22 July 2021
Coming Up
View the 2021-22 Year-at-a-Glance Calendar here.
View our Parent Google Calendar here.
Family Corner
Help Review AOWL Online!
Your overall experience with AOWL is important to us! If you and your child have enjoyed your experience here and would rate us 5 stars, please submit a review online:

Prospective parents often make the decision to send their child to AOWL based on the online reviews they read, so sharing your positive ratings definitely helps. If you would rate us lower than 5 stars, please let us know directly.

We want your experience at AOWL to be exceptional, and we will do our best to earn a 5 star review from you. Thank you!
2021-22 Start of Year Forms due August 1
Be on the lookout for an email tomorrow with information on submitting your Start-of-Year forms through Gradelink EnrollMe! Electronic submission of forms will be due August 1.
Questions? Contact office@aowl.org.
Summer Sensory Fest August 22
Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 22nd! Academy of Whole Learning is hosting a sensory-friendly event at our future campus in Golden Valley. You won't want to miss the silent disco, live music performances, on-site music therapy, food trucks, activity stations, and more. All are welcome!

  • When: Sunday, August 22, 1-4 pm
  • Where: 8810 10th Ave N, Golden Valley, MN 55427
  • What: A community sensory-friendly event to welcome ourselves to the Golden Valley neighborhood

Share this event with your friends, family, and networks!
Click here to share the event on Facebook.
Click here for the RSVP link.
Click here for an electronic save-the-date.
Back to School Night August 25
On Wednesday, August 25 we will host our annual Back to School Night to launch the new school year!
All parents/caregivers and students are invited. Please see the itinerary below, which will let you know when to arrive:

  • Lower and Middle School Families
  • 5:30 - 6:30 pm - Receive beginning-of-the-year information, meet classmates, teachers, behavior therapists, specialists, and tour the building.
  • 6:30 - 7:00 pm - Lower/Middle School Ice Cream Social!

  • High School Families
  • 6:30 - 7:30 pm - Receive beginning-of-the-year information, meet classmates, teachers, behavior therapists, specialists, and tour the building.
  • 7:30 - 8:00 pm - High School Ice Cream Social!

Upcoming Dates:
  • Class Groups will be announced on August 20 via email!
  • The first day of school will be Monday, August 30.
  • Reminder: there will be no school Friday, September 3.

We can't wait to welcome everyone for the 2021-2022 academic year!
Updated 2021-22 Arrival and Dismissal Plan
CHANGE OF PLAN! There have been updates since our last Bridge publication!
Here is the updated plan for arrival and dismissal for the 2021-22 school year:

  • 8:00 - 8:10 = Lower School - Lower School Entrance
  • Lower School classes start promptly at 8:10 am.
  • 8:10 - 8:20 = Middle/High School - Main Entrance
  • Middle/High School Classes start promptly at 8:20 am.

  • 3:00 - 3:10 Lower School - Lower School Entrance
  • 3:10 - 3:20 = Middle/High School - Main Entrance
Wishing All the Best to King Louie!
Please join us in wishing Louis Bakalars success in his new career as he pursues Culinary School this fall!
Louie stepped up into many roles while At AOWL. He began in 2016 as a classroom assistant, and quickly developed a strong rapport with our students. He was asked and readily agreed to take on the position of Behavior Therapy Specialist three years ago. Then, last year as the pandemic struck, Louie again stepped up to become our COVID Safety Coordinator. We jokingly referred to him as King of COVID, a title he didn’t seem to mind, although we didn’t often see him wearing his custom made crown! Louie once again stepped up to take on the role of Enrichment Program Manager while we searched for (and found - more on this in the next issue of the Bridge!) a permanent Enrichment Program Manager.
Louie’s last day is Friday, July 30, 2021. Best of luck, Louie! Let us know where you end up after school. 
No doubt you’ll have your own AOWL foodie following!
Subscribe Family/Friends to The Bridge Newsletter!
Do you have a family member or friend who might be interested in receiving our Bridge Newsletter? They can sign up here. 
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! 
Beyond the Bell
A Sssneak Peek from Amazing Animals Camp!
Wyayn's Words
Summer in Minnesota

Summer in Minnesota is a precious time. Only those of us who know the impact of below zero days in the midst of winter can truly appreciate the magical days of a Minnesota summer. This is a time when we as families pack up to go to the cabin, to the lake, to relatives, to campgrounds, to the outdoors, to isolate ourselves among the mosquitos and to experience the rewards of immersing ourselves with the people we love best. This is our long gulp of ice tea [or insert adult beverage here] to refresh ourselves.

Coming off of 17 months of pandemic isolation, of forced quarantining, it is nice to return to the choice of surrounding ourselves with family rather than being forced to be with them. My husband and I just returned from a fabulous trip to the ocean for 10 days. We had a wonderful time and I couldn’t help but remember just 17 months ago when we were quarantined in the house together for 11 weeks, me working from home and him sulking because he couldn’t work at all. The change in both our attitudes when we could choose to spend time together rather than being forced to spend time together was obvious.

School will start in less than 6 weeks. One of our goals for our students is for them to want to come to school. We want them to choose to come and spend time together rather than feeling forced to attend. I’m realistic. I don’t expect our students to hop out of bed expressing glee over the opportunity to come to school, although many do. What we hope for is no longer resisting the routine of school, an acceptance that school is part of their lives. I’m not trying to set the bar low, I just want your students to be open to the idea that school is good for them, that we have their best interests in mind and that this is a place that they choose to come to. With that comes a willingness to learn, a desire to explore and a yearning to acquire new information.

We pride ourselves on our learning environment. We know it must be sensory-friendly and be a caring place that students look forward to coming to each day. With that in mind, we have developed our practice of The First 6-weeks of School, where our focus is on the student rather than on the content. We craft the first weeks of school to be fun, a place to renew or create new friendships, and to carefully teach expectations. Don’t worry - we surreptitiously sneak in student assessments and both academic and social skills rigor, but the focus is truly on the student and not the content. We have found that by the end of 6 weeks, when we have gradually transitioned to full school rigor, our students are not only ready for it they are craving it and any time lost academically in the first 6 weeks is easily made up over the course of the year by taking it slow at the beginning.

Because we see ourselves as experts in providing this sensory-friendly, student-welcoming experience, we’ve decided to offer a bit of it to our whole community. On Sunday, August 22, Academy of Whole Learning will be hosting a sensory-friendly music fest for all at our new Golden Valley campus. Our teachers and therapists from both the school and clinic will be onsite with sensory toolkits strapped to their backs to help anyone who might become overwhelmed, while at the same time purposely taking the overwhelm out of the event by providing a Silent Disco, where participants can listen to music at their own volume, having cooling stations with fine mists of water spraying out gently, music therapy by MacPhail Music and live music playing softly. We’ll have a food truck onsite and bottles of water freely available.

Please join us at our new Summer Sensory Fest on Sunday, August 22. If we don’t see you there, we’ll see you at Back to School Night on Wednesday, August 25. 

Happy Summer!
View from the Nest
The Artistic Process!
Check out the creative process and creative problem-solving of one of our summer campers!
PTO Co-chairs

Head of School