Pony E-News: Make sure you're ready for the first day of school

Pony eNews banner updated

August 18, 2019


new teachers

New teachers join the Pony family

We welcomed nearly 50 new teachers to the district this past week - representing preschool through high school. New teachers took part in three days of training and orientation activities, and also spent time with their principals and preparing their classrooms. 


District welcomes all staff back to school this week

staff welcome back

Teachers, paras and other district staff will be returning to work this week! The All-Staff Kick Off event will be held on Tuesday. Throughout the week staff will also be participating in a variety of workshops and trainings, as well as preparing their classrooms and work spaces for the year ahead. It will be a busy week as we get ready to welcome our students back to school.


Make sure you're ready for the first day of school

first day of school
  • Log in to Skyward to complete the Annual Required Forms:
  • Update emails, phone numbers and emergency contacts, and update student health info.
  • Sign-off on required notices
  • Create an online FeePay account and start paying online for meals, field trips, athletics and activities, and other school expenses.
  • Review the District Handbook online. The handbook includes information regarding district policies, student’s rights and responsibilities and more.
  • Make sure immunizations records or medical or non-medical exemptions are up-to-date and have been submitted to your child’s school.

Back-to-school excitement can sometimes create anxiety

mental health stress

A new school year should bring lots of excitement for your child. For some, however, it can also bring about fear, anxiety and even depression. We continue to partner with local resources to provide expert counseling support in each school to help your child through life’s challenges. Our behavioral health experts from FamilyMeans (mental health), Lakeview (nutritional health) and Youth Service Bureau (chemical health) encourage parents to follow these three healthy tips as you prepare your child for the 2019-2020 school year. 

  1. Establish a routine: a consistent, regimented schedule helps to provide structure. Early bedtimes will make for a more restful night’s sleep and increased mental health! 
  2. Foster open communication: set aside times to talk without electronics present. Discuss with your child what they are looking forward to in the new year, any fears they have or concerns about friendships. Be available to talk when they need, and help them to work through anxiety.
  3. Stay healthy: encourage exercise and good eating habits. It helps to plan meals and snacks ahead of time so you are not as tempted by quick, unhealthy options. 

Click here for more information about Stillwater Area Public Schools' mental health resources. 


High school students win diversity award for original podcast

carnation podcast

Stillwater Area High School students are being honored for their original podcasting series Carnation. The podcasters, who are all first-generation immigrant families, were awarded the 2019 Cultural Jambalaya Diversity Award for making a positive difference by advancing multiculturalism and ethnic diversity in their Minnesota communities.

They've been working with the FamilyMeans Cimarron Teen Program in collaboration with StoryArk, a nonprofit that provides youth creative opportunities to share their stories. The Carnation podcast is named for the different colors of the flowers that grow along the US-Mexico border. The series explores cultural topics and personal experiences harnessing the power of storytelling. Students not only wrote original narratives but they also acted out characters, created sound effects and worked with professional writers. Listen to the podcasts online.


Fees to be added to some FeePay transactions

If you make online payments using FeePay, you may see an extra fee incurred on your transactions this year. The fee will only be assessed when paying for things like sports, field trips and school activities. These new fees will NOT be charged to the purchase of any school meals. The transaction fee (program fee) is being implemented as part of the school board-approved budget reductions made last spring. 

NOTE: District staff will be re-evaluating FeePay this year and considering other online payment systems that may cost less and provide a similar or better user experience. 


Meal prices increase slightly, but still a great value!

Despite a small increase in meal prices this year, schools meals are still a great value! As a participant in the National School Lunch Program, the district has had to increase its average meal prices by a minimum of ten cents for the 2019-2020 school year. The new prices are:

lunch
 

Elementary

Middle School

High School

Breakfast

$1.40

$1.50

$1.50

Lunch

$2.75

$2.95

$3.00


School board meeting notice

The school board will hold two closed sessions for negotiations on August 22 and September 12, both from 5-6 p.m. at Stillwater City Hall. Read the official notices online.


Upcoming Events

August 20: Board work session. Topics include Career Pathways at Stillwater Area High School and School Board Priorities.
August 22: Board business meeting
August 26: First day of school, grades 6 and 9. Ready, Set, Go Conferences grades K-5.
August 27: 
First day of school, grades 7-8 and 10-12. Ready, Set, Go Conferences grades K-5.
August 28: 
First day of school, grades K-5
September 4: 
First day of school, pre-K