25 March 2021
Coming Up
COVID-19 Update
We ask that members of the AOWL community please be mindful of Minnesota Department of Health’s current guidance on travel. Currently, MDH recommends that “people visiting or returning from travel out of state should stay away from others (quarantine) for 14 days after they arrive in Minnesota.” 14 days is safest, but shorter quarantine periods can be considered in some circumstances. For those traveling over spring break, another avenue to maintain a certain level of safety is through confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test. There are a number of convenient and free community and at-home testing options provided through MDH. We want to do our part to ensure our students can continue their in-person learning experience following Spring Break.
If you have questions, please contact Mr. Louis.

Visit the COVID-19 update section of our website for all COVID-19 information.
Family Corner
Thank you, PTO,
for your donations that provided DoorDash gift cards for our staff during conferences!!
Parent Support Group March 26
March 26, 9:00 - 10:00 am. Please RSVP by contacting [email protected].
Spring Break March 29 - April 2
There will be no school March 29 - April 2 due to Spring Break
Scroll to our "Beyond the Bell" section to find out more about Activity Day offerings.
PTO Meeting April 8
The next PTO Meeting date is Thursday, April 8 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!
Virtual Family Art Night April 15
You are invited to AOWL's Virtual Family Art Night Event!

  • Who? AOWL Families, Alumni, and Students
  • What? Art Trivia, a "Create with Me"/Bob Ross-inspired drawing activity, online Pictionary, an upcycle project, and a virtual art gallery featuring AOWL's artists!
  • When? Thursday, April 15 at 6:00 PM
  • Where? Online -- Registration required.

Would you like to be featured in the virtual art gallery? Email a photo of your art to colleen.farley@aowl.org
Yearbook Orders due April 16
Yearbooks on sale now!
Capture your child's best memories of the year. Created by students, for students! 
  • You can order online by visiting here, enter the city and state and you will be able to locate our store.
  • You can pay by cash or a check to the school.  
  • Cost: $28
  • All sales are due by April 16.
  • Yearbooks will be shipped to the school.

If you have any questions please contact Ms. Georgette
Virtual Minds of All Kinds Fundraiser May 6
What is the Virtual Minds of All Kinds (MOAK) Annual Fundraiser?
Minds of all Kinds Virtual Fundraiser is a one hour program. You will hear directly from students, parents, and staff about the transformational success that happens at AOWL! Click here to watch a parent testimonial from a past event.

When/where is the event:
May 6, 2021 from 7-8 pm, wherever you can access a screen and an internet connection. Once you RSVP and we’re closer to the event, you’ll be sent a link to join the event live.

Why do we need a fundraiser?
Our tuition dollars alone do not completely cover the costs of running our school and offering important scholarships. The money we raise at this event helps pay for our amazing teachers and other staff and provides important funds for our operating expenses (utilities, bus, technology, etc.).

What is expected of me, as the parent of a student enrolled at AOWL?
1. Your attendance, first and foremost! Click here to RSVP right now!
2.Share our event with your network of family and friends! We’re virtual this year so anyone who may be interested can be included! This event is a great opportunity to increase awareness for autism and other neurodiverse learners globally.
3. Know that all donations are doubled with our matching grant!

What communication should I expect in the future?
We have a parent subcommittee who will be reaching out to all AOWL families to answer questions and follow up on our invitation. We will also publish updates on the event in this newsletter.

What if I still have questions about this event?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Aki Yoshino, parent co-chair, at [email protected] or Kelsey Goth, AOWL Advancement Coordinator and co-chair, at [email protected].
Hybrid Ceremony of Completion May 27
We are excited to announce that we are holding a hybrid Ceremony of Completion event on May 27!
Graduates and their immediate families are invited to attend in person at our outdoor event.
For the rest of our AOWL community, including staff, families, and friends, the event will be live-streamed online.
Stay tuned -- more details will be shared as the event approaches!
Beyond the Bell
Bridge the Gap Summer Camp
Registration for Bridge the Gap Summer Camp 2021 is now open!
View program offerings here.
Upcoming Activity Days
Monday, March 29th - Wednesday, March 31 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. $90/day
Register via Smart Tuition or email [email protected].
Session 3 Clubs
Session 3 Clubs begin Monday, April 5th. Access offerings here.
Scholarships available -- email [email protected] for more information.

Sign-up is now open via Smart Tuition.
HEADlines with Brenda
Greetings, AOWL families! 

Can you believe we are moving into the week of Spring Break? I am grateful for this time for families to spend together and staff to rejuvenate. Despite the bumps caused by COVID, our students are achieving and making progress. This has been no small feat and I am so proud of our staff’s hard work through this taxing year. 

Thank you for your patience in waiting for a response to questions asked during our Annual Parent Meeting, which I thank Dr. Rasmussen for stepping in to host so I could address a family emergency. In considering the questions, we wanted to ensure our answers were well thought-through and communicated with clarity and accuracy. With that said, the questions asked were:

Will AOWL move back to 5 days in person this year?
Answer: Our decision followed our beliefs around differentiation for what was best for each level in our school. As previously stated via email:
  • High School will remain at Level 2 Hybrid, which is 4 days a week in person and one virtual day on Thursday. The virtual day will remain asynchronous. Staff will continue using the Virtual Day to check in with Distance Learners in the morning, and the afternoon will be focused on Professional Development. 
  • Middle School and Lower School will transition to Level 1, which is 5 days a week in person, starting on May 3. 

Will there be a gym in the new school building?
Answer: YES!! 

What are the goals and objectives for the High School next year?
Answer: As our school experiences growth, differentiation in students' needs comparably increase. In recognizing this, I have valued feedback from teachers, behavior therapists, staff and parents around what is working well in our high school, and what needs improving. I am proud of our ability to take feedback, reflect on our practices, brainstorm out-of-the box ideas, learn research-based practices, and implement with flexibility and steadfast effort. We will continue to reflect on our practices while moving into next year with a focus on differentiation
We will achieve our main goal of differentiation through addressing our:
  • Assessments
  • Planning
  • Structure

Our staff will be responsible for facilitating these changes, while the only change we hope for students is greater success at school!

Sending Positive Vibes,

View from the Nest
Spirit Week Highlights!
Left: Pigeon River shows off their quirk for Wacky Wednesday
Right: Ms. Paige and Ms. Panou sport their AOWL gear for Spirit Day on Monday

More highlights will be featured in the next Bridge!
2020-21 Board-Parent Liaison

PTO Co-chairs

Head of School