!"
  • "PTO, Thank you so much for the DoorDash gift card. It is greatly appreciated on these long conference days! "
  • "It was amazing to have dinner delivered in between conference times! What a thoughtful gift you guys provided. I appreciated that it kept us teachers from becoming 'hangry!' Thank you so much for thinking of us and being such a great support to staff. It really made the week easier to manage! "
  • "Thank you so so much PTO!! The DoorDash gift card allowed me to buy my favorite dessert with lunch :)"
  • This visual says it all: We are SO grateful!

Upcoming PTO Events
All AOWL parents and caregivers are invited to upcoming events with our Parent-Teacher Organization. Check out our Parent Calendar for information on how to join.

  • Virtual PTO Meeting - November 9 from 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Weather Reminder!
Brrrr! As we prepare for cold weather, remember to send students to school with warm clothing!
Students will go outside for gym every day unless the temperature (including windchill) is below 0 degrees. Students may keep snow gear at school if desired.

Winter gear to remember:
  • Long pants
  • Sweatshirt
  • Winter jacket
  • Snow pants
  • Boots
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
AOWL-o-ween is on October 29!
On Friday October 29, Students and staff may choose to participate in AOWL-o-ween by dressing up as a character from a favorite book! 

Here are the guidelines for appropriate costumes:

  • Come dressed as a book character  
  • Costumes or hats cannot cover face or eyes -- everyday face coverings will still be expected.  
  • Costumes may not include weapons 
  • Costumes should be fun or clever rather than intentionally scary 

Teachers may ask a student to remove part or all of a costume if it does not meet these guidelines.
Research Study Opportunity
AOWL Families have the opportunity to take part in a research study.

The purpose of this study is to understand experiences that families with autistic
children have during social isolation. This study would understand the range of
experiences that comes from the spectrum associated with the Autism diagnosis.
For more information on the study and participation, click here or contact Emily Dicken at [email protected] .
Visit the Resources Page on the AOWL website (scroll down and click the "Resources" button) to view information about events happening outside of school that may be of interest to you and your family! 

Annual Fund
The annual fund has started! Please donate if you are able to; every gift makes a difference. Your incredible support, through generous donations and sharing the impact of AOWL on your family, helps neurodiverse individuals access life-changing resources. Help us reach our goal of $235,000!
Therapy Services Updates
Registration opened on October 11 for Session 2 of Therapy Groups.
Session 2 groups begin December 6 and provide a wide range of support for your children and teens.
Now covered by most major insurance carriers, please visit us at https://www.academyofwholelearning.org/groupservices/ or contact Karla Przybylski at [email protected] for detailed course descriptions and registration information. If your child currently attends a group, registration will be sent to you!

AOWL Therapy Services has received a grant from United Health Care to provide the opportunity to offer scholarships to the Somali Community. Any families that have a child within the Somali community with an autism diagnosis and are new to AOWL Therapy Services may apply now to be granted a scholarship to Session 2 of the 2021-2022 Group Therapy Program. Please reach out to our Clinic Manager, Karla, if you would like to learn more or pass along the information to anyone who could benefit from this resource!

Beyond the Bell
Join us in welcoming Mecca Polk, Childcare and Administrative Professional!
Ms. Mecca is AOWL's new Childcare and Administrative Professional. She is currently attending Hennepin Technical College for her generals and working towards a degree in Special Education.  Mecca is a certified PCA and DSP and has worked with special needs families for about 4 1/2 years. AOWL is excited to have her on the team! Ms. Mecca is looking forward to getting to know the students in Owl's Nest every day.

Please join us in welcoming Nicole Andrews, Enrichment Program Manager!
Ms. Nicole has been working with children and families for over 14 years in several different settings. During the last few years she expanded her in-classroom and administrative experience to include new education in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She brings that new learning of how inclusion and neuro-diversity impact learning, coupled with passion for supporting the whole child into the enrichment spaces at AOWL. Welcome to the AOWL family, Ms. Nicole!

The first session of clubs runs from Oct. 25 - Dec. 17.
Click on the level below to learn more information:
Register for clubs on Smart Tuition.

Information about Owl's Nest Before and After-School Care can be found here.
  • To notify AOWL Staff that you are here to pick up your child from Owl's Nest, call 952-737-6923.

For more Enrichment information, see the Beyond the Bell page on our website.

Wyayn's Words
Honor the Present

Public schools have struggled for years with teacher shortages, particularly in math, science, special education and languages. I’ve attended two state conferences in the past 3 weeks, one for Minnesota private schools and another for Minnesota nonprofits. Both conferences had highly attended workshops on creative ways to address teacher and workforce shortages. Thankfully, at AOWL we are fully staffed with high quality teachers, even in the hard to find areas of math, science, special education and languages. However, we too have felt the seismic shift of the workforce change. We’ve had more attrition in our non-credential positions in the past 5 months than we’ve had the entire time I’ve been here. 
We’re proud of our personalized attention in the classrooms. Last year due to PPP funding we were able to have a behavior therapist in every classroom. This year we don’t have that advantage and we have just now, 8 weeks into the school year, hired for every support position within the school. Not every position has started, but every position has been hired. That’s a relief to the teachers who have been working without the classroom support they know their students need, to the administrators who are completing their work at home late in the evening because they are spending their days in the classroom, and for the students who crave routine and familiar faces.
If you have a moment, send a kind message to those who have shown up -- those who have made our students a priority and have worked especially hard to ensure every student receives as much personalized attention as they could possibly give. 
Another way to show your kindness is to support Ms. Liz and Ms. Anita through Meal Train gift cards while they go through chemotherapy. The link to Meal Train can be found here
Finally, thank you for attending conferences. That is yet another way to show your support for our teachers and behavior therapists. They work hard getting to know your child and look forward to teaming with you.  

View from the Nest
Unity Day! Owls United Against Bullying!
Students and staff alike wore orange on October 19 to show that we are united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Students also received a magnet to decorate their locker with a positive message. For more information on Unity Day, check out pacer.org.
PTO Co-chairs

Executive Director